Egyptian Theatre to Get $500,000 Restoration From HFPA

Tom Bonner

The grant was awarded to the American Cinematheque for the theater's restoration.

The Egyptian Theatre is getting a facelift bankrolled by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The HFPA has awarded a $500,000 grant to the American Cinematheque to restore the famous Hollywood Blvd. movie palace, it was announced Wednesday.

Less than a week ago, at their annual Grant Banquet, the HFPA awarded an additional $350,000 grant that would go towards retrofitting the theater so it will be able to screen 35mm nitrate film prints. This grant was made through The Film Foundation.

The $500,000 grant will go toward a variety of cosmetic changes, including replacing the carpet with a custom design that will mirror the theater's ornate ceiling, re-covering the theater's seats and replacing the concession stand. The 12 palm tree planters that sit outside and the historic murals of Egyptian deities on the walls also will be repaired.

The theater also will be technically upgraded with a 4K projector, replacing the current 10-year-old digital projector, and the sound system will be revised.

“The American Cinematheque is extremely appreciative of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s support of this historic landmark,” American Cinematheque chairman Rick Nicita said in a statement. “We are dedicated to preserving this important landmark of Hollywood history where we continue to show movies on the big screen as they were meant to be seen.”

Said HFPA president Lorenzo Soria: “The Egyptian Theatre is a very special place to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — each year it welcomes our Golden Globe Foreign Language Film Symposium and celebrated foreign filmmakers. We want to make sure The Egyptian Theatre brings charm, culture and education to Hollywood for years to come, and continues to be a home away from home for our foreign filmmakers.”

Movie exhibitionist Sid Grauman, who also was behind Hollywood's famed Chinese Theater, opened the Egyptian Theatre in 1922. The American Cinematheque purchased the Egyptian from the city of Los Angeles for $1 in the mid-1990s, under the stipulation that the theater should undergo an renovation.