As they say in showbiz - the show must go on! The Egyptian Theatre is Park City's historic home for live stage performances and is not only the premier destination for cinema during the annual Sundance Film Festival but also home to a variety of entertaining productions that run the gamut from dance performances, film screenings, theatrical plays, comedy shows, youth theatre, concerts and more.
The Egyptian Theatre is one of the more iconic structures on Main Street, and even if you’ve never been to Park City you would probably recognize the facade. This architectural and historical wonder is steeped in Park City’s history of arts and culture stemming back to the days of mining.
How it Got Started
There’s always been some kind of entertainment in Park City since it became a mining town. The Egyptian Theatre was built on the location of the old Dewey Theatre, which collapsed under a snow load in January 1916. Construction began in 1926, and the first production, by John Alphonso Rugar (1883–1970), debuted on Christmas Day of 1926. It was built with a stage for potential vaudeville acts but was used primarily as a movie house. It was actually the first sound movie cinema house in Park City, Utah.
The Egyptian Theatre was part of a national and worldwide fascination with the contemporary discovery of the tomb of King Tut in Egypt. Many cinema and performance theatres around the nation were either refurbished or constructed with the Egyptian theme in mind. The design and construction of the theatre were supervised by an Egyptologist from Seattle, WA. The result of the accurate use of historic details was a beautiful theatre with many of the most recognizable symbols of Egypt, including the lotus leaf, scarabs, hieroglyphics, and symbols of life and happiness.
When Park City rebounded from tough times and the decline of mining into a premier destination as a ski and resort city, live theatre and film continued to thrive through the ’60s, and in 1981 it became the home to Park City Performances after a renovation process. The increased diversity in productions helped the theatre carry on as an active venue well into the 1990s but the building was in need of major repair and renovation. Save Our Stage Foundation was formed by a few community-minded individuals who raised funds for a major facelift to restore the building to its former glory, and on February 14, 1998, it reopened to great fanfare. The Sundance Film Festival made The Egyptian Theatre home and has used it as a cinematic house for almost as long as the festival has existed, and is one of its oldest and most recognizable venues. Park City’s Egyptian Theatre is one of only two Egyptian-style theatres in Utah. The other is Peery's Egyptian Theatre in Ogden, Utah.
What They Do
The Egyptian Theatre is a non-profit promoting arts and culture and offering world-class entertainment to the community of Park City. They support all different types of productions, not just theatre that includes comedy, dance, movies, music, and more! They have a fantastic support base of subscribers that donate to the theatre in return for amazing benefits, social gatherings, and helping to continue the long tradition of arts in Park City. The Pharaohs are the Egyptians' fabulous social group made up of couples and individuals that support the Theatre. If you become a Pharaoh you are able to choose your level of support and benefits that include but are not limited to social gatherings before shows every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, premium seats, fine dining certificates, recognition, and more. The Pharaohs are one of the Egyptians biggest assets and they encourage lovers of the arts to get to know all the different levels of benefits they offer so the theatre can continue to thrive and offer the huge array of entertainment the community loves. The Pharaohs were one of the reasons the Egyptian Theatre was able to stay in business during the pandemic. The donors helped keep the theatre alive through show cancellations and furloughed employees. If you are so inclined to join the Pharaohs and support the arts you will be joining a prestigious social club with some of the best entertainment around the Wasatch.
One of the biggest highlights for the Egyptian Theatre is its post-pandemic re-opening, raising the curtains on its new season Aug. 27 with a nine-night run of Park City Follies. Other exciting shows on the docket include the edgy and irreverent All The Evil Dead Film Festival with a Q & A and photo opportunities with the star Bruce Campbell, Ziegfeld Follies’ 9 to 5, “Thriller” a spooky dance production by Odyssey Dance Theatre, and the Egyptian’s 40th Birthday Celebration with a surprise guest artist!
The Egyptians new Marketing Director Dan Radford, who spent the past five years in professional theatre in New York City is most excited for the future of the Egyptian and the growth of the theatre's different offerings along with creating a strong donor base that will not only get to bond and socialize through arts and entertainment but other Pharoah benefits like access to golf courses, fine dining restaurant coupons, ski passes and more that will help support even more diverse work that they can bring to Park City’s stage.
The Egyptian Theatre is bringing the community exciting entertainment opportunities other than Sundance to continue to help the arts thrive in Park City all year round.
As the 2021 season commences, this is an amazing time to get out there and get to the theatre. The Egyptian needs all the support they can get after the past year, and as confidence builds from their constituents and the community they can continue to create and bring quality and forward-thinking entertainment into Park City. It will take the help of the entire community of Pharaohs and performing art, music, film enthusiasts to get back out there enjoying this gem that brings joy to our community. The Egyptian Theatre loves all its donors and people who purchase tickets to support the arts. And who doesn't want to be in Park City enjoying a night of arts and entertainment?
Visit their website for more information on upcoming shows at the Egyptian Theatre or to join the Pharaohs.