HANFORD — A partial ceiling collapse has forced the Hanford Fox Theatre to close its doors and refund money for upcoming shows.
“Right now we’re just kind of shell-shocked,” said Danny Humason, whose family owns the theater. “Our entertainment will be less in Hanford for a while.”
Humason said the large chunk of concrete was found early Thursday morning that likely fell during the night. While it is unknown what caused the collapse, Humason said the ceiling did not have any water damage.
Although he doesn’t expect to know more until his insurance company completes its investigation, the theater will likely be closed for several months.
“The main thing is we can’t afford for anyone to get hurt,” Humason said.
Humason said he was relieved that the ceiling didn’t collapse during a sold-out concert.
Earlier this month, the Fox had packed houses for concerts featuring country music legends Merle Haggard and Kenny Rogers. Upcoming shows that have now been canceled include The Prince Controversy Band, Doc’s Holiday and James Garner’s Johnny Cash tribute show.
The one exception will be a benefit concert for Adam Mattos scheduled for Saturday. Mattos, whose father is known in the local music community, is a Hanford native who is fighting a rare form of melanoma. The concert will feature bands including Midnight Wine and Whisky Row.
Humason said he approached the Hanford Chamber of Commerce Thursday for help finding a new venue. The chamber agreed to allow the concert to take place across the street from the Fox, on the stage in front of The Bastille.
Tony McLean, a friend of the Mattos family who has been organizing the concert, said more than 600 tickets had been sold as of Thursday afternoon.
“It’s still going to go on,” McLean said.
Although the cause of the damage remains to be determined, Humason said he hasn’t ruled out vandalism. He said the owner of the shoe-shining kiosk across the street from the Fox found his business vandalized Thursday morning, with equipment broken and shoes stolen.
The Hanford Fox Theatre was built and first opened in 1929.
The reporter can be reached at 583-2458. Follow him on Twitter @MikeE_HS.