The new carpet inside the front doors at the Egyptian. The 2017 project was made possible by a $500,000 grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that also went toward other improvements such as seat recovering, roof repairs and forecourt mural restoration. Thanks to Tony Hoover of Red Line Tours for the photo. It's one of four he posted on Facebook.
A look in from the door. The design for the carpet project is by Daelen Cory and Paul L'Esperance of L'Esperance Design and Sandra Costa of Sandra Costa Design Group. It's a 2017 Tony Hoover photo.
A view of the lobby pattern out beyond the rays of the sunburst. Photo: Tony Hoover - 2017
The new carpet heading down the house left aisle. Photo: Tony Hoover - 2017. Also see a video of the new carpet on the Egyptian Theatre Facebook page.
A bit of lobby ceiling restoration work being done by Silverlake Conservation. It was one of many projects was made possible by the 2016 grant from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The photo was part of a post on the Egyptian Theatre Facebook page.
In the original lobby area looking from house right -- the forecourt is to the left. The restrooms are here at this end of the lobby, off to our left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The curved line of columns on the right marks the original rear of the seating area. This lobby area at the rear of the main floor was originally an open standee area -- only later was it walled off and doors added to make it a separate lobby space. With the American Cinematheque renovations of 1998 it was opened up and made into an enlarged lobby. The revamped seating area was pushed forward.
The original lobby area (to the right of the buff colored columns) from house left. The theatre exit to the forecourt is at the right, the snack bar is off to the left. Out of the frame to the right is an office in what used to be the men's lounge area. Forward of that is the boxoffice area, the same location it occupied in 1922. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The house right end of the original lobby. That's the entrance to the ladies room at the left, the men's is the second archway. The original layout on this side of the lobby (moving toward the entrance) was ladies toilet room, ladies cosmetics room, nursery, coat check room. The men's lounge and toilet room were across on the house left side of the lobby, behind the boxoffice area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
The ladies room off the house right end of the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Some of the original ceiling treatment preserved in the ladies room. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
The men's room, also off the house right end of the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Looking in toward the snack bar in a 2008 photo from Wayne Nabeta on Flickr. Thanks, Wayne.
A detail of the stencil work at the rear of the seating area-- a space now part of the lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
More ceiling work. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Another ceiling detail with one of the soffit fixtures at the rear of what had been the seating area. See the auditorium page for some vintage views of this area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014
Yet another ceiling detail from the rear of the original seating area. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
Looking in toward the snack bar area. Here originally we would have been standing in the lobby and looking down the house left aisle. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
Looking house right. The steps and ramps go down to the 78 seat Speilberg Theatre, built in space excavated from the rear of the original seating area. The last row of seats was originally just this side of the buff columns. Photo - Wayne Nabeta on Flickr - 2008
A closer look at those lobby artifacts left over from the Grauman days. Thanks to Stephen Russo for his 2011 photo, originally appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page.
On the ramp looking up from the Spielberg Theatre entrance. Up above is the expanded lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The Spielberg Theatre. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
The auditorium entrance straight ahead, the ramps and steps at the right get you down to the Speilberg Theatre. Photo: Wayne Nabeta on Flickr - 2008
The vista back out to the forecourt from the inner lobby. That's the elevator to the balcony and booth at the right. Photo: Wayne Nabeta on Flickr - 2008. Thanks, Wayne! Check out the rest of his Egyptian Theatre photo set for many shots of other areas of the building.
The inner lobby from house left. Here the original area under the booth can be seen as the ceiling. The auditorium is to the left, the expanded lobby area off to the right. The steps in the foreground lead down to the original side aisle elevation behind us. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
House left stairs to the balcony and booth. There's now an elevator as well. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010
A view from perhaps the 70s showing the increased lobby size achieved by enclosing the area out to the forecourt columns. In the murk straight ahead check out the snack bar with an Egyptian mural overhead. Scroll down several photos to see the mural that was there in the 50s.
United Artists Theatre Circuit had given the Egyptian a major renovation in 1950. The lobby was expanded out to the line of the columns in the forecourt and the former entrance doors were removed. They had been located at the archway on the right in the photo below. The doors were moved back to the original location (and the columns restored) with the 1998 renovation. Other work in 1950 (since removed) included a new facade, a revamped boxoffice, and a covered walkway the length of the forecourt.
The expanded lobby. The photo was part of a Mohawk Carpet ad in the Boxoffice issue of September 2, 1950. "Carpet craftsmanship...from the looms of Mohawk -- Starring in Better Theatres Everywhere." The forecourt is out the doors at the far left, the new snackbar niche straight ahead.
A closer look at the 1950 snackbar at the Egyptian. It's a photo from Western Photo Co. in the collection of the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art.
The caption reads: "On the left hand side of the first lobby is where the candy bar - a step-daughter of every modern motion picture theatre - is located. Guided by the concept of human interpersonal activity outside of the auditorium proper, John Vassos enriched the appearance of the candy bar with a decorative scheme of endless wonderment. Its theme is that of a gay circus panorama of the trained animals, clowns, trapeze artists and all kinds of other specialty acts. Again the technique of free form is applied here, introducing a surprising new application of reflective color in the figures."
A 1950 lobby mural by John Vassos. The photo was with a Boxoffice magazine article in the March 4, 1950 issue: "Few Touches Necessary in Brightening The Famous Egyptian Theatre - Reconciling The Pharoahs To '50." The caption read: "Inside the lobby of the remodeled Egyptian Theatre is the world's largest theatre mural, measuring 20x24. Done in primary colors, it depicts the glory of ancient Egypt."
A lobby view perhaps from the 40s looking across to house right. Note the snackbar at the lower left. The photographer is unknown.
One of the few early lobby views extant is this 1935 photo from the superb Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photograph Collection. The caption reads: "Theatre manager and usher greet theatregoers at Grauman's Egyptian Theatre." Thanks, Bruce! His extensive collection offers 33 more views of the Egyptian Theatre if you'd care to go browsing.
Grauman, of course, was long gone from the premises by the time of the photo -- as was the deluxe two-a-day schedule with elaborate prologues before the features. Starting in 1927 it was run by Fox West Coast on a continuous performance policy. Note they've already walled in the formerly open standee area to make this a separate lobby.
The little balsawood airplanes on the string and the larger airplane hanging from the chandelier are advertising "West Point of the Air" (MGM) starring Wallace Beery and Robert Young. It was released March 23, 1935. The lobby display in the foreground is for Claudette Colbert in Gregory La Cava's "Private Worlds" (Paramount) which had a premiere March 9 and a general release April 19, 1935.
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