The ladies-lounge chairs are exact replicas of those in the throne room of King Tut’s tomb. You’ve probably taken such details of the Fox Theatre for granted, but won’t after signing up a guided tour. Squint in the dim-lit lobby to spot the F in the carpet patterns designed by movie impresario William Fox himself, or look up at the mezzanine’s “wood grain” ceiling beams actually crafted from plaster. Study the gorgeous skylight in the Grand Salon and try to find the few pieces of stained glass that don’t date to 1929. The Fox’s ornate rooms echo with the twentieth-century history of Atlanta, from the boom-to-bust 1920s to civil rights protests; the theater’s gallery seats were once “colored only,” with a dedicated side entrance. Toward the end of the ninety-minute tour, after you’ve heard the guide dissect the illusions of the theater’s grandeur, sit in the empty auditorium and imagine the Shriners choral group, the first performers to take this stage.
This article originally appeared in our April 2013 issue.