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Egyptian Theatre: Hollywood Blvd. views 1922 to 1954

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

The Egyptian Theatre pages: an overview | Hollywood Blvd. views 1922-1954 | Hollywood Blvd. 1955-present | forecourt | lobby - earlier views | lobby - recent views | auditorium - earlier views | auditorium - recent views | booth | backstage | Egyptian 2 & 3 | along Las Palmas Ave. | along McCadden Place |

1922 - "Robin Hood" is advertised in the display cases on either side of the entrance. It ran from the theatre's opening on October 18, 1922 until "Covered Wagon" opened on April 10, 1923. Many thanks to theatre historian Kurt Wahlner for spotting this postcard when it was offered for sale on eBay. Visit his meticulously researched site on the other Grauman house down the street: GraumansChinese.org
 
 

c.1922 - A look into the forecourt from the wonderful Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, now owned by the McAvoy family. Mr. Torrence is the author of "Hollywood, The First 100 Years," available on Amazon, and the 2012 book "The Hollywood Canteen." He's the grandson of legendary Hollywood developer C.E. Toberman, who built the El Capitan, Egyptian, and Chinese theatres, along with many other landmark buildings.



1923 - Looking east along Hollywood Blvd. from the Egyptian. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.


c.1923 - A delightful early postcard view of the Egyptian. Thanks to Brian Michael McCray for sharing this from his collection. Michael Kurcfeld posted a nice version on the Lost Angeles Facebook group. The card features in John Bengtson's article "Keaton's Short Fuse," analyzing locations in Hollywood for Buster Keaton's "Cops" (1922). Versions of it also appear in the California State Library collection and on the site WorthPoint.

Note the style of the building on the corner -- it hasn't yet had its Morgan, Walls & Clements 1927 makeover. Mary Mallory in her Daily Mirror article on a later tenant, Pig 'N Whistle, notes: "Architect H. J. Knauer designed the original building at 6714 Hollywood Blvd. for merchant G. D. Robertson in 1919, with the building later operating as Dunn’s Men’s Shop." 
 

1924 - A snapshot catching a lady jaywalking to meet a friend to see the displays for "The Thief of Bagdad," a film that opened July 10. This was taken early in the run -- note that the "Egyptian" lettering hadn't yet been installed above the entrance. In the foreground they were beginning work replacing the Pacific Electric Red Car tracks. Thanks to theatre historian Kurt Wahlner for locating this when it was offered for sale online. Visit GraumansChinese.org, the site he curates about the Chinese. 



1924 - A later "The Thief of Bagdad" shot taken after the "Egyptian" letters were up. It's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. At this time it was Dunn's Men's Shop in the storefront to the right. The Library also has another take from the same day.
 

1924 - A closer look at the Elephant and other items used for promoting "Thief of Bagdad." Also see several views of this display appearing on the forecourt page. It's a photo taken by J.C. Milligan. Thanks to Marc Wanamaker for sharing this from his Bison Archives collection. It's one that was used by April Clemmer for a presentation about the theatre's history. Visit her April's Old Hollywood site for information on the events and walking tours she hosts.

 
1925 - A photo of Paulais Cafe and the Egyptian from the California Historical Society in the USC Digital Library collection. Beyond the theatre is the Christie Hotel, now owned by the Scientology folks. USC also has a c.1905 photo of this SW corner of Hollywood and Las Palmas. Silent film detective John Bengtson comments that the forecourt display seen in the photo is for John Ford's film "The Iron Horse" that opened February 21. 
 

1925 - A detail from the California Historical Society photo. The locomotive we see part of on the left was a real one. The piece on the right was a replica of a locomotive front that had been used in "The Iron Horse." For better views of the [real] locomotive see two shots on the forecourt page. That building on the right was remodeled into a Pig 'n Whistle in 1927. 
 
 

1925 - A closer look at the vertical sign. In tiny letters at the bottom: "Egyptian." It's another detail from the California Historical Society photo.



1926 - The ship on display is a model of the one used in the Douglas Fairbanks film "The Black Pirate." It's a shot that appears in "Temple of Film: 100 Years of the Egyptian Theatre," an eleven minute short Angus Wall made for Netflix. Also see another take with some different spectators from the McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, now owned by the McAvoy family. The USC Digital Library has cropped version of this.
 
