Second in our series on Egyptian movie theaters around the country.
The exterior of Boise’s Egyptian Theatre, which has been restored and maintained to look similar to when it was built in 1927.
After Earl Hardy signed the contract to purchase the Egyptian Theatre in Boise, Idaho in 1977, his daughter Kay reports that the first thing he did was return to the office the two shared and say, “I must be crazy.”
The movie theater, built in 1927 in the Egyptian Revival architectural style popularized by the 1922 discovery of King Tut’s tomb, had long been a mainstay of downtown Boise. In 1974 the theater, which was owned by the Oppenheimer-Falk Realty Company at the time, was sold to the Boise Redevelopment Agency. The agency, backed by money from federally-funded urban renewal programs, was pushing to develop an eight-block space in the heart of downtown into an inward-facing shopping mall.
“Four blocks of downtown Boise had been completely leveled,” recalls Kay Hardy, who was working with her father at the time. “We had an urban renewal agency, and a mayor who wanted this downtown mall built. The cost was leveling the town I grew up in.”... Read More →
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Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.