A Virtual Tour of The Egyptian Theatre Coos Bay, Oregon USA
(2006 - 2007)
March 10, 2005 Article, The World Newspaper: Egyptian as a Performing Arts Center!
October 8, 2005 Article, The World Newspaper: LTOB throws Hat in Ring!
Dec 2, 2006 Article, The World Newspaper: OBT & ETPA hook up!
December 2006 was the month the On Broadway Thespians said goodbye to our old digs at the On Broadway Theater, and hello to a brand new era over at the historical Egyptian Theatre, right across the street!
We took stage shortly after her 81st Birthday with the musical, "1940's Radio Hour," directed by Roger Vines. It was thrilling to see our OBT name headlining their marquee!
You must admit, the Egyptian's street sign looks mighty impressive when lit up at night!
In the lobby, just past the front doors, is the Egyptian's infamous slogan, "Through these doors pass the most wonderful people."
Lobby south end with pay phone & comfortable seating
Lobby north end with bench & posters of coming attractions
Lobby additional seating just outside the main auditorium doors.
Nearby, stands a case of wonderful ETPA Silent Auction items as well as the infamous Crowned Crane and Egyptian Queen, Neferatiti.
Lining the way to the main auditorium doors are specially marked collection pyramid bins for those wishing to donate discreetly.
Lobby door just off the lobby, leading upstairs to the light & projection booth.
The Egyptian's wonderfully stocked Concessions Bar with every goodie imaginable!
January 2, 2007 marked yet another historical day when the On Broadway Thespians held their very first open casting call in the Egyptian Theatre. The lucky play was actually two separate one-acts, "Big Bad," and "Dorothy Meets Alice!" Auditioners were a little intimidated at first, the Egyptian being a much larger venue than what they were used to across the street, but it wasn't long before Director Joe Vos had everyone on stage hamming it up, in front of the infamous Egyptian movie screen.
The scope of the Egyptian auditorium is huge, 520 seats to be exact (compared to 83 seats over at the old OBT auditorium).
The Egyptian's light booth is currently situated upstairs between the twin cinemas they often refer to as "the Pods." Future plans calls for doing away of the twin mini screens and restoring the balcony to it's former glory. With the exception of new seats and speakers, the auditorium remains pretty much the same way it originally was when it first opened back in November of 1924.
Two large columns still flank either side of the stage, with Hieroglyphs standing testament over the passage of time. Much of the Egyptian decor (originally designed by Lee Arden Thomas) remains intact, though in need of restoration. The Egyptian theatre started quite humbly, first as an actual Motor Inn with service station and garage, then as a live theater/silent movie house, and eventually into a talking pictures theater. It seems fitting to turn her into a community performing arts center!
The stage is historically vaudevillen, meaning it's 40x26 hardwood floor slopes towards the back instead of lying flat. Plus it has a row of lights strung across the front in addition to several burlesque backdrops hanging from a cavernous ceiling more than 80 years old.
On weekends, the Egyptian serves as a movie house, showing old films of yesteryear on the same large projection screen that's wooed movie audiences for over 60 years.
The jewel in this wonderful theatre's crown remains of course, the 4-keyboard electronic Wurlitzer Pipe Organ. It is the last of it's kind, sitting in the same building in which it was first installed decades ago.
Back in the lobby, large stone Pharohs beckon visitors to an spacious upstairs mezzanine, where public restrooms, twin mini screens or pods, and the Egyptian's main office lie in wait.
Here on this level, there are several incredible pieces of furniture art: an intricately carved bench, two ornately carved chairs and two functional but gorgous side tables against the far wall.
Looking down the north staircase from atop the mezzanine with it's wonderful dizzying array of terra cotta tile.
Soffet at the bottom of the stairs facing North. Notice the sampling of wear & tear the building has suffered and hence the urgent need for further restoration.
Same soffet showcasing some of the most beautifully detailed Egyptian art worth saving, like these tile pieces lining the ticket booth area.
Of Ghosts and "Orbs..."
Many old buildings have their share of ghosts, and apparently the Egyptian is no exception! (Afterall, the 'ol gal has been around awhile!) The following is a collection of photos taken by yours truly (OBT Webmistress) while photographing a play rehearsal (Frankenstein) at the historic Egyptian Theatre in downtown Coos Bay Oregon during the months of September and November 2007.
Funny thing was, during the photography session, everything seemed normal; that is, nothing had materialized out of the air to us, the actors both on stage and in the auditorium. Nothing could be seen with the naked eye. It was only on the digital camera's view screen, and later on the home PC screen when uploaded, that these so called "Orbs" showed up randomly. Out of 123 shots that I took, roughly 20 contained strange glowing objects ~ semi-transparent spheres if you will, floating above actors and even auditorium seats. Someone later described one to me as a translucent snowflake.
I couldn't agree more.
As you can imagine, plenty of explanations have been suggested as to their origin, ranging from "they're just dust particles coming down from the ceiling," and "it's just a wierd light source angle" to "possible dirt specs on your camera lens" or "you ran these through a photo-editor computer program, didn't you?"
I assure you, I did NOT. In reality, I'm really not THAT GOOD with computer-generated graphics! One way to tell that the photos aren't doctored, is to blow up the "Orbs" and look at their edges. They're not pixelated or hard-edged like a cut & paste job would normally be.
In any event, I was asked to share these with the public, henceforth why the better ones are posted here. Take a gander and decide for yourself as to what kind of phenonoma these are! Enjoy!
Single Orb ~ the largest & perhaps best sample of the lot. For some strange reason, this particular sphere seemed to especially favor this particular actor.
large Orb closeup ~ notice the semi-translucent snowflake detailing INSIDE the sphere? Interesting, isn't it?
Orb #1 ~ more of the large sphere located just to the left of your screen.
multiple Orbs 1 ~ and then suddenly, two smaller orbs or spheres show up on stage.
Orb fest ~ I also noticied whenever this young actor came on stage, numerous spheres would suddenly appear and surround him. Curious....
Multiple orbs 2 ~ never stationary, the spheres constantly moved about, often "following" actors who were never once aware of them as they could NOT see them.
Orb audience ~ just for the heck of it, I randomly snapped a few pix of the auditorium seating, and a few revealed orbs or sphere patrons. Curious....
Chair Orb ~ More "interesting" candid shots just two months later. My personal favorite being this one of an Orb resting on the chair onstage while work goes on around it.
Chair Orb closeup ~ Closeup of the above chair Orb. Again, pay attention to the transluscent pattern inside the sphere. The only difference between this shot and the first one was that this time I used a flash. This tells me that light (as in camera flash photography) doesn't really matter to Orbs.
Pod Orb #1 ~ During the month of November 2007, work began on the de-construction of a couple of pods (mini movie theaters) in an effort to return this historic theater balcony to it's original glory. Anyways, all the ruckus seemed to stir up all the resident ghosts, as evident in this shot taken by yours truly.
Pod Orb #2 ~ And this was taken (with camera flash) in a dark auditorium (no house lights) while a friend and I were standing just off stage talking. We suddenly felt the "presence" of someone watching us. I had a camera on me so for fun, I held it up and snapped a quick random flash shot, not knowing if anything would show up. Wasn't until I got home and uploaded it on my computer that the image (Orb) appeared. My friend was right. We were being watched.
Closeup of Pod Orb #2
In 2011, the Egyptian theater was closed to the public for structural repairs, historical restoration, and loads of updating. By June 2014, it was back in operation, led by a phenomenal staff of volunteers and dedicated theatre manager, Kara Long.
Although many of the planned projects have been completed, it still has a ways to go. If you would like to help, or if you're just curious about seeing some of the renovations thus far, do stop by and check out the new Egyptian website.
"OBT: Enriching the lives of patrons and players of all ages,
through the magic of live theatre."
(This page last updated July 14, 2016)
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