Happy 90th, Egyptian Theatre

The Hollywood landmark has a banner year ahead.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Monday, Mar 5, 2012  |  Updated 10:20 AM PDT
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Happy 90th, Egyptian Theatre

Bison Archives

The Egyptian Theatre turns 90 in 2012; a new film and a masked ball are part of the party plans.

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We may be in the era of the 22-plex. We may be able to go to the movies and select from forty different sodas and two dozen candies and enjoy a sound system that nearly supernatural in its clarity and beauty.

But there was a day when movie-watching was a much more humble, makeshift affair; we're talking the teens here, nearly a century ago. People ate apples rather than popcorn and candy, if they snacked at all. And they often watched flickering images on a wooden wall. And it was just as magical as our film-going experience today.

Changing the apple-wooden wall scenario though? The Egyptian Theatre. When movie palace impresario Sid Grauman the Hollywood venue back in 1922 it was, quite simply, was el primo fantastique. The grand, hieroglyph-laden structure was chic and fine and technologically superior.

It still is, of course (thanks to both careful renovations and selective modern updates). And it marks its 90th birthday this year in grand style.

First up? The kick-off event on Saturday, March 10. You'll take a tour of the theater, see a slide presentation on its history, and watch "Forever Hollywood." There will also be a vintage clothing sale going down, too. American Cinematheque, Art Deco Society of LA, Hollywood Heritage, and the Theatre Foundation all will present.

Tickets are five dollars.

The big fancy birthday ball will be in October; there will likely be more info on that during the day. "Robin Hood," which screened on the theater's opening night, will flicker again, 90 years later. Sighs.

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