He was a resident of the Fox Theatre for over 30 years. Joe Patten was selected as the technical director of the Fox and led an effort to form the theatre as a nonprofit in 1974. Helping the Fox from being demolished when the Bell systems were trying to take it over.
Patten later took residence into a 3,640 sq. ft. office and turned it into his living space. Fox Theatre gave Patten a lease that allowed him to continue residing there rent free for the rest of his life. In 2010, a new board ended Patten’s lifetime lease and tried evicting him. Patten was later offered a new lease that stated he could live there as long as he is “able” or until he needed around-the-clock care.
After recently suffering a stroke, Patten’s family took him off of life support.
For Theatre posted the following statement to their Facebook page:
“The Fox Theatre team is deeply saddened by the passing of Joe Patten, and we offer our sincerest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones during this difficult time. As a dedicated caretaker for the theater for many decades, we thank him for his service and recognize the significant role he played in preserving this beloved landmark. Mr. Patten was a man of great character, and his legacy will endure as future generations experience the Fox Theatre for years to come.”