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History of Fox Theatre Revealed Through Vintage Images
Local author Janice McDonald pens new book on this Atlanta landmark.
Even beyond Atlanta, this amazing, Moorish-style icon is known by most not by its legal name, the Fox Theatre, but as the “Fabulous Fox.” Constructed in the late 1920s as a temple for the Yaarab Shrine, the imposing yellow-brick building was designed to “out Baghdad Baghdad” in its elaborate Middle Eastern appearance. But the onion-domed exterior with its faux prayer towers is nothing compared to the elaborate interior.
Movie mogul William Fox leased the auditorium from the Shriners in 1929, transforming it into a movie palace like no other. The theater became a place of spectacular premieres and world-class performances until changing times threatened its very existence in the 1970s. The campaign to “Save the Fox” proved more dramatic than some of the performances that graced Fox’s own stage. Today, the Fabulous Fox is one of Atlanta’s best-known and most cherished landmarks.
Highlights of Fox Theatre:
The Fox opened up their archives to the author with no restrictions, allowing her to go through 90 years of material. Movie houses were the social gathering points in the 40s and 50s. A movie didn't just show at the Fox, it was accompanied by a whole campaign that included decorating the arcade and often appearances of some of the stars. The company that was supposed to make the lights for the auditorium went under during the stock market crash before the Fox opened. The electricians bought metal washtubs and cut holes in them and made them into lights. Those washtubs went unnoticed until the Fox underwent its renovations in the 70s.
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