Egyptian Theatre Hard Hat Tours Showcase Renovations

Jan 22, 2020

The discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s sparked pharaoh fever in architecture across the country.

One of the nation’s few remaining “Egyptian Theatres” is housed in downtown DeKalb. When it was built during the stock market crash, air conditioning wasn’t included. That’s been a problem ever since, says Executive Director Alex Nerad. He says there was an attempt to turn the building into a parking lot in the 1970s.

Alex Nerad, Executive Director of the Egyptian Theatre, shows some of the original foundation under the building.
Credit Jenna Dooley

“We talk about this a lot -- being the jewel of DeKalb -- but really this is a national treasure,” said Nerad during a tour. “We are so thankful that the community stepped up and saved this in 1978 and that it’s still here.”

Renovations include installing an air conditioning system, adding more bathrooms, and updating concession stands.

Renovations are expected to be completed in May.

The Egyptian Theatre is offering Hard Hat tours to the public every Tuesday.