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Egyptian Theatre: an overview

6712 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90028 | map |

More pages on the Egyptian: Hollywood Blvd. views 1922-1954 | Hollywood Blvd. views 1955-present | forecourt | earlier lobby views | lobby views 2021+ | earlier auditorium views | auditorium views 2021+ | booth | backstage | Egyptian 2 & 3 | along Las Palmas Ave. | along McCadden Place | 2021 Netflix renderings |

The news: The theatre will celebrate its 100th Birthday on October 18. Stay tuned for details about the parties. But don't expect a reopening before mid-2023. The demolition phase of the Netflix renovation is wrapping up and they're starting to put it back together. As with the Cinematheque's scheme in the 1990s, it'll still be a small auditorium: about 540 seats instead of the 1,340 it had at the closing in 1992. 
Head to the Netflix renderings page for 10 drawings plus a floorplan of the redesign that were presented at several Cultural Heritage Committee meetings in 2021. There are many photos taken during construction on our lobby 2021+, auditorium 2021+ and backstage pages. Exterior views appear on the Las Palmas and McCadden Place pages.
Opened: October 18, 1922 as Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre with Douglas Fairbanks as "Robin Hood" on the screen and a huge prologue onstage. The score was by Egyptian musical director/composer Victor Schertzinger. In this postcard of the new theatre's forecourt from the California State Library collection note that the signage isn't saying "Egyptian" yet. Many of the early press reports called it Grauman's Hollywood Theatre.

This was Sid Grauman's first Hollywood theatre and was made possible by developer C.E. Toberman. The structure reportedly cost $800,000. The Hollywood premiere was invented when the theatre opened and the Egyptian would remain a major first run house for five decades until its closure in 1992. Grauman's first L.A. Theatre had been the Million Dollar, opening downtown in 1918. In 1923 he opened the Metropolitan, a downtown theatre later renamed the Paramount. The Chinese, also a venture with Toberman, opened in 1927.

West Coast Theatres (to become Fox West Coast in 1929) had taken over the Egyptian after Grauman moved on to the Chinese and it was spun off to the United Artists Theatre Circuit following various consent decree rulings against Fox in the late 1940s. American Cinematheque acquired the theatre after it had been sitting vacant for several years and renovated it for a 1998 reopening. It closed in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Talks had been in the works for a sale to Netflix, a deal that was consummated in May 2020. When the theatre reopens the Cinematheque will continue to program Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and manage the theatre, even when Netflix is holding their events.

Website: american | Cinematheque on Facebook | Egyptian on Facebook |

Phone: 323-466-3456

Architects: Meyer & Holler. The firm's Milwaukee Building Co. division was the contractor for the project. The original plan was for a Spanish style theatre but before construction began it was decided to change it to an Egyptian theme. The stylistic change proved to be extraordinarily prescient on Grauman's part when the public was whipped into an Egyptian frenzy by the discovery of King Tut's tomb by Howard Carter the month following the theatre's opening.

Hodgetts + Fung (Craig Hodgetts, Ming Fung) were the architects for the American Cinematheque 1998 renovations. On the team for the 2021-22 Netflix renovations are Ross Brennan of Studio 440 Architecture & Acoustics, Peyton Hall of Historic Resources Group and Tony Hambarchian of the Netflix Design & Construction Regional Team. Jeff Greene's Evergreene Architectural Arts will be overseeing the rehabilitation of decorative areas. Also in the mix is Charuni Patibanda, president of government affairs and lobby firm The McOsker Group. 
A drawing of the west side of the building from the May 1, 1921 L.A. Times.

Historian Mary Mallory, in a 2012 Daily Mirror article titled "Hollywood Heights - The Egyptian Theatre," quotes Grauman talking to L.A. Times film critic Edwin Schallert about his plans for something more elaborate than most theatres. As he envisioned it: 
"An Egyptian garden is to be one of the main attractions at the new Hollywood Theater. The interior decorations will be in keeping with this outward scheme, and particularly effective will be the colorful lighting plan."
By the time they were ready to begin construction, that "Egyptian garden" idea had changed into a big reflecting pool in the forecourt. This was the article in the May 1, 1921 issue of the Times that announced a May 7 date for laying the cornerstone:
They certainly didn't make that November 1921 opening date they envisioned. 

An early Meyer & Holler scheme for the entrance on Hollywood Blvd. It appeared along with the article in the Times on May 1, 1921. Although the article noted that the new theatre would be "modeled entirely after the Egyptian type of architecture," this looked more Romanesque. Obviously it didn't get built this way.

A later drawing of the theatre's entrance from Meyer and Holler. Thanks to Tommy Dangcil for sharing the rendering from his collection. Check out his Arcadia book "Hollywood 1900-1950 in Vintage Postcards."  That obelisk is the theatre's fresh air intake, located above the fan room.

Mary Mallory refers to the 1990 Bernadette M. Sigler and Kevin Stayton book, "The Sphinx and the Lotus: the Egyptian Movement in American Decorative Arts, 1865-1935" which heralds Grauman's as the first full architectural expression of the Egyptian decorative scheme in this country. The book notes that the theatre, inside and out was "Supposedly based on temple ruins at Thebes, the exterior boasted crouching sphinxes and Egyptian head pilasters." The proscenium was crowned with the "winged scarab Khepri."

Cezar Del Valle notes in a Theatre Talks blog post that a month before the opening, the Egyptian was already inspiring religious fervor. He excerpts an article from the September 9, 1922 issue of the newspaper Holly Leaves reporting on a talk at the Krotona Institute on "Temples and religions of Egypt during the reign of Queen Hatsheput" by Captain Stuart Corbett, a "noted Egyptologist":

"Grauman’s Hollywood Theatre may not last a century but its art was old when the pyramids were built. The careful attention given to detail may be traced in the hieroglyphics on the walls. The reproduction of the cartouche from the royal scarab, bearing the inscription, 'O Let me not my Heart bear Witness against me,' is wonderfully exact in detail.

"Another notable bit of detail is the lighting system. Scientists and historians agree that the Egyptian temples were illuminated by a light said to have been handed down to the high priests of Egypt by the priests of Lost Atlantis. This effect is beautifully brought out by the hidden illumination in the Grauman Hollywood Theater, enhancing the beauty of the architecture and giving it an artistic and almost religious atmosphere. In conclusion the speaker complimented Mr. Grauman on the realization of his ideals in giving to Southern California the most beautiful and artistic cinema temple in the world."

