For years, patrons of the Fox Theater in Atlanta attended events, shared experiences, enjoyed shows, and lost connectivity. While theaters generally ask the audience to turn off or mute their cell phones during performances, before and after shows are typically the times when people call, text, tweet, email, and connect with their friends and family. Add in hundreds of events taking place in the building’s ballrooms, which are part of the theater, where talking is actually encouraged, and the ability to stay connected became even more necessary.
The Fox Theater opened its doors on Christmas day in 1929, and today, everything from the furniture to the wall decorations remains consistent with the original theater. Between 280 shows in the main theater and 350 events in the ballrooms, more than 750,000 patrons come through its doors every year.
The building itself has thick concrete walls and below grade elevations, which make the location a mobile operator’s nightmare. Guests and staff alike were victimized by the building’s ability to attenuate radio frequency. Understandably, building engineers nearly nine decades ago failed to account for the technology and abundance of wireless communication of today. However, due to the immense preservation efforts that the theater has undertaken to remain true to its history, outfitting the building with a system to meet modern patrons’ expectations was no small task.
Building and installing a connectivity solution to meet the aesthetics of a 90 year old building requires far more than simple paint for various antennas. By partnering with CTS, ADRF was able to meet the unique design needs of the theater.
The theater currently runs on ADRF’s ADX Fiber DAS, which can be hidden in a typical telecom closet. The unit powers four remotes that feed a mix of omnidirectional and directional antennas, including some in very public facing areas:
● Three in the main lobby
● Two in the 2nd Dress Crossover
● Two in the Egyptian Ballroom
● Two in the Mezzanine
● One in the Men’s Lounge
Some of the antennas are housed behind the ornate woodwork that decorates the theater. Others are placed in corners where they’re barely noticeable. Among the more interesting and creative installations in Fox Theater is an antenna unit that is hanging from an exit sign and another that is concealed by a light fixture.
The ADX DAS by ADRF has dramatically improved connectivity for patrons and staff alike, across all four major U.S. carriers. Because of its modularity, the system enables the theater to easily upgrade when carriers roll out new technology, future-proofing a century-old facility.
Seri Yoon is Directing of Marketing at ADRF.