Fox Theatre's live-in "Phantom", Joe Patten
ATLANTA, GA -- The "Phantom of the Fox" will get to keep his theater home, for now.
Fulton County Court Judge Jerry Baxter granted Joe Patten an injunction Wednesday allowing the 83-year-old to stay in his Fox Theatre apartment under the terms of his original lifetime lease until a pending legal case is settled.
"Today, Judge Baxter and both parties agreed to keep the 1979 lease in place permitting Mr. Patten to live in the apartment for the time being," Fox Theatre spokeswoman Kristin Delaney said in a statement. "It has and continues to be the intent of Atlanta Landmarks to allow Mr. Patten to live in the apartment as long as he is able."
Earlier this month, Patten sued Atlanta Landmarks, Inc, which operates the theater, for allegedly violating the Georgia Fair Housing Act and committing "willful, intentional, and deliberate acts of housing discrimination against [him] based on his perceived physical disabilities."
"With increasing frequency over the last two years, Joe's friends have called on the Fox staff to go check on Joe when he has been unresponsive or hard to reach," Delaney said in an earlier statement. "This entire conversation evolved out of our concern for Joe."
Patten rejected a new lease offer that would have allowed him to keep living at the Fox, rent free. He told 11Alive News that there were too many loopholes and he would have been stripped of his legal rights.
"I would like to keep the lease that I have and that's what I want," he said earlier.
Delaney said both parties are discussing concerns about security and management. "We hope that today's proceedings will lead to a mutually beneficial resolution, which has always been our desire," she said.