(The Egyptian Theatre, 2009)
The Egyptian Theatre has roots back to the age of the pharaohs. This historic structure owes this connection to the discovery of the tomb of King Tut in 1922. That discovery set off a nationwide interest in everything Egyptian. The Egyptian influence reached DeKalb County in 1928, when the DeKalb Theatre Company was trying to settle on a design for a combination motion picture house and vaudeville theatre. Needing a larger facility than its theatre at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway, the firm talked with Chicago theatre architect Elmer F. Behrens. Contracts for the new theatre were awarded in 1928, but construction, other than a foundation excavation, did not start until Spring of 1929. Dale Leifheit was president of the DeKalb Theatre Company and served as the building’s first manager when it opened on Dec. 10, 1929. It is believed that the initial construction cost roughly $250,000. The theatre served a population of approximately 8,545 in the city of DeKalb and 32,644 in DeKalb County.