Built with funding and a 21-year lease by the movie tycoon William Fox, the Fox Theatre, also called fondly as the ?Fabulous Fox?, was originally the Yaarab Temple Shrine Mosque which is the headquarters for the 5,000-member Shriners organization. The theatre opened on December 25, 1929 but declared bankruptcy just after 125 weeks of operations. But the Fox Theatre prospered again from the 1940?s to the 1960?s owing to a strong management. Live entertainment by well-known artists (although sporadic) and the annual spring performances of the Metropolitan Opera Company which lasted for 20 years are just some of the events that made the Fox Theatre one of the most excellent movie theatres in Atlanta, Georgia.
However, at around 1973, Fox Theatre lost in the battle of movie theatres because film distributors would require a month-long commitment for first-run movies. Small movie theatres can accommodate such demand as they can only seat 500 viewers that allowed more days for showing of films but it was a challenge to the Fox Theatre due to its enormous 4,678-seat capacity, landing them only second-run movies.
Fox Theatre faced a lot of challenges including an almost sold and demolished situation to give way to the Metropolitan Atlanta development but it was such a beauty (because of its Islamic and Egyptian architecture) that a group of interested, energetic, and committed Atlantans rescued the theatre through a non-profit organization called Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. Several ?Save the Fox? and ?Fix the Fox? fund raising campaigns were organized and successfully raised millions of dollars and are used for the theatre?s restoration. Today, Fox Theatre stands proudly as a designated National Historic Landmark visited by almost 750,000 people every year.