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History of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre

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The glitz and glam of the Fox Theatre is a draw that attracts both visitors and locals. But did you know the Fox Theatre was nearly demolished?

The Fox Theatre was originally slated to be the home for Atlanta’s Shriners organization. The Shriners wanted it to resemble elaborate Egyptian architecture. Unfortunately, they ran out of money before they could complete the project and had to sell it to a man named William Fox, who was creating movie theaters across the United States.

fox-theatre-atlanta-venueWith an additional $3 million, the Fox Theatre was completed in 1929, with a sprawling 250,000 square feet, and opened on Christmas Day. The magnificent red carpet and entrance and gorgeous “sky” ceiling with its twinkling stars, were a huge draw for audiences. Unfortunately, it wasn’t immune to the Great Depression, and William Fox lost his beloved theater.

The Fox Theatre was purchased by another company and showed movies for over 30 years. Although the Fox remained quite popular for movies for nearly three decades, it fell on hard times with people moving to the suburbs and patronizing newer movie theaters. But in 1974, when the Fox was slated for demolition, Atlanta residents donated the necessary funds to save it.

The “Save the Fox” campaign worked incredibly well and has pretty much guaranteed that the Fox will never return to the state it was in during the 70s. The Fox Theatre has gone on to host performers like Elvis Presley and Madonna and a myriad of Broadway shows.

The Fox hosts more than 250 shows annually and an audience of half a million visitors. Unfortunately, for many, Broadway shows don’t have a long run at the Fox Theatre and many big companies purchase big blocks of tickets, preventing people like you and I from having the opportunity to see the shows we’d like. I think I’ll be going out of town if I ever want to see Book of Mormon.

The Fox Theatre is more than just a concert / play venue. Many private events take place here as well.

Many visitors just think of the Fox Theatre as a pretty place to see a show or a concert. But you may be surprised to know that there are many different rooms at the Fox Theatre for private parties and functions. There are weddings, corporate parties, and even proms that take place at the Fox Theatre in the many lavish ballrooms.

Have to mention though that several years ago, famed Fox Theatre organist Larry Embury died and his body went unclaimed for three weeks. With all their gazzilion dollars the Fox Theatre couldn’t cough up the money for this beloved employee after his many years of service. That’s disappointing.
Feel like a movie star in the private dressing room you’ll see during the tour of the Fox Theatre.

Want to dig deeper and see what goes on behind the scenes at the Fox Theatre? Want to find out where the stars hang out before and after their performances? You can find out all of this by taking a behind the scenes tour of the Fox Theatre. The hour-long tour is $18 for adults and $5 for children aged 10 and under.

The Fox Theatre has announced a special partnership with Affairs to Remember catering company. Affairs crafts some highly creative dishes for special events at the Fox Theatre. In addition to the Fox’s signature, cumin-spiked “Foxcorn” popcorn, there are other signatures, like sliders, pastas, and a lovely parsnip puree, that keep patrons coming back.

Fox Theatre’s very own popcorn


Fox Theatre photos here are copyright Roamilicious. No photos may be used without permission.