Almanac

News - June 2, 2010

Menlo Park native takes over at Fox Theatre

by Dave Boyce

Dreams and the process of fulfilling them has become the business of Menlo Park native Eric Lochtefeld, the co-founder of a for-profit global clearinghouse for internships called University of Dreams, and the new operator of the Fox Theatre, the Little Fox nightclub and the offices upstairs in the 2200 block of Broadway in Redwood City.

"We literally just got the keys last week," Mr. Lochtefeld said in an interview. "Now maybe my dream can be realized here."

The lights in the buildings have been off for months, but getting new light and sound systems — and attracting compelling musical acts and paying customers into the 1,500-seat theater and 250-seat nightclub — won't be entirely foreign to Mr. Lochtefeld, who said he's been in the music industry as a producer for seven years.

"This is second nature to me," he said. "It's like riding a bike. It's not like I forgot how to do it."

He will have experienced help. Mr. Lochtefeld said he has hired a production manager associated with rock-music extravaganzas that typically draw 750,000 fans, and the venue manager for the Houston Astrodome.

Decisions on which talent to invite to the stages will be made in the summer, Mr. Lochtefeld said. When asked for examples, he read from a list of Fox Theatre acts from the past decade, including musicians Joan Baez, Lyle Lovett, BB King and Kenny Loggins, and comedians Bill Cosby, Dana Carvey and Lily Tomlin.

Mr. Lochtefeld said he would not rule out any music genre, but said he is likely to focus on rhythm & blues, jazz and alternative rock.

Space for dancing, in the theater anyway, will be a simple matter of removing the 500 to 600 movable seats down in front, he said. Liquor licenses have been applied for.

Go to www.foxdream.com for more information.

Internships arranged

Mr. Lochtefeld's other venture, the University of Dreams, will be relocated to office spaces above the theater.

The company is essentially a logistics partner for students seeking internships, including in hard-to-survive places such as Manhattan and Washington D.C., and hard-to-get positions such as with publisher Houghton Mifflin or the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Web site.

A one-fee service sets up housing, meals, seminars and weekend excursions, Mr. Lochtefeld said.

Mr. Lochtefeld said he attended grades 1-8 at Sacred Heart Schools, then known as St. Joseph's School of the Sacred Heart, in Atherton. His parents still live in Menlo Park.

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