Egyptian Theatre offers volunteering, grant programs

By Maria Ahmad

DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., not only offers entertainment but also opportunities to serve the community.

The Egyptian Theatre has been a historic landmark in the community since 1929. After decades, the theatre was not in optimal condition and the community came together to preserve it. The Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre, a non-profit organization, was formed. The Egyptian Theatre now serves as a venue for entertaining, educational and community-based events which volunteers are needed for.

“There are several jobs to choose from including concession stand, ticket taker usher, etc.,” said Derek Gibbs, the Egyptian Theatre’s membership and marketing director. “In addition, each October we have Amenti Haunted House so we are also in need of volunteer actors, promoters and builders.”

The theatre holds many events, including The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ride Like An Egyptian bike ride, Haunted Overnight Tours and Amenti Haunted House each October.

“We typically have 3 to 10 volunteers per event with over 125 events each year, not including Amenti,” Gibbs said. “Amenti alone sees over 100 volunteers that typically put in over 2,500 hours of service each October.”

Over the years, many NIU fraternities and sororities have volunteered with Amenti.

“Volunteering at the haunted house sounds crazy,” said Kayamba Mukanzu, senior biology major. “I hope it will be a great memory I will have of DeKalb once I graduate.”

The theatre has recently set up grant opportunities for nonprofits in DeKalb. The Egyptian Theatre Community Grant Program will assist with rental costs of the theatre. According to the Egyptian Theatre website, about 25 different community organizations use these grants yearly. Nonprofits will be able to apply for a grant and the amounts can range from $250 to $1,500 per event.

“The Egyptian Theater is greatly involved with the community,” said Betsy Hendrey, owner of The Confectionary. “They are wonderful neighbors and we wish to be more like them.”