Richard A. Fox, founder of Reading, Pa.-based Fox Theatres and onetime president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, passed away on July 24 at the age of 90.
Fox launched Fox Theatres in 1957 with the opening of the Sinking Spring Drive-In, billed as “the world’s largest Cinemascope screen.” Over the next 33 years he grew the regional circuit to 25 locations with over 100 screens and more than 1,000 employees. At its peak, Fox Theatres was one of the largest independently owned movie theater companies in the United States. Fox brought modern movie theaters to suburban markets throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Florida.
Fox was elected president of the National Association of Theatre Owners in 1984, and tackled issues ranging from contentious trade practices to competition from new technologies. He was the last volunteer president of NATO.
Born in Buffalo, NY, Fox attended the University of Buffalo and served in the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant. He was a former board member of the Jewish Federation of Reading, B’nai B’rith, Variety Club, and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation.
A resident of Boca Raton, Florida, Fox is survived by his wife of 32 years, Marcia Spokane Fox, son Donald Fox, daughter Sheryl Fox Myerson, son Herrick “Rick” Fox, sister Lee Redstone, and his former wife, Helen Fox. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, three stepchildren, and seven step-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son Howard in 1978.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Howard Fox Memorial Law Scholarship Fund at the Berks County Community Foundation, bccf.org.