Before movie impresario Sid Grauman opened the Chinese Theatre, now famous for the celebrity signatures and handprints out front, he made this movie palace, whose exterior nods to the 1920s-era fascination with everything Egyptian.
The courtyard featured busts of pharaohs, hieroglyph murals, and a sandy color scheme. As luck would have it, the Egyptologist Howard Carter cracked open King Tut’s tomb just two weeks after the movie palace screened its first feature, in 1922.
This theater is said to be the site of the first Hollywood premiere. More recently, in 2016, it got a refresh, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association repaired cracks and water damage and put down new coats of paint. The theater still screens movies today—mostly indie and foreign titles—but it’s still a portal to the past.
Update as of March 2023: The theatre is currently closed indefinitely for renovations.
Know Before You Go
Update 3/21/2023: The Egyptian Theater was bought by Netflix and is currently closed for renovations. It will reopen eventually at an unspecified date and continue to screen movies seven days a week.