Many Egyptian themed theatres across the country would follow. Locally those included the Egyptian in Long Beach (1924) and the Uptown in Pasadena (1925). Lou Bard built many of his theatres in the area with Egyptian interiors including the Vista (1923) and the Pasadena theatre that's now the called the Academy (1925).

Meyer & Holler's main floor plan, a drawing that appeared with the article "A Theater Designed in the Egyptian Style" in the March 1923 issue of Architect and Engineer. It's on Internet Archive. A USC photo lists some of the subcontractors for the project. Raymond Kennedy, who would later work on the Chinese, was responsible for the decorative aspects of the building. Thanks to Mike Hume for this version, which appeared in Volume 1 (1927) of "American Theatres of Today" by R.W. Seton and B.F. Betts. The two volume work was reissued in 2009 as a single volume by the Theatre Historical Society. It's available on Amazon.

A section view that appeared in "American Theatres of Today." Mike has the two plans as well as several photos from the book in pdf format on the page about the Egyptian on his Historic Theatre Photography site.

The new theatre in "HOLLYWYOOD" was profiled in the November 11, 1922 issue of Moving Picture World. Thanks to Jean Hunter for finding the article. She added it as a comment to a "Don Juan" premiere photo posted by Richard Adkins on the Hollywood Heritage Facebook page.
The lighting of the theatre was discussed in "Life o' the Show-House: Light," an article by Nellie Barnard Parker appearing in the February 19, 1927 issue of Exhibitors Herald. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding the article on Internet Archive.

Seating: On one version of the plans the capacity is listed as 1,742 seats, all on one level. That number is repeated in an account of the opening appearing in the October 20, 1922 issue of the paper Holly Leaves. Excluded are seats in the private "balconies" at booth level. It was reseated in late 40s for a capacity of 1,538. After the TODD-AO installation, the capacity was 1,318. Following the D-150 renovations in 1968 the capacity was 1,340 despite the addition of a main floor projection booth. The pit was covered and the screen was pushed farther back.

The 90s renovation by American Cinematheque resulted in a substantial downsizing to 616 seats plus the addition of a second 78 seat screening room in space excavated at the rear of the main floor. At that time the building was brought into ADA compliance. The Cinematheque named the main theatre the Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre, the smaller facility the Steven Spielberg Theatre. With the Netflix renovations it'll get even smaller. The Spielberg has been removed and the capacity is expected to be 540.

Stage specs: Originally it was 25' deep and 67' wall to wall. The November 11, 1922 Moving Picture World article gave dimensions of 30' x 73,' a bit generous. The proscenium was 41' wide. Grid height was 54'. The screen size following the Cinematheque renovations was 27' x 53'. See the backstage page for more details.

A view of the west side of the theatre's stagehouse. The screen is now almost up against the back wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

Pipe organ: It was a 3 manual 15 rank Wurlitzer style 260 with 7 tuned percussions and 14 traps. The main and solo chambers were on the roof just downstage of the proscenium wall and it spoke through the grillework in the ceiling in front of the proscenium. Some of the larger pipes were on a shelf about 25' up on the stage left wall. Neither the console nor the orchestra pit were on lifts. 

An ad reproduced in an issue of the Tom B'hend / Preston Kaufmann publication Greater Metro L.A. Newsreel that's in the Ronald W. Mahan Collection. Thanks to Ron for scanning the ad.

Frederick Burr Scholl at the console in 1922. Thanks to Jim Lewis for supplying the photo. He notes that Scholl was the theatre's first organist. 

The opening: The new theatre was discussed in an article in the October 13, 1922 issue of the Hollywood newspaper Holly Leaves. Thanks to theatre historian Cezar Del Valle for a Theatre Talks post offering these excerpts: 

"Grauman's Hollywood will be the first photoplay theater in the West to maintain a policy of reserving every seat for every performance. For the convenience of Los Angeles patrons a downtown box office will be maintained at Barker Brothers', and seats will be on sale two weeks in advance. Two complete shows will be given daily, a matinee at 2:15 and an evening performance at 8:15. The scale of prices for the matinee will run from 50 cents to $1.00 and the evening prices from 75 cents to $1.50.
"Every production will be presented with an elaborate musical accompaniment by an orchestra which is now being organized and which it is hoped to make one of the representative musical organizations of the West. It is Grauman's intention to show the biggest feature attractions of all producers at the Hollywood Theater, the opening feature being Douglas Fairbanks in 'Robin Hood,' which has been seen as the really big photoplay triumph of 1922. 
"Each production will be preceded with a prologue in keeping with the atmosphere of the story in which players who starred in the picture will be seen in their identical roles. 'Robin Hood' is to have the most elaborate prologue accorded. The Nottingham castle set, which drew thousands to the Fairbanks-Pickford studio is to be duplicated on the Grauman stage, and the $150,000 costumes worn in the play will be used in the prologue, which Sid Grauman has designated as the 'Nottingham Castle Pageant.' More than 200 persons are to take part in the Robin Hood pageant, which will precede every showing of the picture."

The cover of the opening night program, a "Souvenir Album." Thanks to Cristopher Crouch for the scan from the program in his collection.  It's on "Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre," a post on his blog Cinelog. Normally focusing on Orange County theatres, Mr. Crouch makes an occasional foray into Hollywood.  Also on Cinelog:  page 3 - "Greeting" | page 4 - "New Policies" | page 9 - "Staff and Prices" | page 12 - "Masters in Charge of Music" | page 13 - "Robin Hood" credits | the full program in pdf format: Egyptian Album |
The opening night was the first real Hollywood premiere. The staff included usherettes in elaborate Egyptian costumes and robed Bedouin sentinels patrolling the parapet above the entrance. Mary Mallory comments on the event: 

"Director Fred Niblo acted as master of ceremonies for the premiere, with Los Angeles Mayor Cryer, Rupert Hughes, Jesse L. Lasky, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s George Eastman, and builder Charles Toberman making speeches, along with actor Charlie Chaplin. Cecil B. DeMille presented Sid Grauman with a laurel wreath on behalf of the Hollywood film community. Floral arrangements honoring Grauman and his theatre decorated the forecourt.