 

1926 - The October 27 premiere for the sound version of Warner Brothers' "Don Juan." The Egyptian was the first L.A. theatre to be wired for the process. This was the second premiere for the film. It had one on August 20 when the silent version opened. The image appears in the "Temple of Film" Netflix short. Thanks to Pat Saperstein for including it in her November 2023 Variety portfolio "Photos: Hollywood's Stunning Egyptian Theatre Renovation." Also see a forecourt view of this second "Don Juan" premiere from Hollywood Heritage. 
 
 

 
1927 - "Man, Woman and Sin" opened December 31 along with the Laurel and Hardy two-reel short "The Battle of the Century." This is the earliest look we have at the new marquee and boxoffice installed by West Coast Theatres after they assumed operation of the theatre. It's a photo from the American Cinematheque's collection that appeared on the Egyptian Facebook page and on Instagram. Thanks to Donavan S. Moye for spotting the post.  
 

1927 - A wider version of the "Man, Woman and Sin" shot. Thanks to David Wentink for spotting this one on eBay, part of a listing by Eric's Architectural Salvage for a light fixture supposedly from the theatre. 

Note the new Pig 'n Whistle restaurant on the right. It was a new facade as part of a 1927 remodel of that building by Morgan, Walls & Clements. It had been a menswear shop. See a 1924 LAPL view for a comparison. In Mary Mallory's 2015 article "Hollywood's Pig 'n Whistle Draws Film Fans" on The Daily Mirror blog she notes: "Declining business led to the Pig’n Whistle’s closure at 6714 Hollywood Blvd. in 1953, with many of the fixtures and furnishings acquired for the new Italian restaurant, Miceli’s. Over the next several decades, the building functioned as everything from Masters Mart to Cheap Feet shoe store to Numero Uno pizza. In 2001 after $1 million refurbishment, the business reopened, operating as the nightclub Nubar at night with beds as booths in the back."

The new incarnation of Pig 'n Whistle didn't survive the Covid shutdowns and the space was taken over by the down-market Mexican chain Mr. Tempo. They proceeded, without permits, to cover up several landmarked elements on the facade and painted the 20s vintage ceiling white. After outcries by preservationists and many delays, they opened in mid-2022. See "Why Gutting the Pig 'n Whistle Was a Betrayal for Hollywood History Buffs," a 2021 article for LAist by Hadley Meares. 
 
 

1928 - A view east along Hollywood Blvd. by George D. Haight that's in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. The Egyptian auditorium roof is at the right beyond the Hotel Christie.
 
 

1928 - A fine look at the theatre's new signage from the collection of Eric Lynxwiler on Flickr. It's also in the LAHTF Flickr set. The theatre is running "The Last Command," a January release with Emil Jannings. Thanks, Eric! Check out his Los Angeles Theatres set for a real treat.

 
 
1928 - Note the heads on top of the marquee and entrance pylon the last week in August promoting a second-run engagement of "Wheel of Chance," a film with Richard Barthelmess that had opened at Loew's State on July 20. Benny Rubin was the bandleader. This appears 3:28 into a 5+ minute long Hollywood travelogue on YouTube from Periscope Films as "1920s Hollywood California..." Netflix used a snippet for "Temple of Film: 100 Years of the Egyptian Theatre," their eleven minute short by Angus Wall. This was also among the images distributed by Netflix that Pat Saperstein included in her November 2023 Variety portfolio "Photos: Hollywood's Stunning Egyptian Theatre Renovation." 

 
1928 - The theatre running "Four Walls," a film with John Gilbert and Joan Crawford that had opened first-run at Loew's State on August 31. It's another shot from the 5+ minutes of footage shared by Periscope Films on YouTube. In that footage are views of the Chinese, El Capitan, Warner and other Hollywood sights. We also get a nice walk around the Egyptian's "foyer." See the forecourt page for those views.


 
1928 - The Egyptian with a second-run engagement of "The Fleet's In," a September release with Clara Bow, James Hall and Jack Oakie. Plus you got Benny Rubin's band and "20 Up In The Air Girls" and an Our Gang short. Note the vertical sign. Originally it was incandescent but by this time it had been redone with neon. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection, formerly indexed as #00014538. It seems to have been misplaced during a website makeover. A nice postcard version of the photo is in the California State Library collection.
 
 

1928 - A Christmas season view from the USC Digital Library looking east on Hollywood Blvd. Note the trees -- real ones that year.
 

1928 - A Christmas season view east from the Dick Whittington Studio with the Egyptian over on the right beyond the Christie Hotel and the Citizens Bank. Note the Santa climbing into the fake chimney on the roof of the Robertson Co. building in the lower left and Christmas lights on their facade. The image is from the USC Digital Library collection.

