By Sarah Macgregor
Take a stroll down Park City’s Main Street and you will spot all sorts of bright, colorful shop displays, inviting restaurants, and gorgeous gallery art. In the middle of Park City’s central street stands the flashy marquee of The Egyptian Theatre, which first opened in 1926. The theatre has remained as Park City’s beacon of premier entertainment for nearly a century, a remarkably long tenure for any theatre and one which underscores its rich history of stage entertainment.
Construction for The Egyptian began in 1922, and its name and décor were inspired by the then recent thrilling discovery of King Tut’s tomb (an Egyptologist oversaw the original design of the theatre’s resplendent décor of lotus leaves, scarabs, and hieroglyphics). Among The Egyptian’s many exciting entertainment debuts over the decades, one of its most notable is the 1978 launch of The U.S. Film and Video Festival, now known as the Sundance Film Festival.
The Egyptian’s legacy includes being one of Park City’s favorite community centers for which Parkites continue to band together to support. Park City’s own Randy Barton, the talented musicologist whose popular radio show broadcasts daily on local KPCW, has served as The Egyptian’s manager for 14 years.
“We host the best in entertainment— all kinds, all amazing. Film, comedy, dance, theater. Music theater. All kinds of music. And we’ve hosted so many music legends, from Judy Collins to Dave Mason to Leon Russell—all the best,” notes Barton.
“But my favorite events are when our Park City kids take the stage. The Egyptian is home to Park City’s YouTheatre, which is a special local program that allows local kids to practice their craft on a real, top-rate theatre stage with curtains, lights, an amazing sound system—a place where truly professional entertainment happens. It’s big-time theatre for a small town. And then we’ve seen these kids head off to Broadway, or film—it’s wonderful. The Egyptian is a glamorous, world-class venue, which hosts big renowned global artists and attracts enthusiastic audience members from all around the world, from around greater Utah, and from our own Park City community to which it belongs. It’s a real community treasure.” Barton adds with a smile, “Our intended audiences are women—and the men they bring with them.”