"Both inside and out, the site highlighted Egyptania. The walls of the auditorium featured hieroglyphics, with the ceiling painted to resemble the night sky. The constellations would change as the lighting effects altered and shifted. The forecourt featured oriental shops down its promenade, with an Egyptian village replicating one by the Pyramids, attracting attention. Rug makers and other artisans intrigued filmgoers."
The October 20 issue of Holly Leaves had a full report on the opening. Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for including it on the Opening of the Egyptian Theatre post on his blog Theatre Talks:

"A new era in the world's motion picture theaters and in the cinema art dawned Wednesday evening, when the new temple of art, Grauman's Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, was dedicated with the world premiere of 'Robin Hood,' the masterpiece of Douglas Fairbanks. Every one of the 1742 seats were filled, and an even if the seating capacity were ten times greater, the house doubtless would have been filled, so great was the demand for tickets. There was a regular metropolitan 'opening night' with a jam of people and motor cars outside and extending in all directions, while the great court had rows of people on either side of the aisle kept open by khaki-clad soldiers. Hollywood Post American Legion Band was in the court and gave a band concert before the program. 
"The picture stars were wildly greeted and numerous flashlights taken of the kaleidoscopic human spectacle. Otto Olesen's great government searchlights played upon the heavens and added much to the spectacular effects. Before the picture, Arthur Wenzel, publicity director for the Grauman theaters announced that Fred Niblo would officiate as master of ceremonies. Mr. Niblo was a witty and facetious mood as he presented Mayor George Cryer of Los Angeles; George J. Eastman, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Jesse Lasky, vice president of Famous Players-Lasky Company; Rupert Hughes, author and director, and Charlie Chaplin as surprise speakers. All were applauded to the echo with a double measure for 'Charlie.'

"Then Cecil de Mille was presented and after a brief happy speech, he called for Sid Grauman, builder of the Egyptian playhouse. Mr. Grauman was greeted by a storm of applause and was tendered the rising salute. He made a few appropriate remarks and expressed feelingly his appreciation for all that had been said. All speakers heaped encomiums on Douglas Fairbanks for his marvelous production. The prologue was beautifully presented and delighted the house. The music proved a wonderful setting and the composer-conductor Victor Schertzinger was given an ovation. Handsome souvenir programs in brochure forms were given to every first night person."

A "Robin Hood" ad that ran in Holly Leaves on November 3, 1922. The ad is featured in the post on Cezar Del Valle's Theatre Talks blog titled Opening of the Egyptian Theatre. The post also features a photo of the rear of the auditorium from the paper. 

"An Eyeful of Usherets [sic] Parked in an Oldsmobile. These lovely ones appear in person at Sid Grauman's new Hollywood Egyptian Theatre, where Douglas Fairbanks's 'Robin Hood' is being produced. If you can't find the way to your seat they'll help you." Thanks to Mary Mallory for the illustration, one that appeared with her 2012 Daily Mirror article "Hollywood Heights - The Egyptian Theatre." The article appears to have vanished from the Mirror site.

A "Robin Hood" ad from the November 17, 1922 issue of Holly Leaves. Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the ad, reproduced in a Grauman's Egyptian post on his Theatre Talks blog. 

This article about the theatre's initial promotional push appeared in the December 2, 1922 issue of Exhibitors Herald. It's on Internet Archive.

Early History: Grauman's Egyptian was the first real movie palace in Hollywood. His close connections with studio heads allowed him to succeed as an independent exhibitor. It also didn't hurt that he did a great job of creating a romantic atmosphere with decor, costumed staff and elaborate prologues along with the feature picture. Among the dancers in the prologues who went on to bigger things was Myrna Loy.

The films were accompanied by Jan Sofer (succeeding Victor Schertzinger) conducting the "Hollywood Symphony Orchestra" with, in addition, numbers performed on the Mighty Wurlitzer. A nursery (adjacent to the ladies room) was provided for parents to leave their children. The opening program noted that "kiddies may be parked there with safety and convenience." On the staff, in addition to a nurse and storyteller in the nursery, were "Twenty-eight Egyptian Ladies in Waiting, Four Lobbymen, Three Porters, Footmen, etc." -- all costumed by Western Costume Co.

The program noted that "nothing but masterpieces of the cinema art" would be shown at the Egyptian where each "would have its world premiere months before being shown at any of the downtown theatres." At the beginning, the Egyptian was running only 2 shows a day (with reserved seats) at legit prices and getting long profitable runs from its pictures. In the first 3 years of operation, the Egyptian Theatre ran only 4 movies. "Robin Hood" ran nearly five months. The next two were "The Covered Wagon," opening April 10, 1923, and then a seven month run of "The Ten Commandments" starting December 4, 1923.

"Take P.E. Hollywood Cars direct to the main entrance." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating the ad.

A flyer for "The Ten Commandments" that Ken located. 

"The Thief of Bagdad" starring Douglas Fairbanks opened July 10, 1924.

The fifth film to play the theatre was "Romola," opening December 6, 1924. Each picture was accompanied by an elaborate Grauman prologue, usually as much of an attraction as the film itself. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the ad. 

John Ford's "The Iron Horse" was up next, opening February 21, 1925. This photo is of several Pacific Electric Red Cars taking 180 boys from the Pasadena YMCA to the opening of the film. It's from the Mt. Lowe Preservation Society collection on the Pacific Electric Railway website.

An ad for "The Iron Horse." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating it.  

Chaplin's "Gold Rush" opened June 24, 1925. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for the ad. 

The back page of the program for "The Gold Rush." Thanks to Comfortably Cool for locating this for a post on Cinema Treasures.

The eighth film to play was "The Big Parade," opening November 2, 1925. This program is from the Silent Film Still Archive. Note that Grauman's "1918 Review" was advertised as having "100 - people on the stage - 100." He didn't exaggerate. Lots of extras were hired on a daily basis.

Two inside pages of the program for "The Big Parade."
Some of the costumes for "The Big Parade" prologue. Thanks to Comfortably Cool for posting this on Cinema Treasures with the comment "Produced by Sid Grauman, 'Pageant of the Allies' featured a bevy of beauties in spectacular costumes representing nations in the 'Great War' of 1914-18."

Page five of a program for "The Big Parade" shows the orchestra for that film gathered in the forecourt. Of interest at the top of the page is the credit for D. J. Grauman as the "founder" of the Egyptian. David was Sid's father. 

Thanks to Jack Tillmany for finding this at the AMPAS Margaret Herrick Library. It's from the Sherwood Mertz collection. Jack's father, a violinist, is in the back row, the third from the right. He worked for MGM at the time -- perhaps some of their personnel were used to augment the house orchestra. 

An ad for "The Big Parade" on the side of "America's First Trans-Continental Trackless Train." The photo is in the California State Library collection. It was evidently taken in Sierra Madre -- we have a guy's name embossed on the card from that town. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Godzilla, who included the photo in his Noirish post #10861.

