Dispute Closes Curtain

Theater argument

Standing at 527 North Grand Boulevard in the Grand Center neighborhood of St. Louis, the Fox Theatre has maintained its status and prestige as a city landmark, earning the moniker, the “Fabulous Fox.”  Despite its well renowned history, preservation, and extended use, in 2021, the Fox Theatre became the subject of a land dispute lawsuit involving two parties who claimed ownership of the property.  Given the interesting arrangement of existing ownership percentages, it is arguably natural or at least expected that a legal disagreement would develop.  In the two years since its filing, however, the lawsuit has been settled.  

The two parties involved in the lawsuit are Fox Associates LLC and Foxland Inc.  While Fox Associates owned 25 percent of the land, as well as the orchestra pit, main stage, backstage, and certain seating, Foxland owned 75 percent of the land, the grand entrance, and the ballroom.  Despite the unique arrangement, the lawsuit stemmed from an almost 100-year-old lease on the Fox Theatre that was set to expire in 2025.  Both parties argued that when the lease dissolved, one or the other should assume full ownership.  For the past 40 years, Fox Associates has been responsible for extensive operations of the theater and completed a restoration project in the 1980s.

Prior to reaching a settlement, the judge assigned to the case ruled in April that the lawsuit would require a trial.  Rather than prolong the process and exhaust additional resources, Fox Associates and Foxland came to a mutually satisfactory understanding.  In the settlement, Fox Associates has agreed to buy Foxland’s interest in the theater’s lot, thus completing a transaction that will consolidate ownership to one party.  Representatives for each party have issued statements expressing their contentment with the settlement.  Although the Foxland representative admitted to looking forward to operating the theater for many years to come, it is evident that both parties were simply wishing to maintain the strong operation of a long-running St. Louis staple.