Egyptian Theatre launches COVID-19 relief fund

Colton Loeb, Reporter

DeKALB The Egyptian Theatre in Downtown DeKalb has launched a COVID-19 relief fund to help with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a July 20 news release. 

To date the theater has cancelled or postponed more than 50 events with more than 20 groups, all due to COVID-19, according to the release. These groups include local dance studios, non-profits organizations, and local school districts. 

“We’ve had an estimated attendance loss of around 12,000,”  Jeanine Holcomb, marketing and communications director at the Egyptian Theatre said.

This would have been the first summer the Egyptian was open, a new season for the theater, meaning increased revenue. 

“We would have had different movie series, touring shows, dance recitals,” Holcomb said. “We know what we normally do would have had more attendance and we would have had more shows than ever before.” 

Pre-expansion and renovation ticket sales would have been scarce this time of year, Holcomb said. However, the Egyptian now has air conditioning and has renovated the space to make the theatre more comfortable for patrons. 

Unfortunately, there have been no ticket sales due to COVID-19. 

With a monthly operational cost of nearly $25,000, the Egyptian Theatre is looking to the community for support in these trying times, according to the release. 

In a typical year, the Egyptian wouldn’t do much public fundraising for operations, but has had to do much more due to the loss in ticket sales and concessions,Holcomb said. 

The Egyptian Theatre has established this effort with the DeKalb County Community Foundation, the Farny R. Wurlitzer Foundation Fund, as well as statewide and local sources, according to the news release. 

Willing donors can help unlock a pool of $14,000 for the Egyptian Theatre if $6,000 is raised by Saturday.Ultimately, the theater hopes to stretch their fundraising efforts to raise $25,000, which covers one month of expenses, according to the release.  

“We are doing multiple fundraisers, the Capital fundraiser for the expansion and now this fundraiser for operations,” Holcomb said. 

Normal expenses, such as electric, staffing and garbage, don’t go away. These all remain to be paid, regardless of revenue. 

The Egyptain is taking every avenue and opportunity to keep the building up and running as well as paying staff. 

There has been a huge outpouring of community support, Holcomb said. Anyone who wishes to make a tax-deductible donation can do so online at www.EgyptianReliefFund.org or by mailing a check to the DeKalb County Community Foundation,475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore. Please make note in the check’s memo line that your donation is for the Egyptian Relief Fund.