Atlanta’s legendary Fox Theatre today announced a yearlong celebration to thank its hometown in honor of the 40th anniversary of the “Save the Fox” campaign, a city-wide effort rescuing the landmark from demolition.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed joined Allan C. Vella, Fox Theatre’s president and chief executive officer, entertainer Jeff Foxworthy, Valerie Jackson, philanthropist and widow of the late Mayor Maynard Jackson, Woody White, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Fox Theatre, Inc., and Jay Myers, Board of Trustees, Fox Theatre, Inc. for today’s press conference announcement in the Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theatre.
The campaign, called “The Legend Lives On,” includes a block party, gala celebration event, “Fox in the Box” educational partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), a national contest to find the theatre’s biggest fan, a special Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival event, and a lineup of performances including memory-making shows from Atlanta-native Jeff Foxworthy and “One More For The Fans,” a musical tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd. The band was instrumental in the “Save the Fox” campaign, performing a 1976 benefit concert, which turned into the classic live album “One More From The Road.”
By 1974, the Fox Theatre had fallen into a state of disrepair far from its Shriners mosque beginnings and movie palace glory days. When news of impending demolition came to light, the mayor’s office, citizens, students, and local businesses fought to save the legendary landmark, and the “Save the Fox” campaign was born.
The turnaround was monumental. Over the next several years, the Fox Theatre transformed into a living museum and began steps toward the non-profit that it is today. The venue now hosts more than 300 events and welcomes upwards of 600,000 fans through its doors each year.
The Fox Theatre’s Vella said, “First and foremost, the Fox wants to thank Atlanta for their efforts in saving this landmark. Without your efforts in our rebirth 40 years ago, we wouldn’t be where we are today. In fact, we wouldn’t be here period.”
Mayor Reed touched on the city’s support for the Fox, saying, “The City of Atlanta continues to be a strong supporter of the arts, and the Fox Theatre is central to our city’s arts community. There’s something truly special about a show at the Fox. We are so thankful that 40 years ago, Mayor Maynard Jackson and Save the Fox fought to preserve this magnificent landmark for future generations.”
As a non-profit, the Fox Theatre’s mission is to achieve long-term sustainability so that it can be shared with generations to come. Financial contributions from current sponsors like Coca-Cola, Lexus, Delta, The Georgian Terrance, and Livingston as well as individual donations support maintenance of the theatre, which averages approximately $1 million annually.
In 2008, the Fox launched the Fox Theatre Institute (FTI), a non-profit providing essential technical, historical and organizational support and education to theatres across the country. The broader goal is to inspire leaders, encourage involvement in the arts, and positively impact the cultural landscape of Georgia. Recently, the FTI launched a new Facebook page at fb.com/foxtheatreinstitute.
Special Initiatives For The 40th Anniversary Of “Save the Fox”
A special gala celebration on March 14, 2015 will honor the efforts of the original Atlanta Landmarks, Inc. board. Board members will be recognized during a brief presentation at the event.
On June 7, 2015, the 40th Anniversary celebration will culminate with a Fox Theatre block party to provide Atlanta the opportunity to experience the magic of the theatre through concerts, special tours, activities, and prize drawings. The event will be free and open to the public.
The reemergence of the “Friends of the Fox” membership program is a way for people to support the Fox Theatre and FTI. Benefits range from advance notice of show announcements and special ticket offers to Coca-Cola Film Festival tickets, backstage tours, and exclusive members-only access and events. “Friends of the Fox” members will also receive an invitation to the gala celebration.
For “Fox in the Box,” SCAD students collaborated to create a box that generates an interactive experience focused on the theatre as a venue and its history. The “Fox in the Box” will serve as an introduction for those who are unable to experience the building firsthand. In an effort to preserve and share the Fox Theatre, the boxes will be a vehicle to deliver information throughout Georgia.
The Facebook contest search for the Fox Theatre’s Biggest Fan will prove competitive as the winner
In addition, the 2015 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival will have a day-long showing of 40th anniversary movies with throwback pricing.
Vella said, “With these initiatives, the Fox Theatre will invest in the city that invested in us by bringing one-of-a-kind arts and entertainment as well as education to the community that cared enough to preserve this beloved institution.”
For continued up-to-date information on the campaign (including press releases, history, event timeline, images, and more), please visitwww.foxtheatre.org/thelegend