FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Date: April 9, 1998

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel.: 213/466-FILM ext. 115

e-mail: amcin@msn.com

 

AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE TO ANNOUNCE LAUNCH OF $12.9 MILLION CAPITOL CAMPAIGN TO COMPLETE THE RENOVATION OF THIS HISTORICAL HOLLYWOOD LANDMARK AS THEIR PERMANENT HOME

 

Steve Tisch and James G. Robinson to spearhead Capital Campaign which kicks off with the announcement of a donation by philanthropist Lloyd E. Rigler

who will have the 650-seat theatre named for him

April 9, 1998

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque will hold an April 9th press conference at 11:00 am at the site of the historic Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard) to announce the launch of a $12.9 million Capital Campaign to complete the renovation of this historical Hollywood landmark, which, when complete, will become the Cinematheque’s permanent home. Chairmen of the capitol campaign Steve Tisch (Academy Award winning producer of FORREST GUMP and executive producer of the upcoming AMERICAN HISTORY X) and James G. Robinson (Chairman and CEO of the five Morgan Creek companies) will announce the details of the fundraising campaign, followed by an exclusive opportunity for press to tour the Egyptian Theatre for the first time. Also participating in the press conference are American Cinematheque executives: Co-Chairmen Mike Medavoy (Chairman of Phoenix Pictures) and Peter Dekom (noted entertainment attorney/investment banker); President Sigurjon "Joni" Sighvatsson (President of Lakeshore Entertainment); and Director Barbara Smith. Councilmember Jackie Goldberg and Christine Essel, Chairperson of the Community Redevelopment Agency will also speak.

The Capital Campaign kicks off with a gift from long-time Los Angeles Arts Philanthropist Lloyd E. Rigler, for whom the 650-seat theatre will be named. The 75-seat theater will be named for Steven Spielberg based on a 1989 donation made in his name by Warner Bros. The William Morris Agency will also be placing its name on a significant part of the complex to celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the Renaissance of Hollywood and the theatre’s Grand Opening.

Establishing a significant new relationship for the Cinematheque, Chase Manhattan Bank will provide interim financing for the project. Principals at Chase in attendance are John Miller and Wendy Doyle.

Additional contributions have come in from the following individuals and organizations: The Community Redevelopment Agency; HUD; MCA Foundation; Miramax (given in John Travolta’s name at the Cinematheque’s 1998 Moving Picture Ball Honoring Travolta); National Endowment for the Arts; Elisabeth Pollon; James G. Robinson; and Time Warner.

Commenting on the cultural importance of a Cinematheque in Los Angeles, Steve Tisch, Chairman, Capital Campaign said, "A facility such as the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian is long overdue – a home where filmmakers can share their work with each other and the wonderfully adventuresome audiences who will be attracted to this special venue. It will be a forum where filmmakers and filmgoers alike can experience the sometimes forgotten history and oft neglected international scope of this important art." Capital Campaign Chairman James G. Robinson commented, "The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian will celebrate the past in a grand movie palace while showcasing the future in a state-of-the-art theatre. The Board of the Cinematheque is pleased to be able to make this contribution to the cultural life of Los Angeles and recognize the importance of the film industry in our community."

Once open, the Egyptian will house the year-round programming of the American Cinematheque and will be available to select film festivals and film premieres. During the day, the venue will be open to tourists and residents to tour. A film directed by Todd McCarthy (VISIONS OF LIGHT) and produced by Sasha Alpert, about the history of Hollywood – the place and the movies -- will be screen several times daily at the Egyptian, with an audio track available in several different languages.

Many of the filmmakers who have been subjects of American Cinematheque tributes in the past and other long-time supporters will be in attendance. This list includes: Alfonso Arau (dir. LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE); Paul Bartel (dir. EATING RAOUL); Charles Champlin; Joe Dante (GREMLINS); Jon Davison (prod. STARSHIP TROOPERS); Andre deToth (dir. HOUSE OF WAX); Curtis Hanson (dir. L.A. CONFIDENTIAL); Curtis Harrington (dir. WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HELEN); Monte Hellman (dir. TWO LANE BLACKTOP); Tim Hunter (RIVER’S EDGE);Vincent Sherman (dir. THE HARD WAY); Jerzy Skolimowski (dir. MOONLIGHTING with Jeremy Irons); and Robert Wise (dir. THE SOUND OF MUSIC).

The Egyptian project is scheduled for completion in Fall 1998. Among the opening festivities will be a vintage Hollywood movie premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s silent film THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1923, Paramount) on December 4, 1998, the exact 75th anniversary of the film’s original world premiere at the Egyptian. This presentation of the film will be accompanied by a live score conducted by acclaimed conductor and musicologist Gillian Anderson.

In the mid-90’s, the most natural setting for the American Cinematheque’s permanent location became available. The Egyptian Theatre, built by the legendary Sid Grauman and designed by architects Meyer and Holler, opened in 1922 as the first major movie theatre in Hollywood. Renovated in the late ‘50s, the theatre continued as a first run venue into the ‘90s. While respecting the historic fabric of the renowned national landmark, the design concept of the Cinematheque renovation of the Egyptian complex includes a caf, book and magazine kiosks and patio in the courtyard area off Hollywood Boulevard which is intended to welcome pedestrians and encourage audiences to stay after screenings to talk and mingle. The original entrance portico will be restored with the ticket booths and four massive columns. The design for the main 650-seat auditorium encompasses a state-of-the-art theatre within a historic shell. The original ornate sunburst-ceiling pattern will be restored and a 1922 Wurlitzer theatre organ will be installed for silent film presentations. The project also includes a 75-seat theater, expanded lobby and Board Room. The Egyptian will offer year-round daily programming for both Los Angeles residents and visitors. Hodgetts + Fung are the project architects and Turner Construction is the contractor.

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which ranges from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of rare works, special prints within our series, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences.

Photos of the theatre, the architectural model and Cinematheque executives available upon request. Also, press kits, biographies on the individuals listed above and B-Roll (Beta).

For further information about the American Cinematheque and the Egyptian Project please call Margot Gerber at 213.466.3456, ext. 115.

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