FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 1, 1998
CONTACT: MARGOT GERBER
Tel.: 213/466-FILM ext. 115 (media inquiries only by phone please)
AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE SEARCHES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH CONNECTIONS TO THE EGYPTIAN THEATRE TO AID HISTORICAL RESEARCH
HOLLYWOOD In preparing for projects relating to its Grand Opening of the Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in December, the American Cinematheque is currently collecting interesting stories and remembrances from individuals (and their descendants) who worked at the theatre or attended premieres there. Theatre programs, photos, posters, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia related to the Egyptian are also useful to the Cinematheque for research purposes. Individuals with information to share should contact Margot Gerber by mail (1800 N. Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Los Angeles, CA 90028); fax (323.461.9737); or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The American Cinematheque will not present public programming between August 23, 1998 and December 5, 1998. The organization will re-open at the Egyptian Theatre with a 75th anniversary presentation of Cecil B. DeMilless 1923 version of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Acclaimed musicologist Gillian Anderson will conduct the orchestra performing the live original score. A press preview of this presentation will take place in early December. Tickets will be available in the Fall for the December 6th, 7th & 8th performances. The Cinematheque will resume its normal weekly programming (increased to five days per week) at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood) in January 1999. Planned series will be announced later this year.
Funds to complete the $12.9 million project are currently being raised, largely from within the entertainment industry. Major Gifts to the project to date include: a $500,000 donation from Panavision for a glass panel that will border the lobby and a $100,000 from Jamie and Steve Tisch for the concession stand. The William Morris Agency kicked off the "Paving Stone Campaign" with the purchase of nearly an entire row of stones, to commemorate their 100th anniversary. Other Major Gifts to the "Paving Stone Campaign" include stones in the names of: Mike and Brian Medavoy; Norman Pattiz; Elisabeth Pollon; Roz and Peter Bonerz; Sandra Krause, the Strauss Foundation; Sydney Pollack; James G. Robinson; Sigurjon "Joni" Sighvatsson; and John Travolta.
1800 North Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028
(tel) 323.466.3456 Y (fax) 323.461.9737 & On the web!!! http:/www.americancinematheque.com
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, HOLLYWOOD MAVERICKS) and produced by Sasha Alpert, about the history of Hollywood the place and the movies -- will screen several times daily at the Egyptian -- with an audio track available in several different languages. The documentary will draw upon many sources including: striking archival footage dating back to the early days of the industry, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the studios, reminiscences by luminaries of the big studio era, rare home movies of the stars and interviews with major contemporary actors and directors in which they discuss Hollywood then and now.
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 book and magazine kiosks and a patio in the courtyard area off of Hollywood Boulevard. The original entrance portico will be restored. The design for the main 650-seat auditorium encompasses a state-of-the-art theatre within a historic shell as well as an 83-seat theater, expanded lobby and Board Room. The original ornate sunburst-ceiling pattern will be restored and a 1922 Wurlitzer theatre organ will be installed for silent film presentations. The award-winning architecture firm Hodgetts + Fung are the project architects. The Egyptian will be the first of several major "Hollywood revitalization projects" to open its doors.
In early 1999, Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Border Grill, will open the 3,000 square foot, 130-seat restaurant that will be part of the Egyptian Theatre complex. The menu will be reminiscent of their award-winning, former restaurant, CITY, featuring eclectic ethnic dishes. Architect Josh Schweitzer, who created the unique looks of both Border Grill and CITY, will design the as-yet-unamed eatery. A rooftop bar overlooking the courtyard is also planned.
Complete press kits about the Egyptian project are available as well as black & white archival photos and 35mm color transparencies of the architectural model. Journalists who have not yet toured the renovation site are encouraged to call to arrange for a tour. The project is rich with possibilities for feature stories. The head scenic, who has uncovered the "lost" murals and ornate details that were painted and built over during various renovations; the architects; the executive director of the Cinematheque who spearheaded the project; and others are available for interview.
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