Latest News – 17th October 2019
LAHTF Position Statement on the Egyptian Theatre
While the continued uncertainty over the ownership of the 1922 Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood has caused the Board of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation to monitor the plans for the theatre itself, LAHTF's priority is the preservation, restoration and sustainability of this important historic theatre.
One of the elements of our mission is to promote and ensure the continued use of Los Angeles County's classic theatre resources. We look forward to working with any occupant of the theatre to preserve and enhance its historic elements and to make them available to the public to the greatest extent possible.
Update – 27th June 2019
- Creation of an endowment, to ensure the future of American Cinematheque programs on the big screen for years to come.
- American Cinematheque’s independent programming continuing to run at the Egyptian Theatre of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday each week.
- Renewal of the lease at the Aero Theatre for a further ten years.
- Expanding programming into other venues around Los Angeles.
Update – 9th April 2019
"Netflix In Talks To Acquire Hollywood’s Historic Egyptian Theatre From American Cinematheque"
According to a news exclusive published by Deadline today, and similar reports published by Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times, streaming media giant Netflix is in talks to acquire the historic Egyptian Theatre from American Cinematheque.
LAHTF has reached-out to Netflix and American Cinematheque for comment. We will keep you posted as more news becomes available.
About the Egyptian Theatre
Built in the early 1920s by Sid Grauman, the Egyptian Theatre was the site of the first-ever Hollywood movie premiere when it showcased “Robin Hood” in October 1922. The theatre was designed by architect firm Meyer & Holler and was originally planned to be hispanic in nature – hence the Spanish-style roof tiles above the exterior entrance – however was restyled in Revival-Egyptian due to public fascination with Egyptian archeology typified by Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.
In the mid-1950s the Egyptian became the second theatre in the country to be equipped for the 70mm TODD-AO process, complete with a 60ft wide screen. In 1968 subsequent remodeling was undertaken to accommodate a 75ft wide screen for the Dimension 150 (D-150) process. The installations resulted in the loss of the stage and most of the proscenium, with just the very top level of the original proscenium arch remaining.
Substantial damage was caused to the building during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The exterior was subsequently restored to its original condition while the interior included modern upgrades. The auditorium is now smaller with stadium seating and a small balcony. The rearmost section of Orchestra seating was removed and given over to concession space and to accommodate small screening theatre, currently called the Steven Spielberg Theatre. The auditorium ceiling with its magnificent sunburst plasterwork (hiding the theatre's original organ chamber) was preserved.
In 2016 the Hollywood Foreign Press Association awarded the Egyptian a $350,000 grant for upgrades to the Projection Booth including modifications allowing the theatre to exhibit nitrate prints.
Historic photos courtesy Los Angeles Public Library (Hollywood Blvd), California State Library (Forecourt), New York Public Library (Auditorium). Other photos for LAHTF by historictheatrephotos.com.