And it's everywhere: on the Getty Images site with a fictitious date, on the Historic Hollywood Photographs site where they say it's searchlights at the Hollywood Bowl in 1943, on the Martin Turnbull site, on a Water and Power Associates Museum page of Early Hollywood views, on the private Facebook group Photos of Los Angeles in a 2017 post and again in a 2023 post
 
 

 
c.1928 - We get the Grauman's vertical at the left in this lovely view west on Hollywood Blvd. from the Corbis Archives, a firm now rolled into Getty Images. Ken McIntyre shared it for the Photos of Los Angeles private Facebook group. 
 

c.1928 - Looking west from Las Palmas. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection, formerly indexed as #00007814. It got lost on a website makeover. The tower at the center of the photo is on the Barker Bros./El Capitan Theatre building. On the right, flying a pennant, it's the Hollywood National Bank Building, a design by Meyer & Holler that opened in the summer of 1928. See "First National Building Banks on Hollywood's Future," a Daily Mirror article by Mary Mallory. 
 
 

c.1929 - The "Theatre Building & Buyers Guide" section of the Motion Picture News issue of December 28, 1929 has this photo with the article "Harold B. Franklin Analyzes Theatre Personality." That lettering they were doing at the top of the marquee was for whatever bandleader they were headlining -- in this case Gene Morgan. It's on Internet Archive.



1931 - The Egyptian was running "Daybreak," a May release with Ramon Novarro. The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection.


1932 - A great shot taken during the run of "Back Street" giving us a look all the way under the awning to the entrance. The film had its initial engagement in August at the Carthay Circle. Note the new vertical on the left -- it says "Egyptian" rather than the old "Grauman's" vertical that was on the right.

It's a Frasher Foto Card from the collection of the Pomona Public Library appearing on Calisphere. There's also a zoom version. The card is on the Pomona Library website as well. The entire Frasher Foto Postcard Collection is also on their website. It contains hundreds of photos from all over southern California.

 
 
1933 - A January view across Highland toward the Hollywood Theatre with the Egyptian beyond. It's a detail from a California Historical Society photo appearing on the USC Digital Library website. The Hollywood had a new vertical and was playing the October 1932 release "Three on a Match" with Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and Bette Davis. The co-feature was something with Robert Montgomery. 



1930s - A banner out for a new film with Charlie Ruggles and Mary Boland. They made a dozen or so together including "If I had a Million" (1932), "Six of a Kind" (1934), "Ruggles of Red Gap" (1935) and "People Will Talk" (1935). Thanks to Doug Boethin for locating the photo.



1935 - The theatre was running that all-time great epic "Charlie Chan in Egypt." The photo is in the Los Angeles Public Library collection. We also get a nice view of the Pig 'N Whistle next door. The image also makes an appearance with "Why Gutting the Pig 'n Whistle Was a Betrayal for Hollywood History Buffs," a 2021 article for LAist by Hadley Meares.



1937 - The Egyptian running "True Confession" with Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray. Check out that nice signage above the boxoffice advertising the theatre as "The Place To Go," a slogan Fox West Coast used at other theatres such as Loew's State downtown. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



1937 - A great night view from November in the Los Angeles Public Library collection by Herman Schultheis. They're running "Life Begins in College" and "Counsel For Crime."



1939 - Looking east in December with the street all decorated in a view from Ken McIntyre on the Photos of Los Angeles private Facebook group. In addition to the Egyptian on the right we get a glimpse of the Vogue Theatre on the left. It had opened in 1935.



1942 - The Egyptian during the run of "Twin Beds" with Joan Bennett and George Brent. The co-feature was "In This Our Life" with Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. It's a Los Angeles Public Library photo.



1944 - Thanks to the terrific McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection for this view of the theatre running "Ladies Courageous" with Loretta Young along with "Her Primitive Man." Note that the theatre had retired the milk glass letters and gone "modern" with some die-cast aluminum ones. There are over 30 more Egyptian Theatre photos in the Torrence collection if you'd care to browse.



1944 - Another "Ladies Courageous" photo. Thanks to Martin Turnbull for sharing this one on his website. A less cropped version is in the McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, their #T-018-24.



