In the center of Ogden, Utah’s downtown, you can find the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater. The theater is recognized for its distinctive Egyptian Revival architecture, a style that gained popularity in the 1920s and 1930s. As part of his plan to revitalize Ogden’s downtown, wealthy businessman and philanthropist David Eccles constructed the theater in 1924. Currently, Peery’s Egyptian Theater is a well-liked cultural landmark that offers a variety of events, including live performances and movie screenings.
Early in the 20th century, when Ogden was a thriving railroad town, the theater first opened its doors. Following the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt in 1922, the Egyptian Revival style gained popularity in the 1920s. This discovery sparked a fascination with all things Egyptian, leading to the design of numerous buildings all over the United States.
One of Ogden’s most prominent businessmen, David Eccles, saw a chance to profit from this development by constructing a grand theater that would serve as the focal point of the city’s downtown area. Hodgson and McClenahan, a Salt Lake City-based architectural firm, created the theater’s design. As the architect of the Capitol Theatre in Salt Lake City and the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, the company had experience designing theaters.
Peery’s Egyptian Theater became a success right away after debuting on January 3, 1924. The theater was equipped with cutting-edge technology, including a $25,000 Wurlitzer organ and a lighting setup that made it possible to create complex stage effects. A famous vaudeville act, Smith and Dale, gave a performance at the theater’s grand opening.
Peery’s Egyptian Theater has over the years played host to a variety of performers, including the Marx Brothers, Louis Armstrong, and Elvis Presley. The theater, however, had become run-down and was in danger of being demolished by the 1970s. Fortunately, a team of concerned locals came together to save the theater, and in 1984 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Since being restored, Peery’s Egyptian Theater has grown to be a cherished landmark in Ogden, serving as a venue for a variety of activities, including theatrical productions, film festivals, and concerts. Weddings and other special events are increasingly being held at the theater.
The interior decoration of Peery’s Egyptian Theater, which was influenced by ancient Egyptian art and architecture, is one of its most distinctive characteristics. The walls of the lobby are covered in hieroglyphics and other Egyptian symbols, and there is a mural of the Nile River there. The stunning image of the goddess Isis is painted on the theater’s auditorium’s ceiling, and pharaohs and other figures from Egyptian mythology are exhibited on the theater’s walls.
Today, Peery’s Egyptian Theater serves as a major cultural center in Ogden and attracts both locals and tourists. Live music performances, theatrical productions, and movie screenings are just a few of the events that the theater continues to host. The theater provides local students with educational programs, such as tours of the building and workshops on theater production, in addition to its entertainment offerings.
Peery’s Egyptian Theater is a must-see attraction for tourists in Ogden. This historic location offers something for everyone, whether you enjoy live entertainment, theater, or old movies. Peery’s Egyptian Theater, with its magnificent architecture and distinctive interior design, is also guaranteed to make an impression on everyone who visits.