Saving the Fox Theatre

The "Fabulous Fox" is an Atlanta cultural landmark... but it almost didn't survive to this day. This year marks the 85th anniversary of the Fox Theatre and the 40th anniversary of the "Save the Fox" campaign.

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In 1974, the future of the Fox, which opened in 1929 as a movie palace, was in jeopardy because of declining ticket sales, poor upkeep and a changing city landscape.

A “Save the Fox” campaign ignited, with high-profile concerts from Southern rock mainstays Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band helping to draw attention to the cause.

Citizens raised $1.85 million to restore the landmark venue, and in 1975, the Fox was spared destruction. In 1976, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The nonprofit citizens group Atlanta Landmarks Inc. took over daily operations (and leading the Save the Fox campaign) on June 21, 1975. Landmarks borrowed nearly $2 million from five Atlanta banks and led a $3 million fundraising campaign.

In 1978, the theater was officially "saved" when Atlanta Landmarks paid off the mortgage -- so some of the money raised went into paying off the loan and other into restoration. In recent years, Landmarks has pumped more than $1 million annually into preservation and maintenance.

In this #throwbackthursday, check out a Flashback Fotos gallery on this history of the Fox and a list of things to do this weekend.

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