1945 - A November 24 Christmas parade photo by Howard Ballew that's in the Herald Examiner collection at the Los Angeles Public Library



1946 - The marquee during the run of "The Postman Always Rings Twice" with Lana Turner and John Garfield. It's a photo from Marc Wanamaker's Bison Archives. Also see a cropped version that went out with an American Cinematheque press packet. 
 
 

 
1946 - The December 30 premiere of David O. Selznick's "Duel in the Sun" with Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotten. Thanks to Vicky Valentine for locating this shot, which also appears on the Martin Turnbull website. Also see a wider premiere shot from the Marc Wanamaker collection. And there's a third shot in the AMPAS B'hend and Kaufmann collection, again from Marc Wanamaker. A two week two-a-day reserved seat run began December 31 at the Egyptian. It also opened at the Vogue Theatre on December 31 with the same policy for an open-ended engagement.  
 
 

1947 - The January 16 premiere of "Till The Clouds Roll By." It appeared on the now-vanished UCLA page "Remapping Hollywould" [sic].
 

1948 - Getting ready for the January 19 premiere of "Cass Timberlane." It's one of many photos taken that day by Peter Stackpole for Life. Many thanks to Scott Collette for locating the images for a post of 20 of them on his Facebook page Forgotten Los Angeles. Scott also shared the images on Instagram
 

1948 - Fans in the west bleachers waiting for the stars. "Cass Timberlane" starred Lana Turner, Spencer Tracy, Zachary Scott and Mary Astor. It's another Robert Stackpole photo for Life that was located by Scott Collette. He calls our attention to the Pig 'n Whistle delivery truck with views of Pickwick Bookshop and the J.C. Penney store beyond.

1948 - "Cass Timberlane" was directed by George Sidney and based on a Sinclair Lewis novel. This is another view taken by Robert Stackpole. Scott Collette notes that Spencer Tracy did not attend but in other shots that evening Stackpole captured Mary Astor getting out of a car and later on the red carpet, Zachary Scott signing autographs and Lana Turner preparing to speak to radio listeners. Thanks, Scott!


 
1948 - A spiffy view of the Egyptian. They're putting up Esther Williams' name for the run of "On An Island With You." It's a rare color view of this marquee before the facade got changed. Thanks to Alison Martino for posting it twice on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page. Both posts seem to have vanished from that platform.
 
 

1948 - The November Christmas parade. The letters above the Egyptian's marquee are advertising "The Three Musketeers" with Lana Turner and Gene Kelly. It premiered October 19. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler for sharing this card from his collection on Flickr
 

1948 - An Arnold Hylen photo looking west with a sliver of the Egyptian on the left. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for posting it on the private Facebook group Photos of Los Angeles. In the comments to a repeat post in 2022 Ken noted that the poster in the case on the left is for "Command Decision" with Clark Gable, Walter Pidgeon, Van Johnson and Brian Donlevy. Edwin Schallert reviewed the film for the Times in their December 27 issue. Visit the Arnold Hylen Facebook page curated by his grand-niece Greta Gustafsson.

1949 - Reopening after the transfer of the house from Fox West Coast to United Artists Theatre Circuit due to consent decree stipulations. William Wellman's "Battleground" with Van Johnson, opening December 1, was the first film to play the house after the remodeling which included this curvy new facade. It's a particularly nice photo as we can see deep into the forecourt with its new canopy.

The photo appeared with a Boxoffice article in the March 4, 1950 issue: "Few Touches Necessary in Brightening The Famous Egyptian Theatre - Reconciling The Pharoahs To '50." The photo also appears in the McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection.
 
 

c.1950 - Weegee (Arthur Fellig) visits Hollywood and takes this shot toward the Vogue and the Egyptian. This version of the photo appears on an Early Views of Hollywood page of the Water and Power Associates Museum site where they credit it to a now-vanished Flickr account. The photo can be seen on the Getty Images site.



1950 - A shot taken during the run of "Malaya" with Spencer Tracy and James Stewart. Bruce Kimmel notes that the film opened February 17, playing day-and-date with Loew's State. The ads noted: "Life is short but sweet in 'Malaya'!" Thanks to Sean Ault for locating the photo.
 


1950 - A Life image looking east gives us a look at the green neon of the Egyptian's new facade on the right, down beyond the vertical of the Hollywood Theatre. On the left are the Vogue and the Warner. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tourmaline for spotting the photo in the Life collection -- it's on Noirish post #35733 along with other Hollywood views.

The Hollywood was playing "No Man of Her Own," a February release with Barbara Stanwyck, along with "No Sad Songs For Me," an April release with Margaret Sullavan and Wendell Corey. Bruce Kimmel notes that this double bill opened at the Hollywood on June 28. 
 
