THE FOX THEATRE - ATLANTA, GEORGIA


Your author Bob Foreman III (below) in March 1973, with the 1929 opening week Fanchon & Marco three-sheet which he later stupidly donated to Atlanta Landmarks, now Fox Theatre Inc.  Typically the FOX treated it as non-archival,  hung it in an office, forgot it, and allowed it to fade.



As of the beginning of 2013, Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. no longer exists.  See the label on this site, Atlanta Landmarks (the murder of)  for the story.

I was the first production manager (and house engineer) when Atlanta Landmarks re-opened the newly saved building with Linda Ronstadt in the fall of 1975.  Here I am giving a tour.


In 2010, Adrina Alford (now General Manager) fired me as a union stagehand during a stage call because I was outspoken in my defiance of the FOX' efforts to evict theatre savior, Joe Patten.  She claimed falsely that I had "attempted to gain access to our premises without permission."

I was reinstated without prejudice after I filed a  grievance with the National Labor Relations Board, but not before Adrina wanted me to sign self-incriminating documents!   Joe Patten was "allowed" to stay in his apartment, because the Courts ruled in his favor.  No one understands why the Board and management of the FOX are so hostile to Patten.  Adrina's published management philosophy "unbuntu" can be found under the label on this site "Management."  Perhaps "unbuntu" means hatred of elderly white men.

Me, my Dad (R.L. Foreman, Jr.) and Joe Patten in happier times.  Contrary to popular belief, I brought my Dad to the Fox and not vice-versa.  I introduced him to Joe Patten and Bob Van Camp in 1969. 


###

Go the the label BACKSTAGE AT THE FOX 1929 to see the "dummy" of the extensive article  I wrote for the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY.    Learn how to operate the HUB lighting switchboard.


###

AB FAB 1961 JUNIOR LEAGUE PROGRAM BOOK COVER for METROPOLITAN OPERA. Illustration by John Kollock.


GROOVY PANORAMIC SHOT

MY 1975 "SAVE THE FOX" LONG-SLEEVED T, SOMEWHAT THE BETTER FOR WEAR!

ATLANTA LANDMARKS, THE MURDER OF

Atlanta Landmarks, founded in 1975 with the single goal of saving the FOX, is no more.   This photo is from Feburay 15, 1975.
The new name of the corporation is Fox Theatre Inc., more corporate-sounding than Landmarks. The thirty-member Atlanta Landmarks Board of Trustees had been transformed into a 15-member Board of Directors.

A key difference is that the Board's President, a position previously held by a "volunteer" Board member, is now held by a professional. Specifically, before the change, the Chairman of the Board was Alan Thomas, a volunteer, and the President was Woody White, also a volunteer. Now, the Chairman is Woody, and Alan Vella, who formerly held the staff title of GM, is the "President and CEO."

Therefore Woody White's power base has been more than doubled. White's signal accomplishment thus far was his failure to evict Joe Patten from the building. It is estimated that this stunt cost the FOX a quarter of a million dollars, including their legal expenes and the likely possibility they had to foot Joe's expenses as well, as part of the settlement which is secret.

Keep up the fine work!

BACKSTAGE AT THE FOX 1929

The following article is the property of and copyrighted by BOB FOREMAN and GARRY MOTTER and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without their permission. The article was accepted in form and content by Ken Bloom of the Theatre Historical Society in February, 2012 to run as their annual.

TEASER TIME! ATLANTA FOX THEATRE OFFICIAL WEBSITE WWW.FOXTHEATRE.ORG

WOW! WE GOT THE COVER! "CITY BUILDER," THE FIRST ATLANTA MAGAZINE, MARCH, 1928

GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT IS MADE TO THE ANNE COX CHAMBERS, HONORARY FOX BOARD MEMBER, AND THE AJC TO REPRODUCE ARTICLES HEREIN!

THIS ATLANTA FOX THEATRE SITE, BETTER THAN WIKIPEDIA WAS CREATED BY BOB FOREMAN III IN THE 1970S. CONTACT BOB AT LOVETHATBOB@AOL.COM.

660 PEACHTREE STREET, EARLY 1930, MOTION PICTURE WORLD, MARCH, 1930.


NEWSPAPER CLIP-ART SLICK, CIRCA 1970, FROM ABC-SOUTHEASTERN THEATRES; ROXY (nee GEORGIA) DEMOLISHED IN EARLY 70'S; THE OTHER TWO LUCAS & JENKINS DOWNTOWN HOUSES, THE PARAMOUNT (nee HOWARD) AND THE CAPITOL WERE DEMOLISHED RESPECTIVELY IN THE 60'S AND LATE 40's. THE CAPITOL BUILDING STILL STANDS AS PART OF THE FORMER DAVISON'S DEPARTMENT STORE.

TWO EARLY POSTCARDS OF THE FOX-- TOP, AN ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING, SHOWING A DIFFERENT PEACHTREE STREET TREATMENT AND NO VERTICAL SIGN POSSIBLY THE THEATRE ENTRY WAS ON PONCE, THROUGH WHAT IS NOW THE VERY ELABORATE MAIN FOYER EXIT VESTIBULE; BOTTOM, AS BUILT.