"The Big Parade" was followed by the only double feature to play during Grauman's tenure. So, of course, he held a massive double premiere. The films (opening May 14, 1925) were "The Black Pirate," in Technicolor, with Douglas Fairbanks and "Sparrows," with Mary Pickford.

"Come early and enjoy the free attractions in the in the Egyptian Forecourt." Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this 1926 ad for the Grauman double feature for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 

A look at Sid Grauman (second from left) and his staff at the theatre in 1926. Check out the costumes for those usherettes. Thanks to the extraordinary Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection for the photo. The collection has many more Egyptian Theatre photos to look at when you have the time.

Another shot of Sid and his staff in the forecourt. It's a photo in the Los Angeles Public Library collection from the L.A. Chamber of Commerce. That's Sid third in from the left.

Warner Bros.' "Don Juan" with John Barrymore opened August 20, 1926. Also on the program was an overture and a Grauman prologue called "A Venetian Festival." In an L.A. Times article on August 19 it was reported that for the premiere "Complete preparations have been made for an elaborate electrical display with its crowning feature a titanic rainbow projected by searchlights from the Egyptian roof and for the illumination of Hollywood Boulevard in the vicinity of the theatre like midday." This program cover is one of many interesting items once on the Cinema Treasures page on the Egyptian but now missing. Also see the credits page.

The Warner studios on Sunset advertising "Don Juan" at the Egyptian. Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the photo from his collection. When the film had opened in New York on August 6, they were running various Vitaphone short subjects and a Vitaphone soundtrack for the feature. During the initial weeks of the run at the Egyptian the film was accompanied by the theatre's orchestra. There was no mention of Vitaphone in the ads or in the L.A. Times review appearing August 22. 

Vitaphone arrives: The Egyptian was the first Los Angeles theatre to be wired for sound. Well, other than several small downtown houses using the Gaumont Chronophone process around 1908. The Egyptian belatedly got the Western Electric Vitaphone equipment during the run of "Don Juan." The gear was shipped west on a special express car and was first heard by the public on October 27, 1926. An October 17 L.A. Times story noted that this would be the first engagement for Vitaphone west of Chicago. An October 21 Times story advised that "music lovers and film fans are eagerly awaiting the presentation here."

In an October 19 L.A. Times ad Sid Grauman stated: "I firmly believe that Vitaphone will be one of the greatest sensations the Los Angeles public has ever known." An October 20 ad declared Vitaphone "the most marvelous discovery of all time."

"The whole world was puzzled" about why Grauman was closing the prologue that was playing on the bill with "Don Juan." The last performances were on October 24 and the theatre went dark for two days to tweak up the new equipment. This October 21 Times ad explained that they would be reopening on October 27 with a big premiere of the Vitaphone version of  the film along with a program of talking shorts including one of Will Hays introducing the new invention. These shorts were cranked out by the Warner Bros Vitaphone division in large numbers in the mid and late 20s and largely consisted of musical performances and recorded vaudeville routines. An October 25 ad modestly gave "Four big reasons why Sid Grauman closed his prologue...greatest in the world."

A great view of the dignitaries in front of the railroad car carrying the Vitaphone equipment west for "Don Juan." The photo is from the site George Groves, dedicated to the story of Oscar winning sound pioneer George R. Groves (1901-1976). It was once on the site's "Don Juan" page which has a nice history of the film but now seems to be missing this photo.

Another photo taken in front of the car that brought the gear west in 1926. Left to right are Jack L. Warner, Sid Grauman, Col. Nathan Levinson and Ray Schrock. Kneeling (and guarding the cargo with shotguns) are Bill Guthrie and a Captain Carillo. The photo is from Tom Wilson on Flickr. It's in his Vintage Photographs and Postcards collection of wonderful photos of early projection and sound equipment.

Trucks from the Warner studios loaded with the sound equipment for the Egyptian. Note the Western Electric horns on top of the load of the truck on the right. Thanks again to Tom Wilson for the photo from his Vintage Photographs and Postcards collection on Flickr.

A 1926 Vitaphone demonstration by Western Electric Engineer E.B. Craft (left) using a turntable geared to a Simplex projector -- but without a sound-on-film attachment. The 78 rpm records were designed to be good for twenty plays and then would be discarded. The photo is from the University of San Diego, appearing with Wikipedia's article on Vitaphone.

"Don Juan" got a second premiere on October 27 for the Vitaphone version of the film. This souvenir program from that event is in the collection of the University of Exeter Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. This time around there were prominent mentions of Bell Labs and Western Electric. Sid ran a big October 28 ad declaring the technology "Amazing..Astounding..Bewildering..Revolutionary..."

An October 29 ad touting the miracle of Vitaphone. The Vitaphone version of the film only ran three weeks. Thanks to Hollywood historian April Clemmer of Old Hollywood Walking Tour fame for researching the "Don Juan" engagement.

We don't know specifically what gear was in the booth for "Don Juan" and there's no data regarding how long the equipment stayed in the theatre. For more about Vitaphone, see the main page on the Warner Hollywood. Also see the film and theatre technology resources page for information on early sound systems.

Next up was Syd Chaplin's "The Better Ole," opening November 17, 1926 with Vitaphone shorts and no prologue. Like "Don Juan," it was basically a silent feature with an added music and effects track. The shorts were probably more interesting from a technical standpoint. Some patrons complained about the lack of a prologue. Actors who were out of work perhaps complained the loudest. The prologues were reinstated for Sid's final two presentations. L.A. didn't hear any more sound film until the opening of the Tower Theatre in October 1927.

"Old Ironsides," opened January 28, 1927. This ad appeared in the L.A. Times on April 30.


The cover for the "Old Ironsides" program. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler for sharing this from his collection on Flickr. And thanks to Michelle Gerdes for spotting Eric's post and including the progam in the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation Group Pool. 

The film was known for (in some theatres) its use of Magnascope, whereby at a climactic scene (such as a ship coming toward you) the masking opened and the picture got larger and larger. Then back to the regular format until the next "big" scene. Evidently the process wasn't used at the Egyptian. There's no mention of Magnascope in these program pages that Eric shared on Flickr.

"Topsy and Eva" followed as Grauman's 13th and final presentation at the theatre. It opened June 16, 1927.

