“THIS FOX THEATRE, IN THE SIMPLEST AND LEAST PATRIOTIC TERMS POSSIBLE, IS A BEWILDERING SPECTACLE OF SHEER OPULENT MAGNIFICENCE. ITS ARCHITECTURAL CONCEPTION WAS AT OUTSET UNIQUE, AND THE EXECUTION OF THE PLAN LEAVES NO FLAW IN THE IDEA SOMEBODY HAD OF CREATING A PLACE WITH A RICHNESS, A COLOR, A PICTURESQUE AND ALMOST DISTURBING GRANDEUR BEYOND IMAGINATION.” --Atlanta Journal, December 22, 1929
The Unholy Fox Management Trio of Woody Whyte, Allen Valla and Adrina Alford do it again, tacky'd up and dumb'd down! There are twenty new large plastic directional signs, ten each installed in the Main and Mezzanine Foyers and two at the sacred Dress Circle Foyer level.An idea of their scale and incongruity can be seen here:
Some are redundant:
The largest signs, located in the Mezzanine Foyer, overpower the Foyer itself:
There have also been installed approximately 70 very bright LED "footlight" sections of varying width, placed where the light source can be seen (and touched), located in the auditorium orchestra and also in the balcony rail and above the Gallery canopy focused upon the proscenium arch.Here, a view of the mid-orchestra south wall exit doors, which I count as eight sections at the foot of the columns and above the arch,
With the exception of the balcony, the auditorium has been re-lit, Disney-style.Rear orchestra:
These footlights are in addition to the a blinding array placed in each organ box. Great job as usual! In 1975 when Atlanta Landmarks took possession of the building, the worst desecration was the Main Foyer concession stand. Once money allowed, it was removed. That was because the building was a LANDMARK and deserved to be treated as one. But Adrina and all changed the corporate name from Atlanta Landmarks to Fox Inc (see below) because they don't know what a landmark is and could care less. 1974:
Ruth Kent interviews Bob Van Camp at the Fox organ console, 1963 "Today in Georgia" film.
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.
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.
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.
Commencing 31 days before the Christmas opening, the FOX began their ad blitz. Here is the complete series.
November 24, 1929
November 28, 1929
December 1, 1929
December 8, 1929
December 9, 1929
December 10, 1929
December 11, 1929
December 12, 1929
December 13, 1929
December 15, 1929
December 16, 1929
December 17, 1929
December 18, 1929
December 19, 1929
December 20, 1929
December 22, 1929
December 22, 1929
December 22, 1929
December 23, 1929
December 24, 1929
December 24, 1929
December 25, 1929
December 26, 1929
THE RAISON D'ETRE BEHIND MY WRITING THIS DOCUMENT FOR TED STEVENS WAS THAT WE HAD HIRED FREE-LANCE SECURITY GUARDS, TO MAN THE FRONT DOOR. THUS THE FIRST THREE PAGES EXPLAIN ONE'S DUTIES. br />
PAGE -ii- DUTIES, CONT'D.
PAGE -iii- DUTIES, CONT'D.
PAGE -1- TOUR OF DUTY, COMMENCING AT THE MAIN FOYER, AND DOWN TO THE LOWER LOUNGES
PAGE -2- UP, INTO THE ORCH SEATING, STAGE, BACK TO HOUSE
PAGE -3- SWEEP OF BALCONIES, STARTING AT MEZZANINE FOYER
PAGE -4- FROM MAIN FOYER, TO THE EGYPTIAN BALLROOM AND GRAND SALON
PAGE -5- FROM SHRINE SECTION, DOWN INTO FRONT-OF-HOUSE THEATRE BASEMENTS
PAGE -6- THEATRE BASEMENTS, CONT'D, INTO STAGE RIGHT DRESSING ROOM TOWER
PAGE -7- THEATRE BASEMENTS (BENEATH THE STAGE), DOWN TO THE SUB-BASEMENT, UP TO THE STAGE RIGHT SHRINE TOWER
PAGE -8- THEATRE EXTERIOR
TYPED BY THE LOVELY SUE LIPOMA, TED STEVENS' FIRST SECRETARY.