Here’s a Fun Fact From Atlanta’s Fox Theatre!
Did you know someone lives in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre? A THS Friend was kind enough to share this great story. Joe Patten was born on February 9th, 1927, and he lives in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, which was opened on December 25th, 1929.
Joe’s first official connection with the Fox began in 1963 when he, as a volunteer, repaired and restored the Moller pipe organ which had been rendered unplayable for fifteen years because of “ciphers.” Below, newly-employed house organist Bob Van Camp (in tux) and Joe (in the background) at the organ and at the piano which Joe bought in 1964 and donated to the Fox. The “Magic Piano” could be played from the organ console.
Still a volunteer in 1975, Joe Patten was pivotal in saving the Theatre when it was in eminent danger of being demolished by Southern Bell. Shown below with newly-formed Atlanta Landmarks head Pat Connell (left), Joe poses in front of the “closed” sign (and broken glass) at the Fox ticket kiosk.
Once the Fox had been saved, and had turned legit, Joe was hired as Technical Director, Engineer, and keeper— all that in addition to his “day job,” as an expert installer of major X-ray hospital installs. In 1980, Joe (shown below on the roof of the stage house) moved into the Fox Theatre.
Enjoy Mr. Foreman’s article about Joe Patton and his apartment at the Fox Theatre and some wonderful pictures inside this incredible building:
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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.
Learn more about historic theatres on our website at historictheatres.org