The stunning Fox Theatre opened on a magical Christmas Day in 1929- and continues to be a wonderful place for entertainment and creating memories for families and friends that last forever.
Atlanta is lucky to have the Fox, which has managed to survive and thrive against all odds. The theater was first designed as the Yaarab Temple and headquarters for the Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine until its construction ran out of money. Movie magnate William Fox rescued the project, forming a team to redesign the temple into a theatre with Egyptian-esque ballrooms and lounges.
The original plan for the property at 660 Peachtree required an entire city block of space to build an exotic building, compete with onion domes, arches and minarets ornamenting a Moorish exterior of al-ternating layers of buff and beige brick, topped by the signature Fox marquee. Proceeding past the retro bronze ticket office, patrons head toward the entrance in a wide arcade first intended for commercial use.
Entering the carpeted lobby leaves one awestruck by a spectacular mezzanine and huge staircases up to the balcony level. It’s like being transported to “A Thousand and One Arabian Nights” when you enter the atmospheric auditorium that resembles a courtyard surrounded by the defenses of a fortified castle and topped with a blue-black ceiling with twinkling stars. It is hard to believe the Fox was almost demolished in 1974, a near tragedy that lead to the city’s Preservationist movement to save this richly historic architectural gem.
The Fabulous Fox, as it is called, is perhaps at its best during winter holidays when the sun goes down early. The Nutcracker, with music by Peter Tchaikovsky and performed by the Atlanta Ballet, runs December 9-24 is an Atlanta Christmas classic for your bucket list. Finally, New Year’s Eve is always special at the Fox, and this year the Fox will ring in the New Year with Dancing with the Stars.
–Dr. Paul Hudson