Egyptian Theatre will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a nod to the past
Manager seeks past actors, board members
Park City Performances, which would become the Egyptian Theatre nonprofit, moved into the venue in 1981 after hosting productions on various local stages.’
To celebrate the nonprofit’s 40th anniversary, theater manager Randy Barton is on a quest to find anyone who was instrumental in helping the theater stay alive throughout the years.
“We are looking for — actors, directors, major donors and anyone who was involved with us throughout the many years,” Barton said. “That includes board members from the ’70s and ’80s and through the 1990s.”
Barton wants these movers and shakers to call the theater at 855-745-SHOW and RSVP for its private 40th anniversary celebrations that will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Oct. 12 and 13.
“We want to recognize them for the work they had done in keeping us afloat, and enjoy a couple of concerts,” Barton said. “I know many of them, and the ones I may not know should provide us with proof of who they are.”
Tuesday night’s concert will be Robert Randolph and the Family Band, and Chris Collins and Boulder Canyon: A Tribute to John Denver is scheduled to take the stage Wednesday.
“We are also throwing out an invitation to our current Pharoah members,” Barton said. “So if anyone wants to come to the party, they can register to become Pharaoh members.”
While 2021 marks the 40th anniversary of when Park City Performances moved into the theater, it also marks the 95th anniversary of the Egyptian Theatre’s grand opening in 1926, according to Barton.
“We are the only building, to my knowledge, that has had the same use since it was built,” he said. “It’s always been a theater and social gathering place.”
Park City Performances was able to make the Egyptian Theatre its home thanks to Debbi and Randy Fields of Mrs. Fields Cookies, according to Barton.
“They brought their whole world headquarters to town, and with the help of a couple of others in town purchased the theater,” he said. “They basically allowed us to move in and start programming our own shows on the stage.”
To help move things along the acting troupe became a nonprofit.
“It was kind of like a golden age of nonprofits, because there was the Kimball Art Center, KPCW and us,” Barton said. “It was one of those major changes in Park City that started to separate things from the past.”
Park City Performances began producing community-theater presentations, but still struggled financially throughout the years.
“Our first big hit was called ‘This Is the Place,’ which was a parody about a Mormon missionary who was assigned to save the sinners of Park City,” Barton said. “He would get in quite the adventures with time-share salesmen, servers in restaurants and hot tubs. And I was the one who played the role of the missionary.”
The next hit was a production called “Pump Boys and Dinettes,” according to Barton.
“That with ‘This Is the Place’ saved us for the first few years,” he said. “But we were fortunate that there were some individuals who saved us at one time or another.”
After Mrs. Fields Cookies later went bankrupt, the federal government became the theater’s owner through the Resolution Trust Corporation, Barton said.
“The building was lost and ownership was taken over by the federal government through the Resolution Trust Corporation for about eight years,” Barton said.
“The theater was again saved when Rick and Carmen Rogers with Save Our Stage Foundation came around,” he said.
Today, thanks to community support and funds raised by its annual production of the Park City Follies, which started in 2001, the Egyptian Theatre remains one of the town’s performing arts staples, Barton said.
“We had been able to survive many challenges, including the recession of 2008 and last year’s COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. “So 40 years is a big thing to celebrate.”
The Egyptian Theatre seeks past actors, directors, board members, staff and major donors from the past four decades to attend its 40th anniversary celebration. To RSVP, call 855-745-SHOW.
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City Hall and the Arts Council of Park City and Summit County presents Pumpkin Fest at Bonanza Art Park next week.