Opening of the Chinese: When Sid moved up the street to the Chinese (which opened May 18, 1927), the Egyptian's management was taken over by West Coast Theatres, a firm soon to be called Fox West Coast. It went dark July 20, 1927 and a few days later reopened under the new management as a moveover house with continuous performances and no more Grauman prologues.

The circuit had actually bought a half interest in the theatre back in 1922, shortly after the opening. Holly Leaves had the "Big Theater Merger" story in their November 24, 1922 issue. It was also noted in a November 25 listing in the Film Year Book that year. These are both on Google Books. Grauman's name stayed with the building for a number of years although he was no longer involved in the operation. It was still being called "Grauman's Egyptian" in the 1928 Fox ads. They had a nice tagline: "Where The Stars See The Pictures."

The Egyptian in the 30s and 40s: Fox West Coast kept the theatre a major attraction with some shows using packaged Fanchon and Marco "Ideas" stage shows along with the films. Others featured the stage portion of the show built around a popular bandleader. The forecourt used to have cages with various animals as well as occasional exhibits themed to the films. See the forecourt page for many vintage photos.

Cashier Totty Ames talked about coming to work there in 1943: "The Egyptian was in excellent condition then. They had just taken the monkeys out when I got there." She's quoted on page 193 of Paul Zollo's 2002 Cooper Square Press book "Hollywood Remembered: An Oral History of its Golden Age." In 1944 the Egyptian again became a first run venue as a showcase for MGM product, although still operated by Fox West Coast Theatres. Long a favorite house for Hollywood premieres, the Egyptian has had an amazing number of great runs of important pictures.

The Consent Decree: In 1949 management of the Egyptian was taken over by United Artists Theatre Circuit as a result of consent decree rulings forcing Fox West Coast to cede control of a number of prime Los Angeles venues. The Egyptian was one of them. Until this time United Artists had not actually been operating theatres themselves. The corporation had existed, separate from the UA distribution company (but with some overlap in management and shareholders) since the 20s. Any theatres in which United Artists had had an interest were being managed for them by Fox West Coast.

This November 27, 1949 L.A. Times story notes the transfer from Fox West Coast of the Egyptian,  Loew's State, and the California in Pomona (renamed the United Artists) to the newly energized United Artists Theatre Circuit. Thanks to Mike Hume for finding the article.

The additional theatres DeCicco mentions in the article to get the circuit up to fifteen were twelve theatres that UA had built in the 1927-1932 period that had been managed for decades by Fox. The February 1, 1950 transfer of that bunch was discussed in "Twelve FWC Theatres Under UA Banner," a short article appearing in the February 4 issue of Boxoffice. The theatres included the United Artists downtown, the Four Star, and the United Artists houses in Inglewood, East Los Angeles, Pasadena and Long Beach. The article termed it the "last step in the complete severance of the joint interests of Fox West Coast and United Artists."

UATC gave the Egyptian quite a remodel before reopening December 1, 1949. Work included modern art in the lobby and the towering, wavy new facade out at the street. Boxoffice discussed the work in their March 4, 1950 article: "Few Touches Necessary in Brightening The Famous Egyptian Theatre - Reconciling The Pharoahs To '50." What's left of the UATC group of theatres is now a part of Regal Entertainment Group.

TODD-AO at the Egyptian: The Egyptian was equipped for the 70mm TODD-AO process for a long roadshow run of "Oklahoma!" projected on a deeply curved screen perhaps 60' in width. It was the second TODD-AO installation in the country (the Rivoli in New York was house #1). The premiere of "Oklahoma" was November 17, 1955 with public performances starting November 18.

A Los Angeles Public Library photo of ladies getting the the neon on the Egyptian marquee ready for the roadshow presentation of "Oklahoma!" in TODD-AO.

An ad for "Oklahoma!" Thanks to Comfortably Cool for locating this for a post on Cinema Treasures.

The invitation to the premiere of "Oklahoma!" at the Egyptian Theatre "located in the Oklahoma Territory In the Heart of Hollywood." It's in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences collection and appears on their website in an article "Rounding Up the Cast of Oklahoma." Thanks to Michael Hudson-Medina for spotting this one.

Tickets for the show at the Egyptian. The illustration is from page seven of the TODD-AO section on Martin Hart's terrific site American Widescreen Museum. The first print of "Oklahoma!" at the Egyptian was without sound. It was synced to separate 35mm mag reproducers for the 6 channel stereo. Later "Oklahoma!" opened at the United Artists downtown while continuing at the Egyptian. It got a 51 week run at the Egyptian.

These are full size frames from a 65mm print of "Oklahoma!" from page four of the TODD-AO section on the American Widescreen Museum website. Also see the site's fine "Oklahoma!" page. Later prints were on 70mm stock with 6 channel sound on magnetic stripes. During the 1955 work for the TODD-AO installation the theatre suffered a substantial loss of decoration at the proscenium. The 3 manual 15 rank Wurlitzer organ was removed from the theatre.

"South Pacific," the third TODD-AO film, opened at the Egyptian May 22, 1958 for a 44 week run. The Carthay Circle Theatre got the second film, "Around The World in 80 Days." See the film and theatre technology resources page here on this site for information on other projection technology. For information on 70mm runs and theatres equipped for the process in the Los Angeles area, see the From Script To DVD site's section "70mm in Los Angeles."

The TODD-AO process was born out of Mike Todd's frustrations with the expense and inherent problems with Cinerama. Wide film was nothing new. There was a flurry of activity in the late 20s and early 30s and it might have become the new standard except the depression doomed further experiments. The Warner Hollywood ran several films in the 65mm Vitascope process and both the Chinese and the Carthay Circle had projectors installed to run the 70mm Fox Grandeur process.
TODD-AO was noteworthy because its film format became the 70mm industry standard and the projector designed for it won an Academy Award. The aspect ratio is 2.21 to 1. Some later 70mm processes such as Ultra Panavision used anamorphic lenses to get a wider aspect ratio. TODD-AO was shot on 65mm film stock with 70mm release prints to allow soundtrack room outside the sprocket holes. It used 5 perforations per frame and was originally envisioned to run at 30 fps for improved picture quality. Only the first two features were shot at 30 fps -- for "South Pacific" and later it was 24 fps. The screen was deeply curved, similar in size and curvature to a Cinerama installation. TODD-AO, however, used a single sheet rather than the narrow vertical strips favored by Cinerama.


