The Fox Becomes The Blakeney


If you’ve lived in Carthage for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed the old Fox Theater. Maybe you even saw a film or two there back in “the day”. The building is just a shell of the theater it used to be, but Dakota Killingsworth has plans to bring new life to it.

Killingsworth, Director of The Main Street Chamber of Leake County, says she has plans to turn it into a pocket park called “The Blakeney”. Though she and The Main Street are overseeing this project, they are not funding it. Local pastor, Joe Burgess and his wife Robin have agreed to be investors.

The Burgesses decided they would purchase the property and allow Main Street to use it. It will be designed in memory of their late son, Blakeney “Blake” Burgess, who passed away in a car wreck at just 22 years old. The Blakeney will have touches of Blake’s personality and love of Carthage.

The plan is to have architects and engineers come look at the structure to be sure it is safe as well as render plans. Renderings will be shown to donors to get an idea of what the pocket park will be like. “It’s beautiful in its raw form, so our work will just be bringing it back to life” says Killingsworth.

Killingsworth says her hope for The Blakeney is that “it will be a space that locals are proud of and want to get out and enjoy”. She says she also wants it to “kick-start our downtown and encourage young entrepreneurs to fill our empty buildings on the square with stores and restaurants.”

The Blakeney
The Blakeney’s Namesake –
Blakeney “Blake” Burgess 1997-2020
The Blakeney