The Atlanta Fox Theatre

From The Eyes of a "Friend of the Fox"

A website by Hal Doby, Former President of Friends of the Fox Theatre, 1984-1990,
Fox Theatre event/restoration volunteer 1976 - 1993, and event staff member, 1979-1980
This web site was first established in 1995, with continual revisions to present day.
The last update was made on April 2 , 2013


I would like to start by dedicating this web site to three people; Joe G. Patten, Rick Flinn, and Bob Van Camp as well as one more entity, the Fox theatre itself. During their tenures at the Fox, these two people have made vast contributions to the preservation, restoration, and expansion of the Atlanta Fox Theatre. Without their contributions, the Fox would be a very different place, if not be here at all. 

Mr. Patten, more than any other person, is responsible for the Fox being saved from the wrecking ball as he has quite literally dedicated the large majority of his life to the Fox Theatre. 

Mr. Flinn arrived at the Fox to help prepare it for a gala celebration of the United States Bicentennial and wound up becoming its first Restoration Director. It was through his hands, the Fox was put on a path to return to its prior glory. 

Mr. Van Camp. While I never got to know Bob as personally as I wish I could have, he was a wonderful soul who was kind and very personable. Of all the organists that I have heard play the Fox's Moller organ, it seemed that it was only Mr.Van Camp that knew it the best and could make its song rise above all the others. For that, he gave me an appreciation of Mighty Mo no other person could have and I feel I have been blessed and honored to have heard him play Mighty Mo many times before he left us.

And finally, the Fox Theatre itself. I have come to know it better than some of my biological relatives. The Fox took me in at first as a child, then later as a young adult and it showed me many things that have come to fashion me into the person that I am. Spending over 17 years of one's life in such a place, it cannot leave its mark on some one. For me, it left me a better person than had it not been in my life.

Thanks and Gratitude

I would like to give my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those who have helped me learn about the Fox  that have given me a much better appreciation for it and the importance of preserving its acurate history. 

My first thanks goes to Mr. Rick Flinn, the original Restoration Director of the Fox Theater. Today he sits on the Board of Directors of Atlanta Landmark as an honrary member and spends his time living in both Atlanta, Georgia USA and Paris, France where he is now working restoring old buildings there. Any time I've had a question about the Fox, it has always been Rick that I contact to verify and share my information with.

I wish to thank Mr. John C. McCall Jr., past president of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Theater Organ Society, long time historian of the great movie theaters and their organs in the Southeast, as well as organist extraordinaire! I first learned of Mr. McCall when I purchased the first book published by Atlanta Landmarks about the Fox in 1975 that he wrote. I finally met John in person in 2004 and that through his wealth of information it helped me improve this web site as well as my expand my knowledge of Atlanta's grand palaces that are no longer with us. 

I wish to give a great big thanks and a huge hug to Ms. Janice McDonald. Janice contacted me in the spring of 2012 asking about my time at the Fox. She was working hard on writing a new book about the Atlanta Fox and wanted to see if I had anything I could add to her research. I gave her access to my entire Fox photographic catalog and spent time recalling my years there and knowledsge of the Fox. I think she took me seriously and I was able to make somewhat of a contribution to her book. The Book, Images of America, The Fox Theatreis publshed by Arcadia Publishing and is available at or your local bookseller. It is also available in the Atlanta area at various places where books of local interest can be found. I highly reccommend any person interested in the Fox to buy a copy of this great book! Janice was kind enough to share her knowledge and her catalog of collected images she had complied for her book so I could use some of them in my third major revision of the site. That generous act I feel has greatly help to round out the stories I tell on this site. I cannot thank Janice enough!

Special thanks goes to Carol Fisk of Georgia Public Broadcasting. She was one of the producers of "The Fabulous Fox" documentary that celebrated the Fox's 75th anniversary in 2004. Two years prior, Georgia Public Broadcasting put out an open call for people that had experiences at the Fox. I responded and wound up doing a 45-minute on-camera interview. I also shared my collection of photographs I had taken over the years at the Fox. To my surprise, they used a large number of my photos and from the interview, I even got a few moments in the completed documentary. It was my involvement with GPB that prompted me to return my original tribute site back to the web and improve upon it in honor of the Fox's 75th Anniversary. 

I also wish to to give special thanks the Atlanta Preservation Center. Through their volunteer tour guide training process, I learned even more about the Fox and was provided with more access to the Fox itself. This allowed me to take new high-resolution digital photos of the Fox with my proffessional-grade Canon EOS digtial camera equipment. I took more than 2,000 pictures during that period, many of which are now displayed here on this site. 
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Accuracy Disclaimer: The Fox Theater/Yaarab Temple Mosque is a most unique building with a very unusual past. Because of its turbulent history, hype, rumor, and myth have all been blended together to obscure the actual true history of the building. I have been doing my utmost to continually revise these pages to reflect the actual facts about the Fox as I have come to understand them. I now feel comfortable in saying I feel what I present here is the most accurate account I can present about the Atlanta Fox Theatre. I'm sure that there are still a few scattered inaccuracies in these pages and should you know better, I invite you to email me with your findings so I can update the site.

This is the fourth major revision of this site since it's creation in 1996. Today, that work still continues.

As one "Friend of the Fox" to another, I invite you to continually return to this tribute site and keep checking back to see what updates are put in place.

This site is a tribute page created by Hal Doby of Atlanta, Georgia. This site is not officially affiliated nor officially sanctioned with the Fox Theatre, Atlanta Landmarks, nor any other person or organization.

Everything on this site, both text and images, are protected by copyright laws. Mr. Doby requests that if anyone is interested in copying any of the material presented on this site, that you please email him for permission.

This page was last modified on April 2, 2013.