On October 18th the golden age of Hollywood movie palace, the Egyptian Theater turned 89 years old.
Located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. this amazing theater is one of the last of the palaces that were used for premieres during the early years of the movies.
The theater celebrated by showing the 1922 German film, directed by Ernst Lubitsch entitled The Loves of Pharoah. Below is some information about the film.
Featuring thousands of extras and spectacularly grandiose production design on Berlin backlots, THE LOVES OF PHARAOH rivals METROPOLIS as the most ambitious German production of the silent era, and was director Ernst Lubitsch’s (THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, TROUBLE IN PARADISE) last lavish German film before he left to work in Hollywood. Emil Jannings, international star and winner of the first “Best Actor” Oscar, plays Egyptian pharaoh Amenes, who must marry the daughter of the Ethiopian king (Paul Wegener, best known as director-star of THE GOLEM) to prevent war. Things get complicated when the pharaoh’s adviser Ramphis (Harry Liedtke) sets his eye on the object of Amenes’ affection, Theonis (silent era icon Dagny Servaes). For decades available only in fragments all over the European continent, this landmark film has been beautifully digitally restored and will be accompanied by the original symphonic orchestral score of acclaimed opera composer Eduard Kunneke. This was Lubitsch’s last big German production before he came to Hollywood.
The history of The Egyptian according to Wiki
The Egyptian Theatre was built by showman Sid Grauman and real estate developer Charles E. Toberman, who subsequently built the nearby El Capitan Theatre and Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Grauman had previously opened one of the United States’ first movie palaces, the Million Dollar Theater, on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles in 1918. The Egyptian Theatre cost $800,000 to build and took eighteen months to construct. Architects Meyer & Holler designed the building and it was built by The Milwaukee Building Company.
The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. As the film reportedly cost over $1 million to produce, the admission price to the premiere was $5.00. One could reserve a seat up to two weeks in advance for the daily performances. Evening admission was 75¢, $1.00 or $1.50. The film was not shown in any other Los Angeles theater during that year.
In 1927, Grauman opened a second movie theater further west on Hollywood Boulevard. In keeping with the public fascination in that era with international themes, he named his new theater the Chinese Theatre. Its popularity eventually rivaled and surpassed the Egyptian because of its numerous celebrity handprints, footprints and signatures in the cement of its forecourt.
http://www.americancinematheque.com/ works closely with the theater to show the rarest movies. They also offer events which include celebrities and directors of classic films.
To the left are some vintage and new photos of the Egyptian.
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