Egyptian Theatre, Coos County, Oregon
The Egyptian Revival style of architecture was favored for many years in Europe and popularized in the United States during the 1920s with the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamen. The style’s potential for exotic, mysterious theatricality lent itself well to movie palace design of the 1920s, but only four movie palaces in this style are documented as surviving in the United States today. One of those four is the Egyptian Theatre, located at 229 S. Broadway in downtown Coos Bay, Oregon. Originally built in 1922 as a garage and converted in 1925 to a movie palace, the theater is essentially unchanged, possessing its original style décor, light fixtures, and furnishings, including its bronze pharaoh statues, friezes depicting lotus, papyrus, discs, uraei, and ravens, columns painted with hieroglyphics and Egyptionesque characters, a proscenium above the stage featuring a replica of an ancient Egyptian temple, and original curtains and painted backdrops. The Egyptian Theatre is an excellent example of the Egyptian Revival style and it continues to function as a movie palace to this day.
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