THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE AT THE EGYPTIAN
"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." -- Steve Tisch, Chairman, Capital Campaign
"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." Chairman, Capital Campaign, James G. Robinson
The efforts of the American Cinematheque are making something happen on Hollywood Boulevard that hasnt happened in over 75 years. The American Cinematheque will roll out the red carpet for Grand Opening festivities at the Egyptian Theatre, beginning December 4, 1998 with a vintage premiere of Cecil B. DeMilles 1923 silent classic, THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (accompanied by a live score) on the exact 75th anniversary of its original premiere at the Egyptian Theatre. The historic Egyptian Theatre, the first major movie palace, built in Hollywood (in 1922, by Sid Grauman), will become the Cinematheques permanent home as well as one of the jewels of the revitalized Hollywood Boulevard and in the words of Capital Campaign Chairman Steve Tisch, " the Getty Museum of my industry."
On April 9th, the American Cinematheque launched a $12.9 million Capital Campaign to complete the renovation of the Egyptian. 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 83-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 theatres Grand Opening. Contributors to the "major gifts" campaign will have a portion of the theatre complex named for them or for their company and contributors to the "paving stone" campaign will be recognized on one of the many stones that make up the theaters entryway.
Project architects are Hodgetts + Fung and the contractor is Turner Construction. 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 83-seat theater, expanded lobby and Board Room. The Egyptian will offer year-round daily programming for both Los Angeles residents and visitors.