The process borrowed the technique of mag striping on the film for stereo sound that was pioneered by Fox's Cinemascope. Where the 35mm Cinemascope had 4 tracks, TODD-AO had 6. There were two tracks outside and one inside the sprocket holes on each side. 5 channels were for behind the screen and one for surround speakers. This illustration of the dimensions of the TODD-AO frame is from page four of the TODD-AO section on the wonderful site American Widescreen Museum where you'll find a lively history of the process with many photos.

The system was originally to be called "Magna," which was the name of the company set up to develop the technology and produce the films. It ended up as TODD-AO because Todd, ever the showman, wanted his name on it. American Optical, who developed the optics, wanted recognition also.

Phillips of Holland was commissioned to design a new projector for the process that would also run 35mm with either optical sound tracks or 4 channel magnetic. The projector heads were made in Holland with the bases and magazines manufactured by American Optical in the United States. The projectors currently in the Egyptian booth (from a theatre in New Orleans) are a later version of the original TODD-AO machines.

A look at one of the early TODD-AO projectors from "The Story of the DP70 Projector" on the wonderful website, which is all about TODD-AO and later 70mm processes. See the site's DP70 Projector section for as much detail as you can absorb. And check out the separate TODD-AO section.

Note the two motors --- one for 24 fps, one for 30 fps. Later models just had one motor and a clutch. On the machine seen in this photo the top motor has a pulley so it could be synched via Selsyn motors to a separate sound reproducer. Large screens, big arc lamps and short projection throws resulted in lots of focus drift from the beginning of a reel to its end. Some of the early projectors were equipped with motor driven "focus drift compensators" that reset at the end of each reel.
More 70mm at the Egyptian: Other 70mm reserved seat runs included:

"Ben Hur" - MGM, MGM Camera 65 - opened November, 1959 and ran 98 weeks 
"King of Kings" - MGM, Super Technirama 70 - premiered October 12, 1961
"Mutiny on the Bounty" - MGM, Ultra Panavision 70 - premiered November 15, 1962
"The Cardinal" - Columbia, blowup from 35mm scope - opened December 20, 1963
"South Pacific" - Magna Pictures reissue, TODD-AO - opened April 1, 1964 - not reserved seats
"My Fair Lady" - Warner Bros., Super Panavision 70 - opened October 28, 1964 - ran 68 weeks
"Hawaii" - United Artists - blowup from 35mm Panavision - opened October 13, 1966 - 52 week run
"Around The World in 80 Days" - Magna /UA reissue - opened March 15, 1968 - not reserved seats 

An ad for "My Fair Lady" in 1964. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for adding it as a comment to a post of a postcard view of the October 28 premiere on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 
Dimension 150 at the Egyptian: A 1968 remodeling increased the screen width to 75 feet for a D-150 system installation. The 1955 TODD-AO remodel had left much (but not all) of the sides of the proscenium and the stage in place. In the new round of renovations the remains of the proscenium as well as the stage were removed and the orchestra pit was covered. The new screen went almost to the theatre's back wall. A new projection booth was installed on the main floor. The remodel was accomplished in six weeks. The project was outlined in "A $250,000 Renovation in Six Weeks for UA's Egyptian Meets Film Deadline," a January 13, 1969 article in Boxoffice.

The D-150 screen installation deep onto where the stage had been. It's a photo from a January 29, 1969 Motion Picture Herald article. See the auditorium page for a view of the screen partially installed. Thanks to Roland Lataille for the find -- he has the article on the Egyptian Theatre page of  his site Also see the rest of the article: part 1 | part 2 |

Dimension 150 was a process developed by Dr. Richard Vetter and United Artists Theatre Circuit. It involved extreme wide angle camera lenses, a screen and masking system and projection lenses designed to give a sharp image on a deeply curved screen. It was installed in many UA roadshow houses (such as Cinema 150 in Seattle) as well as venues operated by other circuits. The Rosemary Theatre in Ocean Park was used as a test house for the process during the 1960s.

"The Bible" (1966) and "Patton" (1970) were the only features actually filmed in the Dimension 150 process. See the American Widescreen Museum's extensive coverage of the process and the Dimension 150 section on Roland Lataille's comprehensive In Cinerama website. Links to a few more resources can be found on the film and theatre technology resources page here on this site.
The first film after the D-150 remodel was "Funny Girl" (Columbia), a blow up from 35mm scope format. It opened October 9, 1968 for a 61 week reserved seat run. Thanks to Comfortably Cool for locating this opening day ad for a post on Cinema Treasures.

Adding Egyptian 2 and 3: In 1972 United Artists Theatre Circuit added 2 smaller theatres, the Egyptian 2 & 3, in a store building to the east of the theatre. The original theatre remained a single auditorium. That 2 and 3 building (with the center wall removed) is now a legit house called the Arena Theatre and is not part of the Egyptian's property.

Later Years at the Egyptian: The Egyptian enjoyed long runs of major films such as "Marooned" (Columbia, world premiere December 13, 1969 - a 23 week 70mm reserved seat run), "Alien" (Fox, 1979), "The Empire Strikes Back" (Fox, 1980) and "Return of the Jedi" (Fox, 1983). In the 70s and 80s United Artists Theatre Circuit had the Egyptian playing lots of Fox product -- especially after the 1977 "Star Wars" snafu at the Chinese. Frequently the Egyptian played day-and-date with the United Artists downtown.
Other 70mm bookings in later years included a sub-run engagement of "Patton" in January 1971, "The Sound of Music" in 1978, a reissue of "Oklahoma!" (with a new print) beginning April 29, 1983. 

In its last days prior to closure in 1992 United Artists was running the theatre as a $1.50 admission grind house. Through the efforts of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation and other organizations, the Egyptian was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument on September 23, 1993. The vacant theatre suffered some damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. The City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency ended up with the building.

The American Cinematheque renovations: The Cinematheque acquired the building for $1 from the Community Redevelopment Agency in 1996 and reopened the theatre in 1998 after a renovation designed by architects Hodgetts & Fung. What was envisioned as a $3 million project ended up costing $15 million by the time it was finished. The downsized main auditorium was then a smaller box enclosed by the shell of the original theatre.  A smaller screening room was constructed in an area excavated at the back of the auditorium. The Cinematheque programming has been a mix of revivals, foreign films, indies and various festivals in all formats including 70mm. They also operate the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica.

The vertical sign installed as part of the 1998 renovations. It's a replica of one installed by Fox West Coast Theatres in the early 30s. The 1922 original, mounted on the other side of the opening, said "Grauman's." Photo: Bill Counter - 2007

In 2016 the Hollywood Foreign Press association gave the theatre a $350,000 grant, administered by the Film Foundation, for booth upgrades including a new digital projector and modifications so the theatre could show nitrate prints. A later $500,000 grant went toward roof and wall repairs, recovering the seating, some entrance terrazzo repair, and other projects. Deadline had an August 2016 story on the project.

