Fondly referred to as the Fabulous Fox, the Fox Theatre hosts many cultural and artistic events in Atlanta, including the Atlanta Ballet and many Broadway shows.
The History of the Fox Theatre
Located in Midtown Atlanta, the Fox Theatre was built in 1929 and was originally intended as a Yarrab Temple Shrine Mosque. The $2.75 million project was completed just two months before the stock market crash and, after just two years, went into bankruptcy.
Movie mogul William Fox and the Shriners both lost their economic interests in the building at that time. Stronger management was acquired during the 1940s, however, and the Fox Theatre soon became one of the finest movie theatres in Atlanta.
Part of the Fox’s success at that time was contributed to its Egyptian Ballroom, which soon became one of Atlanta’s most popular dance halls. It played host to some of the best big bands and country and western swing bands of that time.
The Fox Theatre once again experienced a decline in the 1960s, and by 1974 was a struggling theatre showing second-run movies. After plans for demolition began to circulate, a group was formed to save the theatre. The first step was placing it on the National Register of Historic Places. It eventually was named a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
A lengthy and costly restoration process began, with an emphasis on restoring the theatre to its original grandeur and luster.
Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. eventually took over management in 1975 and has since operated on a surplus. An estimated 750,000 people now visit the Fox Theatre every year.
The Fox Theatre Today
The Fox Theatre seats 4,678 and is designed to resemble an Arabian courtyard, complete with a night sky and a projection of drifting clouds.
The architecture is an oddly beautiful mix of Islamic and Egyptian and was first described by a local newspaper as having “a picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur beyond imagination.”
Other features of this theatre include trompe l’oeil, ornate fireplaces and a giant, Bedouin canopy which is designed to funnel sounds to the farthest balcony in the auditorium.
Ongoing conservation and restoration of the Fox Theatre continue today.
The Ballrooms of the Fox Theatre
This premier venue, in addition to hosting a wide variety of musicals, plays, concerts and ballets, serves as a spot at which to host wedding receptions, trade shows, corporate meetings and association functions.
The ballrooms of the Fox Theatre include: the Egyptian Ballroom, which is home to many weddings, receptions and corporate events; the Grand Salon; the Grand Terrace, which includes use of a beautiful, outdoor terrace; and the Landmarks Lounge, which serves as a 30-person hospitality suite.