Atlanta’s Moviegoing Mecca

A whirlwind weekend trip to Atlanta for a family wedding yielded a few personal perks, including a tour of the Fox Theatre, which I’d never visited before. Wow!

The Fox Theatre dominates one huge city block on a tree-lined street in Atlanta.

I’ve often expressed my love of movie palaces, and the Los Angeles Conservancy’s annual Last Remaining Seats series offers Angelenos a chance to revel in our city’s remaining golden-age theaters all this month. But the Fox, which seats 4,678 people, is a gigantic jewel, one of the country’s few remaining “atmospheric” theaters, with a brilliant blue sky, twinkling stars and moving clouds. What’s more, it remains a—

—beehive of activity, with as many as 300 events a year including concerts, Broadway plays, current and classic movies, with pre-show performances on the Fox’s original Moller pipe organ. On Saturday afternoon there was a family matinee of Rango, followed that evening by a showing of To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’m a sucker for a beautiful box-office kiosk like this…

Last year’s presentation of Buster Keaton’s The General, hosted by TCM’s Robert Osborne, brought out 1,800 people, and this year the theater plans to screen another silent gem, Douglas Fairbanks’ The Mark of Zorro.

Not only is the Fox beautifully restored, it is also rigorously maintained, with a permanent staff of ten overseeing the constant upkeep a busy theater requires. Two ballrooms, on either side of the auditorium, are also quite popular for weddings and functions.

…but I’ve never seen such a beautiful ticket-taker pedestal.

I’m sharing some of my favorite snapshots from our tour, but if you want to see proper, professional photos you should check out the Fox’s website and seriously consider purchasing the beautiful coffee-table book The Fox Theatre: The Memory Maker at their online gift shop, where you’ll find a lot of other goodies, too. (I purchased a miniature Fox theater seat, rendered in pewter.) And if you’re ever in Atlanta, I encourage you to book a tour.

We made one other stop on Saturday before the wedding, at the World of Coca-Cola where, as usual, I found connections to vintage Hollywood. That will be my next post.

Incidentally, the folks at Flavorwire just ran a pretty savvy rundown of The Best Movie Theaters in America. It’s difficult to argue with any of their selections, although the Fox probably didn’t qualify because it isn’t a full-time movie house. Check out their choices HERE.

This is the Fox’s original jeweled curtain, which isn’t often on display.

Look at the detailing on the aisle seat—with the bold “F” for Fox—and the beautiful carpeting.

The Fox is one of the few movie palaces I’ve visited that still has most of its original furniture.

What an incredible setting inside the ladies lounge!

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May 2024