Cleanup begins on vandalized Fox Theater

Cleanup begins on vandalized Fox Theater

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The historic Fox Theatre was vandalized over the weekend and authorities are looking for the people responsible.

The theater recently went through a six-year $14 million remodel and was reopened on New Year's Eve of 2006.

Tucson police said taggers hit a few buildings over the weekend, including the Chase Bank building across the street from the theater. Now a company called Priority One is cleaning up the mess, reportedly for free.

Fox Theater spokespeople said what really hurts is that this is the community's non-profit theater. The theater was built in 1930 and through hard work, donations of time and money and supplies, it was refurbished.

The Fox recently celebrated its 85th birthday.

Fox Theater managers say they hope someone will recognized the graffiti and help catch whoever did this. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild stopped by to see the mess and said it makes him sick to his stomach.

He said a budget proposal adds $885,000 to the city's graffiti abatement program. He says, if approved, the money likely would come out of the general fund to keep cleaning up and not let taggers' work stay up anywhere.

"After three or four times they don't come back, but it takes that kind of effort," Rothschild said. "So we need more of that. Until today, I was sitting here thinking, 'Well, if we don't have the money for that, you know.' But this is a perfect example of why we've got to clean up graffiti. We're talking about pride in Tucson. We're talking about making progress in Tucson."

"Certainly, the taggers leave their mark and we're hoping it will trigger somebody out there to say we know who did this and to call 88-CRIME," Fox Theater manager Tamara Mack said.

There are no cameras on the building but the hope is generous donors will help buy some. Mack said she started pricing camera systems Monday morning.

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