Egyptian Theatre

135 N. 2nd Street,
DeKalb, IL 60115

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Showing 25 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on August 29, 2016 at 9:17 am

December 7th, 1929 grand opening ad in the photo section.

Scott
Scott on December 18, 2014 at 9:38 am

Bobby, unfortunately I won’t be in town this weekend. I’m about 5 hours away so it’s a problem attending events there.

BobbyS
BobbyS on December 17, 2014 at 9:51 am

I am looking forward visiting & seeing the Christmas show this saturday night at 7:30pm. 12/20/14. Are you going Scott?

vintagevenicetours
vintagevenicetours on March 21, 2013 at 10:03 am

The Egyptian is alive and kicking. Check out this new article. http://blog.preservationnation.org/2013/03/18/dekalbs-historic-egyptian-theatre-a-pharaoh-inspired-space-gets-a-lively-afterlife/#.UUs7GRyKKuK

Scott
Scott on January 15, 2012 at 7:58 pm

darrelmw, I was there in 1985-1986. I mainly worked concessions, but was also in the ticket booth at times. I have many fond memories of volunteering there. I was in Dekalb this past summer and couldn’t resist checking to see if I could get into the theatre. Well, I did get in and met the manager, who talked about what they’ve been doing to the theatre lately. I’m happy to report that the theatre looks great.

Darrel Wood
Darrel Wood on January 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Hey Paradise….when were you a volunteer there? I was a volunteer in 79/80. Ran the box office for part of the time.

Scott
Scott on January 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm

The article about the Wurlitzer is from March 17, 2009, so perhaps the organ has already been installed. I used to do volunteer work at the Egyptian but have lost touch with the happenings there.

Regarding the notion that the Egyptian is haunted, I’ve been in all areas of the theatre on many occasions and never encountered anything ghost-like. But if such nonsense will sell tickets, so be it.

Bruce C.
Bruce C. on November 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

The Egyptian Theatre is used as a Haunted House each October. My picture (posted above by Chuck) shows the theatre with the haunted house decorations still on the front of the building. I also have one interior picture that I took earlier in October. Here’s the link:

View link

Broan
Broan on January 23, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Never realized that was a scarab in the window. Cool.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 11, 2007 at 5:27 pm

Given that there are so many Egyptian theaters from the 1920s (Hollywood and Long Beach CA come to mind), I’m wondering if the whole King Tut mania of the teens had anything to do with this. Why would an architect say out of the blue “I think I will make my theater look like something out of ancient Egypt”.

Broan
Broan on January 15, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Do you have a list of the theaters he designed? I have a feeling the list here is incomplete. Do you know what work he did during his time with Rapp and Rapp (1917-1923)? Also, do you have anything on the Echo in Des Plaines?

heidifagan
heidifagan on January 15, 2007 at 3:06 pm

It’s a marvelous theater; hidden on a little sidestreet. I was a student at NIU and saw live productions as well as movies there; the murals are worth the trip alone (and the lobby is breathtaking.)

Elmerskin
Elmerskin on January 15, 2007 at 2:05 pm

It’s so good to see people interested in some of the buildings my Great Grandfather designed.If anyone has obscure questions they think I may be able to drum up answers to feel free to ask. Thank you for preserving my families history.

HDTVdesignteam
HDTVdesignteam on July 21, 2006 at 2:01 pm

Is Gene Liberty still involved with the theater? I remember him hosting Jazz sessions there in the early ‘80’s.
George Thompson
Former NIU Television Services Chief Engineer

SpikeSpiegel6262044
SpikeSpiegel6262044 on June 9, 2006 at 3:59 pm

It’s so pretty! I wish CT would have something like this.

JakeM
JakeM on December 7, 2005 at 1:04 pm

Here is the official website, http://www.egyptiantheatre.org
According to the website, this theatre opened with 1600 seats and now has 1449 with 905 on the floor and 544 in the balcony. There are some nice pictures on the site and a good history.

Broan
Broan on December 7, 2005 at 12:25 pm

A January 13, 1985 Chicago Tribune letter to the editor from a gentleman who worked with Behrns, responding to some photos that had recently appeared, notes that the main designer of the Egyptian’s interior decor was a man named John Halama who did extensive research on Egypt for the design.

atmos
atmos on August 24, 2005 at 4:29 am

According to David Naylor this is also an atmospheric.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 21, 2004 at 2:48 pm

The Egyptian Theatre opened on 10th December 1929 with a given seating capacity of 1,200.

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 8, 2004 at 10:21 am

For those who love the Egyptian style, there are a number of theatres that have had that theme, and an entire special issue of “Marquee” magazine was devoted to them in their issue of: Vol. 29, #3; Third Qtr. 1997, and the issue features wonderful color covers of the EGYPTIANS in Milwaukee (in the form of a wonderful color painting by artist Mark Hylton of Columbus, OH) and Ogden Ut. The table of such themed theatres includes 45 examples of those now, or at one time, with us. An introduction and Prologue carry one to those ancient days, and individual articles on the Ogden and Hollywood help detail the existing examples. Many other photos are included.
PHOTOS AVAILABLE:
To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
www.HistoricTheatres.org
and notice on their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

PLYMOUTH
PLYMOUTH on December 22, 2003 at 3:40 pm

The architect Elmer Behrens also created the Pekin Theater (Pekin, IL) and the Arcada (St. Charles, IL). The Egyptian in Dekalb is a must see for any classic theater buff!!

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on June 21, 2002 at 8:28 pm

In the early 1980s, restoration crews discovered a homeless cat that had sought shelter within the theatre. They cared for the cat, and immortalized it by incorporating its image into the mural on the left wall.

EllenBarker
EllenBarker on September 6, 2001 at 7:32 pm

The Egyptian Theatre was rescued from the wrecking ball by the Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre Inc. which secured the funding for the last restoration. The 4th marque is the closest to the original.The original carbon arc projectors are still in use.The theatre is still managed by this group which began as an all volunteer group and still is other than two salaried persons – the manager. who started as a volunteer and the projectionist. For more information you can contact the manager, Carrie Brantley at the theatre, 135 N. Second St., DeKalb, IL 60115 .