Restoration

 

Dekalb's Egyptian Theatre in 1938 and restored. Credit: Egyptian Theatre
(l.) Dekalb's Egyptian Theatre in 1938; (r.) its restored facade today.

For decades, when the people of DeKalb, Ill., have spent an evening out at the movies, or attended a concert or other event, they’ve done so under the watchful eye of Ramses II.

The Egyptian pharaoh, who reigned from 1279 to 1213 BC, served as inspiration to architect Elmer F. Behrns when he designed the northern Illinois community’s downtown landmark, the historic Egyptian Theatre, in 1929. Behrns channeled the ancient ruler as he envisioned a temple-like entrance flanked by two pharaoh sculptures, an elaborate sacred scarab beetle-centered stained glass window, and a colorful tiled lobby floor.

At the time, Egyptian architecture was a nationwide craze set off by the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in 1922. Today, DeKalb’s Egyptian is one of few left standing. But standing it is, and even 84 years after it was built, the regal structure is still drawing loyal crowds.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Peery's Egyptian Theater: A Utah Theater Goes From Shutdown to Sundance

Posted on: March 11th, 2013 by David Robert Weible 6 Comments

 

Third in our series on Egyptian movie theaters around the country.

Opening of the movie "Duel In the Sun," 1946, at Peery's Egyptian Theater. Credit: Van Summerill Collection
Opening of the movie "Duel In the Sun," 1946, at Peery's Egyptian Theater.

From small towns on the plains, to inner-city neighborhoods on the coasts, theaters used to be at the center of nearly every American community, right along with the local hardware store and maybe a deli or family-owned grocery. But as indoor shopping malls and multiplexes grew in popularity from the 1970s on, traditional central business districts lost their luster and their patrons.

The script is the same nearly everywhere, and for a while, it looked like Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah was going to play its part.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

 

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 the same as when it was built in 1927. Credit: Sheri Freemuth
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 →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

Movie History Gets Top Billing at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles

Posted on: February 25th, 2013 by Lauren Walser

 

View of large crowd outside the Egyptian Theatre for a visit with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in 1922. A sign above the entrance reads," Doug and Mary Premiere tonight." Credit: Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection, Wikimedia Commons
View of large crowd outside the Egyptian Theatre for a visit with silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford in 1922.

All eyes were on Hollywood Sunday night, as the biggest names in the film industry gathered at the Dolby Theatre for the 85th Academy Awards.

Among the stars lining Hollywood Boulevard, there was another celebrated icon a block away from the ceremony: the Egyptian Theater, a Tinseltown landmark since 1922.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

 

Professor Longhair’s house on Terpsichore St. in New Orleans. Credit: robbiesaurus, Flickr
Professor Longhair’s house on Terpsichore St. in New Orleans.

New Orleans bassist Reggie Scanlan describes the 1970s comeback of R&B piano legend Professor Longhair as “a convergence of a lot of happenstance things.” Professor Longhair had recorded a number of hits in the ‘40s and early ‘50s; his significant musical talent, however, couldn’t always pay the rent. But “Fess,” as he was affectionately known, was given a slot on the roster of the newly-minted New Orleans Jazz Festival in 1971, and was poised to do some of his best work to date.

“With the reemergence of Fess, we were all scrambling to find records,” says Scanlan, who was in his late teens at the time. “We had never heard anything like this.”

Longhair, whose given name was Henry Roeland Byrd, passed away in 1980, after releasing a new album and making plans to tour with The Clash. Restoration is currently underway on his dilapidated duplex on Terpsichore (TERP-sih-kor) Street in New Orleans, and the house’s comeback, once complete, may be just as impressive as when Fess took the stage in ’71.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an editorial assistant at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.