Egyptian Theatre screens classic films for 90th birthday

By Parker Otto

DeKALB – Starting Sunday, The Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. 2nd St., will screen classic films as part of The Classic Film Series. 

Taking place from September until May, The Egyptian Theatre will play nine classic films once a month. The first film will be the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” which won three Academy Awards. All nine films will be screened on 35 MM (millimeter) film on carbon-arc projectors, according to the Egyptian Theatre website. 

The film tells the story of Dorothy Gale, played by Judy Garland, who is whisked away to the magical land of Oz where she and her friends The Scarecrow, The Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion, played by Ray Bolger, Jack Haley and Bert Lahr respectively, seek their deepest desires from the titular wizard, played by Frank Morgan. During their travels, they evade the constant attacks of the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton.

“Because the Egyptian Theatre is turning 90 in December, we [Egyptian Theatre Staff] decided to show nine classic films to celebrate,” Jeanine Holcomb, Egyptian Theatre Marketing and Communications Director, said. “We wanted to reach an audience of all ages which meant playing films from the 30s all the way to the 80s. We even are playing “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” as a special event for the entire family.”

Other films in the series include the science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which Steven Spielberg called his generation’s “big bang,” “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the first animated feature film, and “Gone With The Wind,” winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture.

“When playing films on 35 MM, it gives you an experience that chains like AMC don’t,” Holcomb said. “We want to create a unique viewing experience and show films the way they would have been shown when the theater first opened. At the end of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” we even drop snow onto the crowd at the end when the line “every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings” is said.”

The “Wizard of Oz” will be screened at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Egyptian Theatre with admission costing $10 for adults and $8 for children, students and seniors. For those wishing to watch all nine films, the Egyptian Theatre is offering a package of tickets costing $80 for adults and $64 for children, students and seniors. 

Classic Film Series in 35MM schedule

Sept. 15: The Wizard of Oz

Oct. 6: 2001: A Space Odyssey

Nov. 3: E.T.

Dec. 1: It’s a Wonderful Life

Jan. 26: Casablanca

Feb. 23: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

March 29: Gone With the Wind

April 5: The Sound of Music

May 17: Raiders of the Lost Ark