Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Egyptian Theatre 90th Anniversary Masquerade Ball

The Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard has been rolling films on the big screen since 1922 when the movies didn’t yet talk and Howard C. Carter was still hot on the trail of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. A theater owner named Sid Grauman was tapped by developer Charles E. Toberman to open a grand movie palace on Prospect Avenue (now Hollywood Boulevard) in an area of the city not yet particularly known for night life. The theatre opened to great fanfare on October 18, 1922 with silent film era royalty Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin in attendance - and the rest is legend.

The American Cinematheque (owner and operator of this historic landmark) is honoring the legacy of the Egyptian Theatre, the home of the first Hollywood movie premiere, over several days, during the week of October 18, 2012.

Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 7:30 PM | ROBIN HOOD

90 years ago today, Douglas Fairbanks and his wife Mary Pickford joined by their friend Charlie Chaplin, turned out for the premiere of Fairbanks' swashbuckling adventure at their pal Sid Grauman's new Hollywood movie palace. This evening went down in history as the very first Hollywood movie premiere.

Join Fairbanks' historian Tracy Goessel for an introduction to the film, which will be presented with live piano accompaniment by Cliff Retallick. Prior to the film, Hollywood Heritage will gift a piece of furniture from the Egyptian's original ladies powder room, back to the Egyptian Theatre on the occasion of the 90th anniversary. They will also mount a display of memorabilia from the theatre. view on website

1922, Douris Corporation, 127 min, USA, Dir: Allan Dwan

The story of the medieval English hero who robs from the rich and gives to the poor gets its first Hollywood treatment with this immortal silent classic. Starring Douglas Fairbanks at his swashbuckling best, ROBIN HOOD was one of the most expensive movies of the 1920s, and it shows! A huge castle and the entire village of Nottingham were constructed for the filming. With Wallace Beery as King Richard the Lion-Hearted, Sam De Grasse as his evil brother, Prince John, and Enid Bennett as Robin Hood’s beloved Marian. Its 1922 debut at the Egyptian Theatre was the first Hollywood movie premiere! “Awe-inspiring! Unique in every respect …an unsurpassed and unsurpassable achievement.” - Kevin Brownlow, 'The Parade’s Gone By.'

Friday, October 19, 2012 - 7:30 PM - MUMMYTHON
Egyptomania swept the nation when news traveled across the globe, that Howard C. Carter had discovered King Tut's tomb in November of 1922. Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre was already open for business a little over a month when explorers dug up to the door of the tomb. All things Egyptian were suddenly the rage and Sid Grauman couldn't have picked a better exotic theme for his movie palace! Since this year is not only the 90th anniversary of the Egyptian, but also, of the discovery of King Tut's tomb, the American Cinematheque felt that the occasion called for a Mummython, four Universal films back to back, that depict Egypt in the zany way that only Hollywood could!

THE MUMMY’S HAND, 1940, Universal, 67 min. Dir. Christy Cabanne. The MUMMY returns to Egypt, as Indiana Jones-style adventurer Dick Foran squares off against nefarious George Zucco and the immortal mummy Kharis (played by a surprisingly effective Tom Tyler). First-rate matinee style entertainment. With Peggy Moran and Wallace Ford.
70th Anniversary!
THE MUMMY’S TOMB, 1942, 60 min. Dir. Harold Young. Foran, Zucco and Ford return for this atmospheric and fast-paced sequel set thirty years after THE MUMMY’S HAND. Here Lon Chaney Jr. debuts in the role of Kharis; and his caretaker Turhan Bey brings the mummy to America to avenge the desecration of Princess Ananka’s tomb in the previous film, by killing all the archeologists and their descendents.
THE MUMMY’S GHOST, 1944, Universal, 61 min. Dir. Reginald Le Borg. In this installment, Chaney is joined by fellow horror great John Carradine, who plays a high priest charged with returning Kharis and the body of Ananka to Egypt. But the plan goes haywire when it turns out Ananka has been reincarnated as a beautiful young woman (Ramsay Ames).
THE MUMMY’S CURSE, 1944, Universal, 62 min. Dir. Leslie Goodwins. “The Devil’s on the loose and he’s dancin’ with the mummy!” The final film with Lon Chaney Jr. as the undead Kharis shifts the action to the Louisiana bayou, where the mummy and his beloved have been buried in a swamp for years, until a couple of Egyptian disciples start brewing up the tana leaves. With Virginia Christine and Martin Kosleck. View this event on our website

Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 6:30 PM 
Egyptian Theatre 90th Anniversary Masquerade Ball
Join us for an evening of 1922 style entertainment featuring silent short films (including some Egyptian theme novelty films), vaudeville acts, dancing to premiere vintage orchestra Dean Mora’s Modern Rhythmists, make your own Hollywood Screen Test, 1920s libations, a buffet fit for King Tut, gaming in our speakeasy gambling den, docent-led tours of the Egyptian's private spaces, a 1920s fashion parade, Paper Moon Vintage Photos and more exotic entertainment than you can fathom - including performances by Princess Farhana and DeVilla who will provide a vintage-style floor show, recreating the glamour of Old Hollywood and the "orientalist" fantasies of silent films, the Victory Variety Hour burlesque troupe who will perform "Egyptian Epic" and a magician!