The sale to Netflix: It was simmering for over a year but finally closed in May 2020. Earlier, Netflix had explored purchasing the Landmark chain but backed away from that. The American Cinematheque ends up with an endowment and will continue to program the theatre on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. They will continue to manage the theatre, even when Netflix is holding their events and Netflix will be paying them a management fee. Ken Scherer acted as consultant to the Cinematheque on the sale and later became the organization's director.

Deadline broke the news of a possible sale in April 2019 with Mike Fleming, Jr.'s story "Netflix in Talks..." Thanks to theatre sleuth Joe Pinney for spotting the story. Bloomberg had a followup story. Thanks to Mike Hume for spotting that one. And, of course, Ryan Faughnder of the L.A. Times added "Netflix in talks..." a few hours later but had nothing additional to add. A June letter to Cinematheque members confirmed that a sale of the theatre was underway although Netflix was not mentioned by name nor was the sale price.
The Los Angeles Business Journal's July 19, 2019 article "Will LA Stall Netflix Plan?" raised a few questions about the Cinematheque's old agreements with the City and the now-defunct Community Redevelopment Agency and whether or not these would be obstacles to the sale of the building. On a similar theme see Hollywood Reporter's August 9 story "Will Netflix's Ownership of L.A.'s Egyptian Theatre Spark Backlash?"

Esorouric's Kim Cooper and Richard Shave, calling themselves Friends of the American Cinematheque, had a "Save the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre" petition up on along with an article titled "First Festival Cancellation Blames Netflix..." They were looking for more transparency. Chava Gourarie's "Behind the Netflix Bid for Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre," a September 3, 2019 article in the Commercial Observer, had quotes from all the usual suspects and comments that the Cinematheque's 1996 agreement with the city's CRA to operate the theatre (in return for some renovation funding) may have had a ten year expiration date.

"If it’s such a great thing, why does this all need to be shrouded in secrecy?" asked LAPL librarian Christina Rice in Ryan Faughnder's September 6, 2019 story for the L.A. Times: "What happens when Netflix buys Hollywood's iconic Egyptian Theatre? It's complicated." Faughnder noted: "Tony Arranaga, communications director for Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office, said the city has no jurisdiction over the management of the Cinematheque, the disbursement of funds from the sale or what happens if Netflix decides it no longer wants to own the theater. The CRA was dissolved by the state of California in 2012... 'It is my understanding that the agreements between the [CRA’s designated successor agency] and American Cinematheque have expired,' Arranaga said. 'The councilmember will work with any owner, existing or new, of the Egyptian Theatre to ensure that they are good stewards of this historic resource.'" 
The theatre closed in March 2020 due to Coronavirus restrictions. 
After over a year of talks that nobody directly involved wanted to talk about, the sale to Netflix was confirmed in "Netflix Closes Deal to Buy Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre," Variety's May 29, 2020 story by Dave McNary. The multi-million dollar deal was also discussed in "Netflix to put a new spin on L.A.'s classic Egyptian Theatre," a May 29 L.A. Times story by Ryan Faughnder.
The AC issued a jigsaw-puzzle-like announcement in 6 parts on Instagram in May 2020 that declined to even acknowledge that the building was sold. They referred to it as a "collaboration." In "After the Nexflix Deal...," a November 16, 2020 Hollywood Reporter article by Scott Feinberg, he dropped a few hints about the Netflix plans and discussed things with Cinematheque director Ken Scherer and other AC staffers. The sale price was noted as $14.4 million in a December 2020 post on the site What Now Los Angeles.

The Netflix redesign: Head to the Netflix renderings page for 10 drawings plus a floorplan of the redesign that were presented at several Cultural Heritage Committee meetings in 2021. Nearly all of what the American Cinematheque installed in their 1997-1998 renovation was removed. The balcony is gone and the 78 seat Spielberg Theatre has vanished. Much of the exterior stucco and hollow tile wall sections were removed for installation of a waterproofing membrane and to facilitate part of the seismic retrofit.
Among other work on the multi-million dollar project: the lobby has been redesigned, the seating area has been widened out to the original configuration and a new proscenium will be constructed. As with the Cinematheque's scheme, it'll still be a small auditorium: about 540 seats instead of the 1,340 it had at the closing in 1992.

A floorplan from project architects Studio 440 Architecture & Acoustics. The curved row of columns in the middle of the beige lobby area is where the seating area ended in 1922.
Ross Brennan is the principal on the project. Peyton Hall of Historic Resources Group is the project's historic consultant. Others on the team include Structural Focus as the structural consultant, Syska is the MEP consulting engineer, Sightline Design Group is the lighting designer, Venekklasen Associates is a noise and vibration consultant, Silverlake Conservation is the architectural conservator, Visioneering Design Co. and David Carroll Associates are system integrators.

A 2021 drawing of version two of the proposed proscenium from Studio 440. There are many views taken during construction on our lobby 2021+, auditorium 2021+ and backstage pages. Exterior photos taken during construction can be seen on the Las Palmas and McCadden Place pages. 

Status: Expect a reopening sometime in 2023.

The Egyptian Theatre in the Movies:

This anarchist is on the roof of the current Musso & Frank location lighting a bomb in the Buster Keaton film "Cops" (First National, March 1922). The brown mess we see across the street is the construction fence at the Egyptian with remnants of an early building behind it. Thanks to famed silent film detective John Bengtson for figuring out the location. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more details as well as a shot of the Hidalgo Theatre on Main St. seen near the end of the film.

We get a drive east on Hollywood Blvd. with a quick glimpse of the construction site of the Egyptian Theatre at 5:14 into "Accidents Will Happen" (Universal, August 1922). William Watson directed the 17 minute film starring Neely Edwards and Bert Roach. The building on the far right of the image is on the corner of McCadden Place and Hollywood Blvd., now the home of Pig 'N Whistle. The void beyond with the construction fence is Egyptian's location. Thanks to John Bengtson for spotting the shot. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more about the film including other locations John has identified. 

We get a fine ride down Hollywood Blvd. in the Harry Langdon film "His Marriage Vow" (Mack Sennett, 1925). Note the Grauman's vertical on the left as we head west toward Hollywood and Highland. Thanks to John Bengtson for the screenshot. He's identified many of the film's locations on his terrific Silent Locations post "Harry Langdon - His Marriage Vow."