 
 
1950 - "The Happy Years" starred Dean Stockwell, Darryl Hickman and Scotty Beckett. Bruce Kimmel notes: "Opened on July 14 here and the Loew's State downtown." Many thanks to Kathy Kikkert for sharing the photo from her collection. It's one appearing in her 2023 book "Hollywood Signs: The Golden Age of Glittering Graphics and Glowing Neon." The shot appeared in an Angel City Press Facebook post about the book.
 
 

1951 - A Life magazine view looking west on Hollywood Blvd. with the Egyptian's green neon over on the left and the Hollywood Theatre vertical beyond. The Vogue neon is over on the right.

The Hotel Drake you see here was earlier the Hotel Christie. Later it was the Hollywood Inn. The building is now part of the Scientology's many holdings in Hollywood. Thanks to Noirish Los Angeles contributor Tourmaline for locating the shot in the Life collection for Noirish post #35733. Bill Gabel has shared another version as a post on the Photos of Los Angeles private Facebook group.
 

1951 - A detail from the Life photo. Thanks to Donavan S. Moye for this one. Note that neon clock just to the left of the Citizens Bank signage. It's on top of the News-View/Pussycat/Ritz at 6656 Hollywood Blvd. That's the Paramount/El Capitan marquee in the distance just beyond Highland Ave. 

1951 - "The Great Caruso" starring Mario Lanza. It's a June 15 photo from the Michael Ochs Archives taken by Earl Leaf that appears on the Getty Images site. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for locating this for a Photos of Los Angeles Facebook group post. Also see another straight-on "Caruso" shot Ken located that shows more of the Pig 'n Whistle. Bruce Kimmel comments: "This opened on May 30 and played exclusively until early in July."



1951 - A lovely evening view during the "Caruso" run. Thanks to Alison Martino for the post of this photo on her Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.
 

1951 - Looking east across McCadden Place during the run of "The Great Caruso." Thanks to Martin Pal for locating the photo for his Noirish Los Angeles post #56838. It's from the McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection.



1951 - This shot of the July 17 premiere of "Showboat" appeared on Photos of Los Angeles, a post on that private Facebook group by Ken McIntyre. The photo can also be seen on the website of the McAvoy/Bruce Torrence Historic Hollywood Photographs collection, where there are over 30 additional exterior views of the theatre to browse. 
 
 

1951 - A great look at the new boxoffice taken by Kurt Hutton. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding the shot to add as a comment on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook group. Also see another 1951 boxoffice view by Mr. Hutton but looking down the forecourt. 
 
 

1953 - The August 13 premiere of Vincente Minnelli's "The Band Wagon" starring Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan. The image is one appearing in a "making of" featurette that's included in the two-disc DVD set for the film. 



1953 - The December 22 premiere for "Knights of the Round Table" starring Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner. This is from footage appearing in "Temple of Film: 100 Years of the Egyptian Theatre," the eleven minute Netflix documentary by Angus Wall that was made to celebrate the theatre's 2023 reopening. This shot, as well as other premiere clips, can also be seen in "How Netflix saved iconic Grauman's Egyptian in Hollywood," a November 2023 segment from the Today Show. Thanks to Paul Rayton for spotting it on YouTube.

 

1954 - A shot of the theatre's signage from "Hollywood 1950s Neon" on YouTube by Luke Sacher's Soapbox Productions. It's a great 3 minute compilation of 50s Hollywood footage of theatres, clubs and restaurants from Producers Library.



1954 - Another shot from "Hollywood 1950s Neon." The footage gives a view of the neon animation up and down the Egyptian's tower. At the time of the filming the theatre was running "Deep in My Heart" with Jose Ferrer and Merle Oberon.

The Egyptian Theatre pages: an overview | back to top: Hollywood Blvd. views 1922-1954 | Hollywood Blvd. 1955-present | forecourt | lobby - earlier views | lobby - recent views | auditorium - earlier views | auditorium - recent views | booth | backstage | Egyptian 2 & 3 | along Las Palmas Ave. | along McCadden Place |

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3 comments:

  1. The Egyptian Theater seems to have returned to its roots. The !949 fascade is gone. When did that happen?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That facade was taken down during the American Cinematheque's renovations of 1997-1998.

      Delete
  2. My first clear memory is seeing Showboat, at the age of two, at the Egyptian with my mother. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete