coos bay

Egyptian Theatre, Coos Bay OR (6 photos).

Considered by many to be the crown jewel of Coos Bay’s architectural legacy, the Egyptian Theatre dates back to 1925, at the height of the global Egyptian Revival architecture craze inspired by the discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb three years earlier.

Grauman’s Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles is probably the best known of these buildings, but the Egyptian Theatre of Coos Bay seats 700 people in a city whose population was under 5,000 at the time it was built, and didn’t top 10,000 for decades since.

Considering the rural character of Oregon’s coastline, this state of the art theater must have been the greatest architectural attraction within hundreds of miles for generations of coastal, and even inland, Oregonians.

The interior is lavishly gilded and decorated with hieroglyphics and stylized Egyptian art motifs that have not changed since 1925, lending the venue a spellbindingly retroactive feel. The original Wurlitzer organ (from the time of silent movies) still sits in the theatre and remains functional.

The theatre functioned continuously as a movie house until 2005, when increasing competition from nearby multiplexes finally led to its shuttering. Local preservationists worked to save the theatre from demolition or massive remodeling, and had the structure added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2010. In 2014, the Egyptian Theatre of Coos Bay reopened as a venue for special screenings and events.

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Marquee of Coos Bay’s Egyptian Theatre on Intersate 101, with yellow reader board advertising its Wurlitzer organ.
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Egyptian Theatre parking lot, with period appropriate signage.
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Egyptian Theatre marquee, looking north up I-101S.
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Lobby entry of Egyptian Theatre.
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Closeup of door handle.
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Even closer up.

Coos Bay, Oregon. May 2015 (15 photos).

In Coos Bay, Hwy. 101 becomes Broadway Ave.
In downtown Coos Bay, Hwy. 101 becomes Broadway Ave.
Wine & Wi-Fi.
Wine & Wi-Fi.
The landmark Tioga Hotel building.
The landmark Tioga Hotel building (with the Blue Heron in front).
Another view of the Tioga Hotel.
Backstage view of the Tioga Hotel.
Coos Bay, Hwy 101.
Sidewalk dining on hwy 101. Coos Bay.
Backstage at the Hall Bldg.
Backstage at the Hall Bldg.
19th Century-ish rooming house with a midcentury strip mall add on.
19th Centuryish rooming house with midcentury stripmall add on.

 

A time progression of interstate travel (rear to front): waterway, railway, highway.
A time lapse of interstate modes of travel: waterway, railway, highway.
Coos Bay. Other side of the tracks.
Coos Bay. Other side of the tracks.

train closeup coos baytrain tracks coos bay

waynes color centre

Riverport infrastructure.
Riverport infrastructure.
Moribund ice machines.
Moribund ice machines.
8 pm.
8 pm.