Egyptian Theatre Restoration

Los Angeles, CA

The Egyptian Theatre, located in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, was the brainchild of the legendary showman Sid Grauman and builder Charles E. Toberman. Between 1918 and 1926 Grauman would open three movie palaces, which would become some of the the first great movie palaces of America: the Million Dollar Theatre, the Egyptian, and the Chinese Theatre. The Egyptian was Grauman’s second theatre in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1922. The architectural firm Meyer & Holler designed the building with their associate Raymond M. Kennedy in charge of decorative details. Originally, the theatre was to be built in a Spanish Revival style, however plans were altered to reflect the Egyptian craze sweeping the nation as the result of recent archaeological finds.

The theatre finally closed its doors in 1992 and quickly fell into disrepair. In an attempt to renew interest, it was added to the Los Angeles list of declared Historic and Cultural Monument (HCM) in 1993. In 1994 the structure was badly damaged by the Northridge Earthquake. The city sold the theatre in 1996 as a part of the Hollywood Revitalization project to the nonprofit organization American Cinematheque; an LA based group dedicated to the public presentation of the moving image in all its forms. The city stipulated that the organization raise the funds to restore the theatre and use it for their public film programming. The theatre re-opened its doors to the public after extensive renovations in 1998. In 2020 the American Cinematheque partnered with Netflix to restore the structure, under the agreement that Netflix would run programming Monday through Thursday and the American Cinematheque would run programming Friday through Saturday.

Beginning in late 2021, EverGreene was contracted to perform two tasks. The first was to conduct a finishes investigation and microscopic analysis of the existing interior finishes in the Egyptian Theatre. The purpose of this investigation was to support renovation efforts by documenting the interior and exterior historic color palettes and decorative motifs. The second task was the actual conservation and restoration efforts of certain historic features. Treatments included conserving, repairing, and/or recreating flat and decorative plaster elements; prepping surfaces for refinishing; painting flat surfaces and reinstating decorative stencils and patterns; restoration and/or refinishing of some doors and windows; restoring and/or replacing some exterior tiles; and restoring and/or replicating certain metal elements.