by: Nelson Hicks Updated:
ATLANTA - Did you know the Fox Theatre was built by the Shriners as a mosque? Did you know that most of the furniture inside the Fox is original? Did you know Elvis played the Fox 50 years ago?
That's just part of the extensive history that participants in a new tour of the Atlanta landmark will learn.
The Fox Theatre begins hosting its own tours of the facility on April 1. Visitors will experience an hour guided tour showcasing its remarkable history. Entering through the same entrance as patrons did in 1929, visitors will tour over 10 locations throughout the building – from the orchestra pit and Mighty Mo’, the largest working Moller theater organ in the world to the Men’s Lounge featuring the original furniture chosen by the wife of movie-mogul William Fox. They will also learn the incredible story of how Atlanta citizens rose up to save a landmark from the wrecking ball while walking the very same halls as Elvis, The Rolling Stones and Madonna walked in the past.
Every room in the Fox reflects inspiration from ancient Egypt and the Middle East - from the authentic hieroglyphics on the ceiling in the Egyptian ballroom to the auditorium designed to look like an open courtyard of a Middle Eastern palace.
Despite its intricate detail from floor to ceiling, the building only took 18 months to complete from start to finish at a cost of $3 million.
"The Shriners were building it as their own mosque," Molly Fortune from the Fox Theatre told Nelson's News. "And they had thought, 'Let's use the auditorium as a civic center.' So here's your first civic center in Atlanta, but then, they ran out of money, they needed some help and (William) Fox said, 'I'm gonna come along, take your civic center and put live performances and movies in there.'"
Tours will take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. and on Saturdays at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.. Ticket prices are $18 for adults, $15 for military and seniors and kids 10 and under get in free. Tickets can be purchased at www.FoxATLTix.com, by calling 855-ATL-TIXX (855-285-8499) or at the Fox Theatre ticket office.
“We are very excited to share this historical landmark with our Atlanta patrons and those visiting our great city,” said Allan Vella, president and chief executive officer. “As the only historic theater in the country with a full-time, in-house Restoration department, we take pride in preserving and maintaining the Fox for future generations. The Fox Theatre has been a ‘Memory Maker’ for so many Atlantans, and taking an in-depth tour will give our patrons a new appreciation and memory of the Fox Theatre.”