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Fabulous Fox Theatre – Atlanta
Things To Do In Atlanta
Located in Midtown Atlanta’s 660 Peachtree Street NE, the Fabulous Fox Theatre is renowned performing arts venue in Georgia. It is considered the core of the Fox Theatre Historic District and is often marketed as Fabulous Fox. As can be drawn from the Moorish design of the theatre, it was initially planned to be a part of a large shrine temple. The plans were however changed and it was decided that the structure be made a theatre. It hosts quite a variety of events ranging from cultural events through to artistic events. Popular artists also have concerts on the theatre occasionally.
As stated earlier, the Fabulous Fox Theatre was constructed to be a Yaarab Shrine Temple which would be the headquarters for the Shriners Organization with a capacity of 5,000 members. It was however completed with funding from William Fox, a movie mogul who was at the time building theatres throughout the country. He invested $2.5 million towards the completion of the project and got a 21 year lease of the premise. The theatre was officially opened on the 25th of December, 1929 shortly after the stock market crash. Although the elegance of the building was remarkable, it wasn’t profitable. After about two and a half years of stage entertainment and taking pictures, the theatre declared its bankruptcy. The performance of the theatre was so poor through the 1930s that both the Shriners and William Fox lost their interest in the building.
Changes were however to come in the 1940s after Fox acquired competent management. The theatre rose fast to become one Atlanta’s most successful and finest theatres. The Fabulous Fox Theatre grew famous for quite a number of things one of them being the fact that it was the only theatre in the entire Atlanta in which both black and white patrons were allowed.
Through the 1970s, the theatre once again encountered its share of challenges. The development of suburban multiplex theatres, white flag and changes in the distribution of films are among the factors that contributed to the decline of the financial performance of the theatre. The theatre came to the brink of being brought down when Southern Bell offered the owners of the theatre a deal to purchase it. A group was however created to prevent this and it succeeded in having the theatre included on the National Register of Historic Places in May of 1974.
The public and prominent figures conducted massive campaigns to prevent the city from issuing a demolition for the Fabulous Fox Theatre. They succeeded and had the United States Department of Interior name the theatre a National Historic Landmark on 26th of May, 1976 due to its architectural uniqueness. Restorations, renovations and upgrades soon followed to make the theatre elegant once again. The décor was recreated using photos of the original theatre. The safety codes were also boosted quite a bit. In June 2006, a digital cinema video projection system worth $130,000 was installed.
The theatre is currently used for a number of events that include fundraisers, banquets, trade shows, conventions, weddings as well as corporate and private functions. Proms are also held here occasionally. It however is popular for being the theatre in which Prince made his final performance prior to his unfortunate death a week after.
Transportation and Parking
The street directions to the theatre are as follows:
I-75 South – 75 South- Exit at North Avenue, Left at end of ramp. Left turn at 3rd traffic light (Peachtree Street). The Fox Theatre is 1 block, left.
I-85 South – 85 South- Exit at North Avenue, Left at end of ramp. Left turn at 3rd traffic light (Peachtree Street). The Fox Theatre is 1 block, left.
GA 400 South – 400 South to 85 South. Exit at North Avenue exit; left turn at end of ramp. Turn Left at 3rd traffic light (Peachtree Street). The Fox Theatre is 1 block, left.
I-75/85 North & I-20 – 75/85 North (I-20 to 75/85 North). Exit at the West Peachtree/ Spring Street exit. Go to Peachtree Street (2 blocks); left turn; The Fox Theatre is 2 blocks, left.
There are various private owned parking spots around the theatre. They include 19 3rd St. NW (725 Spring St. NW) – Garage, 662 W Peachtree St. NW - Lot among others.
If you prefer going by public means, you can use the MARTA Rapid Rail to North Avenue Station and head on 2 blocks east to the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
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