THE ATLANTA FOX THEATRE IS ONE OF THE FEW REMAINING "SUPER-DELUXE" MOTION PICTURE PALACES. SHE OPENED ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 1929, TO A HOUSE OF 4,462


AS A MEMBER OF AN EXCLUSIVE RANK OF GIANTS, SECOND ONLY TO THE NEW YORK ROXY, ONE OF THE FIVE SUPER-DELUXE FOX THEATRES. ATLANTA, DETROIT AND ST. LOUIS SURVIVE; THE SAN FRANCISCO AND THE BROOKLYN ARE LONG GONE.

THE ATLANTA FOX DIFFERED IN TWO WAYS FROM THE OTHER FOX HOUSES: FIRST, SHE WAS BUILT AS PART OF A SHRINE TEMPLE, THE THEATRE SECTION DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH THE WILLIAM FOX CHAIN (CHIEF AMONG HIS CONQUESTS THE 5,8O0-SEAT ROXY), THE CONDITION BEING BILL FOX WOULD TAKE A LONG-TERM LEASE ON THE BIG ROOM. DESIGNED BY VETERAN ATLANTA ARCHITECTS MAYRE, ALGER & VINOUR, THE EXQUISITELY CRAFTED LAYOUT OF THE THEATRE PORTION WAS ENGINEERED BY C. HOWARD CRANE, DESIGNER OF, AMONG MANY OTHERS, THE B'WAY MUSIC BOX THEATRE.

SECONDLY THE FOX DIFFERED IN STYLE, FOR THE ATLANTA WAS AN "ATMOSPHERIC HOUSE" WITH STARS AND CLOUDS ABOVE (AS OPPOSED TO THE OTHER "HARDTOPS"), AN IDEA STOLEN FROM ATMOSPHERIC ARCHITECT KING JOHN EBERSON, WHO IN FACT WAS "MISTAKENLY" LISTED AS THE THEATRE'S DESIGNER IN THE MAY, 1930 ARCHITECTURAL RECORD.

COMMENCING OPENING DAY IN 1929, THE FOX WAS A "PRESENTATION HOUSE" WITH A "COMBINATION POLICY" (TALKING PICTURES AND FANCHON & MARCO STAGE SHOWS), BUT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE DEPRESSION, FOX FILMS FELL INTO RECEIVERSHIP, AND LACKING THE NECESSARY LEASE MONIES, THE YAARAB SHRINE TEMPLE DEFAULTED ON MORTGAGE AND TAX PAYMENTS. THE $2.28 MILLION HOUSE (source: Atlanta History, summer, 1995) WAS AUCTIONED FOR $75,000 ON THE FULTON COUNTY COURT HOUSE STEPS IN DECEMBER, 1932.

SUBSEQUENTLY ACQUIRED IN 1933 BY LUCAS & JENKINS AT A COST OF $725,000, THE SOUTH'S LEADING FILM EXHIBITION CHAIN, THE FOX PROSPERED AS THEIR FLAGSHIP HOUSE AND UNDER L&J'S GUIDANCE, FOR THE NEXT THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, THE FOX WAS THE SINE QUA NON AMONG SOUTHERN THEATRES, PLAYING THE VERY BEST PRODUCT OF ALL STUDIOS, PRIMARILY FILM FARE FOR THE FAMILY. "SONG OF THE SOUTH" DEBUTED THERE IN 1946, AND THE FOX WAS FOR TWO DECADES HOST TO THE ONE WEEK STAND OF THE PRESTIGIOUS METROPOLITAN OPERA SPRING TOUR.

BY THE EARLY 70'S, THE FOX WAS REDUCED TO SCREENING POORLY-ATTENDED "BLAXPLOITATION" FLICKS AND, IN 1975, SLATED FOR CERTAIN DEMOLITION, THIS MAGNIFICENT STRUCTURE WAS SAVED AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR BY CONCERNED CITIZENS IN THE FORM OF ATLANTA LANDMARKS, INC., HER CURRENT OWNER.

THE FOX HAS SINCE 1975 BEEN LISTED AMONG THE TOP-GROSSING LEGITIMATE THEATRES IN THE WORLD! (photo by Author, load-out of WICKED, November, 2008)

FOR A MUCH MORE DETAILED HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION, SEE CHAPTER 13.

PRE-OPENING ADVERT BLTZ

COMMENCING 31 DAYS OUT, THANKSGIVING, 1929, THE FOX BEGAN THEIR AD BLITZ. FOR THE NEXT THREE SUNDAYS, THEY RAN 1/4 PAGE ADS; THEN ON MONDAY, DECEMBER 16TH, THEY BEGAN THE DAILY AND SMALLER ADS. SATURDAYS WERE EXCLUDED FOR THE PAPER WAS RATHER SOMBER, TELLING OF THE NEXT DAY'S CHURCH SERVICES. FORTUNATELY, KLEENEX WAS INVENTED FOUR YEARS EARLIER!

















ATLANTIANS (YES, THAT WAS THE USAGE BACK WHEN) HAD SUFFERED A TERRIBLE COLD SNAP, BUT THE FOX TOOK CHARGE, AND WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ONE SAW CHRIST IN A FRONT PAGE HEADLINE?