Dean Mora's Modern Rhythmists is one of the premier big bands on the vintage dance circuit. And we are lucky that they call LA their home base! They will play lively dance (think Charlston and Two steps) music of the 1920s with a few novelty songs from the period that epitomize the interest in all things Egyptian that swept the world after the discovery of King Tut's tomb in November of 1922. Since we are celebrating Hollywood's concept of exoticism with the fantasy architecture of the Egyptian Theatre, Dean Mora promises to treat us to some American songs that celebrate the mystique of ancient Egypt, such as "Egyptian Ella," "By the Silvery Nile," "Old King Tut Was A Merry Old Nut" and "Khartoum." Even if you aren't a dancer you'll be tapping a toe at these amusing, now-cringe-worthy lyrics! When the expert dancers of the Art Deco Society Los Angeles are on the floor, there will be plenty to watch for those who view dancing as a spectator sport.

Sponsors include Fentiman's, Stella Artois, Chivas Regal and more to be announced.
Event Details | Ticket Details

It's a costume party! Come as your favorite Hollywood icon of the 1920s, an Egyptian fresh off the set of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or an early 20th century explorer of Egypt. The Costume House is offering a 15% discount to Egyptian Theatre 90th anniversary attendees who spend $50 or more at their shop in North Hollywood. Just mention the event when you go there. Click for more costume resources.

Dressing 1920s for Ladies: 
 The Way We Wore has some beautiful photos of actual 1920s clothing. Since 1920s silhouettes have been revived in fashion by many labels in the recent past, after you take a look at these photos you might realize that you have something in your closet that has a 1920s flair to it! Add a long beaded necklace, t-strap shoes and some red lipstick and you'll be all set to Charleston the night away on the dance floor! Or, if you want the dress like Peppy in THE ARTIST, shop Le Luxe. The Art Deco Society cautions that all-over fringe and feather boas are not actual 20s looks. Check their links for clothing resources.

Dressing for Gentlemen:
Men's evening attire hasn't changed all that much in 90 years! If you want to dress in evening attire (tuxedo) check out The Black Tie Guide for pictures of formal menswear of the 1920s. And remember, you can always come in pith helmet and khakis (a la Howard Carter, discoverer of King Tut's tomb) as an Egyptian Explorer or as an Egyptian or even a Mummy!

Dance the night away on a dance floor and band stage sponsored by the Art Deco Society Los Angeles
Sunday, October 20, 2012 - 7:30 PM - Harry Houdini Night!
What would Los Angelenos have watched in theatres around the time the Egyptian Theatre opened in 1922? Escape artist Harry Houdini was definitely of keen interest. Join us for an evening devoted to the master of escape with an early 1920s double feature.
Budapest-born Harry Houdini (1874-1926) was a world-famous magician and escape artist who also had a short film career starring in and even directing a number of films between 1919 and 1923. Featuring outrageous plots and unusual characters, one of the main treats of these thrillers is a chance to see this master showman actually perform some of his daring feats.
Rare Houdini photographs and footage, and multimedia presentation on Houdini by escape artist Mark Paskell, who will conclude the lecture with an escape from a regulation straitjacket. Bonus drawing for free magic lesson and other prizes!

90th Anniversary! THE MAN FROM BEYOND
1922, Kino International, 74 min, USA, Dir: Burton L. King

Harry Houdini plays Howard Hillary, a man who is thawed out after being encased in Arctic ice for a century. He meets Felice, who seems like the reincarnation of his lover from 100 years past, and soon must rescue the young woman’s abducted father. This silent showcases both Houdini’s interest in life after death and some of his most breathtaking stunts, including a sequence that brings the legendary magician/escape artist to the brink of Niagra Falls!

1920, Cohen Media, 55 min, USA, Dir: James Cruz

Young Beverly West (Lila Lee) has a map to a priceless cache of pearls, but is much more interested in locating her father. Inventor Harry Harper (Harry Houdini) sails to a South Seas island to find them both, doing battle with treasure hunters and cannibals in the process. Though a couple of its reels are lost to time, this may be Houdini’s most exciting big screen effort, packed to the gills with action (including an underwater safe escape). Costarring Eugene Palette. View this event on our website