Interior of the Fabulous Fox Theatre, showing the view from the Dress Circle. Although this image does not capture its full glory, the trompe l’oeil ceiling has twinkling stars... and clouds that drift lazily across it.
Last week we caught a show - Ray Romano and Brad Garrett, if you’re curious - at the Fox Theatre in midtown Atlanta.
Over the years, we’ve seen many shows at the Fox. We’ve also been backstage, thanks to Elder Daughter’s friend Erica, who has appeared there in productions of Mamma Mia and A Chorus Line. Hell, we’ve even been onstage, getting an insider’s look at the Mamma Mia set an hour before showtime.
Built in the late 1920’s with a distinctively Moorish design, the Fox is now a registered National Historic Landmark. And it ought to be, for it is absolutely stunning. It’s a real Atlanta treasure.
[Moorish architecture is one of the handful of gifts bestowed upon Western civilization by the world of Islam, along with the words “algebra,” “alcohol,” and the happy concepts of jihad, female circumcision, and honor killings. I’d be perfectly happy if the world of Islam kept those last ones to themselves.]
It would be a great bit of history to say that Gone with the Wind premiered at the Fox... but, alas, it would not be true, for the movie most people identify with Atlanta had its premiere down the street at the Loew’s Grand. But Disney’s Song of the South did premiere at the Fox, introduced by Walt Disney himself. Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!
Interestingly, back in the days of institutionalized segregation, the Fox was the only theatre that accommodated both black and white patrons. If you were a Person of Color, however, you purchased your tickets at a specially designated box office in the back (which still exists), you used a separate entrance, and you sat in a separate section up in the second dress circle. Presumably, you also had a separate opinion concerning Song of the South: “Uncle Remus? They oughta call him ‘Uncle Ream-Us’!”