We get a shot of a Bedouin patrolling the roof in "Hollywood Cavalcade" (20th Century Fox, 1939). Alice Faye plays film star Molly Adair and we're at the Egyptian for the premiere of her first talkie. Also starred are Don Ameche, Buster Keaton and Al Jolson. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for several more shots plus a fine lobby card showing the theatre's entrance.

We get the vertical signs of the Egyptian and Hollywood theatres behind the opening credits for "Nocturne" (RKO, 1946). Later we pay a visit to the Pantages as George Raft checks out an alibi for murder suspect Lynn Bari. Edwin L. Marin directed. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for some shots.   
The theatre is seen 2:38 into Dennis Ray Steckler's "Wild Guitar" (Fairway International, 1962). We also get views of the Chinese and the Pantages. The full film is available on YouTube. Arch Hall, Jr. and Nancy Czar star.

Jeanne Moreau and Donald Sutherland are in the middle of Hollywood Blvd. as we look toward the Egyptian in a shot taken during the filming of Paul Mazursky's "Alex in Wonderland" (MGM, 1970). The photo appears on page 39 in the Arcadia Publishing book "Location Filming in Los Angeles" by Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved. The page with this photo is included in the preview on Google Books. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for twenty shots from the film including views of the Los Angeles Theatre, the Vogue Theatre and the New-View/Ritz Theatre.

We get a brief look at the Egyptian's boxoffice as Richard Gere cruises down Hollywood Blvd. in "American Gigolo" (Paramount, 1980). Earlier in the film we get a view from above of Westwood and the Fox Westwood Village Theatre. There's also some action at the Bruin and the Music Box. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for those shots.

We get a nice view west toward the Pussycat and Egyptian theatres near the beginning of "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie" (Universal, 1980). The film was directed by Tommy Chong. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the theatres. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for shots of the Ivar and El Capitan theatres in the film.  

We get a quick look at the boxoffice in Garry Marshall's "Pretty Woman" (Touchstone, 1990). "Field of Dreams" was running in the big house. The film stars Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Hector Elizondo and Ralph Bellamy. The cinematography was by Charles Minsky. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for shots of the Chinese, Vogue and Pantages theatres from the film.

In Barry Levinson's "Jimmy Hollywood" (Paramount, 1994) we end up at the abandoned Egyptian Theatre with Joe Pesci and Christian Slater. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for more views in the Egyptian as well as a couple shots featuring the El Capitan and the Galaxy 6.

We visit the Egyptian in the Steven Peros film "Footprints" (Our Gal Pictures, 2009) where our amnesiac heroine, Sybil Temtchine, meets up with a former star played by Pippa Scott ("The Searchers," "Auntie Mame"). The story begins in the forecourt of the Chinese. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for more shots from the film.

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan buy a ticket for a show at the Egyptian in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's "Ruby Sparks" (Fox Searchlight, 2012). Personal problems intervene and we don't get to come back for the film. We also visit the Billy Wilder Theatre. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for a couple shots there.

We get some lovely c.1959 background footage as we drive down Hollywood Blvd. near the beginning of Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply" (20th Century Fox, 2016) featuring Alden Ehrenreich, Lily Collins and Annette Bening. Here the Egyptian has the neon up for "Ben-Hur" with the Vogue Theatre over on the left. See the Historic L.A. Theatres In Movies post for another Egyptian view as well as a look at the Chinese.

Shooting in front of the Egyptian for Quentin Tarantino's epic "Once Upon a Hollywood" (Sony, 2019). It's a shot from a featurette appearing on the DVD for the film. Leo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star as an actor and his stuntman trying to find work in the changing Hollywood of 1969. See the Historic L.A.Theatres in Movies pages for several hundred shots related to the shoot on the block in front of the Vogue and the Pussycat as well as views of the Pantages, Vine, Grauman's Chinese, Cinerama Dome, Bruin and Fox Westwood Village theatres.

We get a quick shot of the Egyptian in Fred Durst's "The Fanatic" (Quiver Distribution, 2019). John Travolta plays a fan with behavioral issues who gets carried away when his favorite star won't give him an autograph. Also starring are Ana Golja as a friend who tries to help and Devon Sawa as the star who gets into big trouble by not being a good celebrity. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for several shots of the Chinese, the El Capitan and the Dolby.

More information:  See Charles Beardsley's "Hollywood's Master Showman - The Legendary Sid Grauman" (Cornwall Books, 1983) for a nice rundown of the productions at the Egyptian during Grauman's tenure. Our dates on the early shows are from his research.

See the page on Cinema Treasures for a nice history of the Egyptian by Howard B. Haas and Ken Roe plus miles and miles of additional comments. And now lots of photos as well. Go to the Cinema Tour page for more photos of the theatre. 

Information on 70mm roadshow runs at the Egyptian is on Michael Coate's terrific site EC & M has a 1998 article about the electrical portion of the Egyptian renovation. There are oodles of Egyptian photos on Flickr to browse.

Sandi Hemmerlein ran a nice photo story on the occasion of the Egyptian's 90th anniversary on her blog Avoiding Regrets. Don't miss Mike Hume's fine page on the theatre appearing on his Historic Theatre Photography site. The Egyptian is one of a number of revival venues discussed in Mark Olsen's 2017 L.A. Times article "A film festival every night: The new ecology of the old-movie scene in L.A." Seeing Stars has a page on the Egyptian.

See Vanity Fair's 2008 article by Bruce Handy on Egyptomania as decor in movie theatres: "Watch Like an Egyptian."  Also view the 2008 photographs of various Egyptian Theatres by Tim Street-Porter on the Vanity Fair site. Of course Wikipedia has an article on the Egyptian.
A 42" wide light fixture allegedly from the Egyptian was offered for sale on eBay in 2021 by Eric's Architectural Salvage, 1540 W. 6th St. in Los Angeles. Thanks to David Wentink for spotting the post. 

Pages about the Egyptian: back to top - Egyptian overview | Hollywood Blvd. views 1922-1954 | Hollywood Blvd. views 1955-present | forecourt | earlier lobby views | lobby views 2021+ | earlier auditorium views | auditorium views 2021+ | booth | backstage | Egyptian 2 & 3 / Arena Stage | along Las Palmas Ave. | along McCadden Place | 2021 Netflix renderings |

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1 comment:

  1. This is an absolutely outstanding history. I learned so much. thank you for putting in the effort.