The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Atlanta’s landmark performing arts facility that has endured the test of time with grace and enduring opulence.

When it opened in 1929, an Atlanta newspaper described the Fox Theatre as possessing “a picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur beyond imagination.” Sure, the Vaudeville era was particularly known for its own brand of boisterous amusement — a sentiment shared by the media of the era as well — but in this copywriter’s case, the nail was hit on the head.

The first thing visitors to The Fox notice is the style of architecture that is notably out of place in Midtown Atlanta. Owing to its origins as a Shriner’s Temple, the interior and exterior alike possess Islamic and Egyptian architectural influences, most notably in the audience portion of the theater itself (the capacity is just under 5,000). Modeled after an Arabian courtyard, this space is accented by a re-creation of a deep blue night “sky” that is embedded with 96 crystal “stars” and a projection of clouds that move slowly across the scene

Elsewhere in the facility, the opulence is hard to ignore: one of the banquet halls is modeled after the temple of Ramses II at Karnak; a re-creation of King Tut’s throne can be found near the women’s restroom (along with a collection of sphinxes); and there are enough faux gilded accents to drive the point home: this facility remains a vision of grandeur that is simply hard to find anymore.

And then, there’s the programming. The calendar here is full, year-round; the Atlanta Ballet performs many of its shows here; a popular summer film series draws crowds; full-scale stage performances of traveling Broadway shows pepper the schedule; and nationally popular musical acts occasionally perform here, too.

Points of Interest

  • The building has a storied past, and very nearly, got off on the wrong foot. The original design of this property was intended to accommodate a large Shriner’s temple, but the massive amount of money involved to get the building constructed was only made possible by movie tycoon William Fox (yeah, that Fox). Thing is, the building opened two months after the stock crash, and by and large, it was unprofitable for the whole of the ‘30s, not recovering until things picked up again in the ‘40s.
  • Want to experience this one-of-a-kind place, but not interested in seeing a show? The Fox offers regular tours. Check their site for more info.
  • “Mighty Mo,” the second largest pipe organ of any theater in America (behind the one at Radio City Music Hall), is still installed in The Fox. Custom-built for The Fox in 1929, this instrument has four keyboards and 3,622 pipes.
  • You might hear reference to the “Phantom of the Fox” at some point, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Joe Patten, the longtime technical director of The Fox, actually lived in an on-site, 3,000-square-foot apartment. He retired in 2004, winding up a 40-year career, but the management of the theatre agreed to let him live on the property for the rest of his days (Patten happened to be present during a predawn fire that may have destroyed the place if he hadn’t been around to find it, so they owed him). Patten passed away in 2016.
  • Though The Fox languished in the1970s (owing to suburbanization, in part), it experienced a resurgence in attendance in the ‘80s that’s never waned. About 750,000 people visit this place each year.
  • The Fox was the site of musician Prince’s final performance. The artist performed here one week before his death, in 2016.

660 Peachtree St. NE
foxtheatre.org

Homes, Condos & Lofts for Sale near Fox Theatre - Atlanta GA

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Listing information last updated on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at 4:22 AM.