The Egyptian Theater
With the Oscars looming closer and closer, it’s time to focus on another one of our favorite theaters in LA – The Egyptian Theatre — which has a huge part in the history of Hollywood.
Opened in 1922, The Egyptian was built by Charles E. Doberman who was an extremely important real estate developer in Hollywood. He brought on Sid Grauman who was known for his extravagant theatre developments. It took 18 months to build and cost approximately $800,000 and accommodated over 2,000 people. It was built in an Egyption revival style because during this time there was an extreme fascination with the Egyptian culture and the search for Tutankhamen’s tomb (which was actually found 2 weeks after The Egyptian Theatre opened).
Capitalizing on Southern California’s sunny weather is the large courtyard in the front, that has a fountain and palm trees and is perfect for your favorite photo op or red carpet event. Grauman also built a 30 x73 foot stage inside to accommodate the elaborate prologues that proceeded the film presentations. Once it was finished, the premier of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks was conducted there. This was actually the FIRST movie premier in Hollywood and it was a huge extravaganza. The film was actually not shown in any other Los Angeles theatre that year – which was a big coup for the theatre.
As Hollywood declined in the 1980s and early 1990s, the theatre eventually fell into disrepair. In 1996, the city of Los Angeles sold the theatre to the American Cinematheque for a nominal one dollar with the provision that the landmark building be restored to its original grandeur and re-opened as a movie theatre. American Cinematheque is a non-profit, viewer-supported cultural organization dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents the best of film and video – ranging form the classics to the outer frontiers of the art form. Created in 1981, they celebrate the movies that everyone loves. The renovation of The Egyptian cost 12.9 million and now it is one of the most popular theatre’s in Los Angeles to see celebrated films.
You can take tours of The Egyptian during the day and in the evening stop by to see a film. There are also many celebrity appearances at The Egyptian throughout the year. The best part is that you can not only stop by to check out the newest films, but they always have an older film playing as well – and it is always fun to see our favorite old films up on the big screen.
You can see the Egyptian and so much more on one of our tours. Call or email us today to book!