Fox Theatre

660 Peachtree Street NE,
Atlanta, GA 30365

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Fox Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally constructed as the Yaarab Temple Shrine Mosque to be used as the headquarters for the Shriner’s organization from 1925. The site was taken over by Fox Theatres chain and turned into the magnificent Fox Theatre which opened on December 25, 1929. Today, it is one of the best kept, best loved and luxurious of the world’s movie palaces. Its legendary status has been born from initial hardship.

The inauguration of the building as The Fox met with the commencement of the Depression. The Fox Theatre, it seemed, was doomed to fail. After a few short years of delighting Atlanta crowds with films and shows, the Fox Theatre declared bankruptcy and closed.

The city gained brief ownership of the Fox Theatre and the theater regained its footing during the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. The 1960’s hit the theatre hard like many others around the country. The proliferation of television, suburban attractions/distractions and other economic forces began to take a toll on the viability of the Fox Theatre as a movie palace. The Fox’s glory days lasted until 1973.

A non-profit group saved the Fox Theatre from demolition and in 1975, the group began the lengthy process of restoring the theatre. Reopening the theatre as a peforming arts center, the Fox’s financial situation is now much more sound.

Constant restoration and upkeep have kept the Fox Theatre looking new and have helped retain its status as a truly unique and magnificent theatre. The Fox Theatre is reportedly the only major theatre in the country to have a full-time restoration staff. They are also the only major theatre to have 2 ballrooms attached in the orginal building (this is as it was on opening day in 1929).

Recent comments (view all 129 comments)

theatrehistorian on October 8, 2014 at 1:26 pm

After years of long to see The Fox, I finally got a change to come from Birmingham, AL. Only thing I was disappointed in was the particular venue (Million Dollar Quartet) istead of some big Broadway-type production and no organ that night. Wish I could go back in a few weeks to see “Phantom Of The Opera.”

BOBFOREMAN on February 7, 2015 at 5:18 am

A new site, “Backstage at the Fox 1929,” an insiders' tour of the theatre when it was new, from a technical standpoint.

Part I Hub Switchboard Operating Manual Part II Audio and Electro-mechanicals Part III Talking Picture Projection

DavidZornig on February 22, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Longtime Fox organist Larry-Douglas Embury has passe away.

EcRocker on March 30, 2016 at 3:35 pm

I hope I get to come down there soon and see this magnificent theatre and meet one of the men who keeps it going Mr Bob Foreman.

robboehm on March 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm

As part of a private party which was held in the vast lobby we were also treated to a short organ concert.

HowardBHaas on April 11, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Fox savior & resident Joe Patten died

StanMalone on April 12, 2016 at 10:32 am

Yes, Joe is gone at the age of 89. There was a small private memorial service in the chapel of Crawford Long Hospital for family and a few close work associates. There is talk of a public memorial service in the future, but no word on if the Fox will offer to host it.

In a very appropriate alignment of events, James H. (Jimmy) Williams, a long time Atlanta projectionist died on the same day at age 90. Jimmy moved from the Roxy (also managed by ABC) in the late 50’s and worked as a regular Fox projectionist for many years. After the Fox reopened in ‘78 he would occasionally work a shift on the Summer Movie Series.

All of the old timers who were such a part of those great years are now moving on. Those of us who were young enough and lucky enough to have worked with them in their later years have some great memories, to say nothing of the many stories we post here.

StanMalone on June 2, 2016 at 6:35 am

In a follow-up to the comment of David Zoring on 2/22, I read recently in the AJC the Larry’s body is still at the county morgue, unclaimed. I know that I grew up in a different era, but you would think that the Fox would cough up a few bucks to have him cremated. After all, he was the organist for 20 years or so.

I would say that they should put the urn on the organ lift and let him ride up and down for eternity but they would never go for that. I can also see that they might worry about precedent, but still….

It has been about 8 years since I have worked the Fox, so I am not familiar with the culture there now, but there was a time that if management refused to get involved then the employees might have taken up a collection. Just as with the whole Joe Patten eviction saga, a sad commentary on the way things are today.

terrywade on July 31, 2016 at 11:53 pm

A recent visit a few weeks ago was not a good time for me at the Fox Atlanta. We saw ‘The Shining’ The Fox run some ads in the local art/entertainment free newspapers and tell about the Coke Film Festival Night. They show the time starting at 7:30PM. What they don’t tell you about all the wonderfull things going on during the pre show at 6 45PM. The pipe organ, cartoons, news, plus trailers all in 35mm film. Most of the main features are DCP video. Not the best look with such a long throw from the back high up balcony projection booth. They did not close the curtains like they did in the past after the organ or between the main feature. So many ads cover the above the screen section and projected on the walls. This gave the place a junkie look, not like a first class classic movie theatre. What was so sad many people came in at 7:30PM or later and blocked screen view looking for their seats and talking. Most had no idea about coming early I think or looking for a place to park. They ran so many screen ads before the video main feature started I thought I was at a Regal Theatre. The lady at the boxoffice told me they open at 6 PM. She was wrong I had to wait in the hot heat till 6 30PM. I did talk to some sort of manager lady in the lobby and told her how important the curtains are with some color lights on them like they did in the past. She did listen to me so let’s see If they can get a stage person backstage to open and close them at the correct time (slowly) as they do adjust the screen masking by hand for flat or scope. The screen they use is way smaller then the huge CinemaScope┬« screen they had in the 50’s. The Fox need’s to change the name to Coke Video Festival as they don’t show 35mm or 70mm film on the main features they book. Glad the place is still open and let’s wish they bring some showmanship back on these great movie/video nights and change the newspaper ads to show what is going on before the main feature plus mention COME EARLY and open at 6 PM. They now have metal detectors out side the front doors so you will be checked to enter just like at the airports. This adds some time also to get in. Watching a movie is not like going to a rock show.

bobbymagee41 on August 8, 2016 at 6:25 pm

I was there in the summer of 1976 and watched Lynard Skynard perform live. And when you listen to Freebird live that’s when he say’s “Play it pretty for Atlanta”.Forrest Gump moment moment of my life, everytime I hear that song I think of the red velvet chairs and the white brick walls and the huge stage and Lynard Skynard playing Freebird and Sweet Home Alabama.

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