Photo courtesy the Fox Theatre.
There’s more to the Fox Theatre than its expansive 4,665-seat auditorium, Moorish design, and spacious stage. Its hallways, alcoves and meeting/event spaces are just as luxe as everything else in sight. In fact, the Egyptian Ballroom, Grand Salon, and Spanish Room — all event spaces that can be rented for parties, weddings and the like — were originally Shriners’ meeting spaces.
Here are few more fun facts about the Egyptian Ballroom:
- The Atlanta Shriners, who first conceived the idea for the majestic home that became the Fox, reserved the Egyptian Ballroom for their ceremonies and celebrations. They reserved the adjoining Grand Salon for a library.
- The ballroom’s original 7,500-sq. ft. floor is made of hard maple, also known as rock maple. A custom-designed carpet with Egyptian symbols of the afterlife and resurrection now protects the maple floor.
- The ballroom walls were covered with several coats of paint in the 1970s, obscuring the original stenciled designs. When the years of paint were removed, vivid Egyptian symbols for life and rebirth once again saw the light of day… and night.
- The ballroom’s balcony is a scarab, or dung beetle, the symbol for the sun god Ra, who was thought to ward off evil. It’s surrounded by the wings of Osiris, god of the underworld, afterlife and resurrection.
- The gilded and glazed wings of Osiris stretch above the ballroom’s stage. A plaster intaglio panel (an incised or engraved design) of Ramses II subduing an enemy is the focal point.
- The painted symbols in the ballroom are authentic hieroglyphics but don’t form any real phrases when put together.