“Movie Houses of Worship” is a regular feature spotlighting our favorite movie theaters around the world, those that are like temples of cinema catering to the most religious-like film geeks. This week, our own Kate Erbland highlights one of the main Sundance Film Festival venues in anticipation of her return to Park City this week. Her comments are those quoted. If you’d like to suggest or submit a place you regularly worship at the altar of cinema, please email our weekend editor.
Location: 328 Main Street, Park City, Utah.
Opened: Christmas Eve, 1926, as The Egyptian Theatre. It replaced the historic Dewey Theater, the roof of which had caved in from a heavy snow. Now officially known as the Mary G. Steiner Egyptian Theatre.
No. of screens: 1
Current first-run titles: None.
Repertory programming: None, except in the case that Sundance would screen a classic film here.
Special Events: When it’s not Sundance season, the Egyptian is primarily a live performance venue, featuring concerts and stage productions as well as hosting a youth theater group. Upcoming events include a Canned Heat concert, a Michael Jackson tribute band and a run of Reefer Madness the Musical. Basically, the Sundance Film Festival is their most special event.
Why I worship here: “Chances are, if you Google ‘Sundance movie theater,’ you’re going to get more pictures of the Egyptian popping up in your results than any other Park City or Salt Lake City theater – when people picture the festival, they picture the Egyptian’s marquee. And why shouldn’t they? The classic theater is beautiful, picturesque, and charming. They also have beer here. Located at the tippy-top of Park City’s Main Street, the Egyptian requires a bit of a hike to reach (relatively speaking, considering that Sundance’s amazing shuttle service basically drops its passengers off as close to their destination as they could possibly want), but it’s always worth it. Sure, the seats are a bit close and the screen could be a bit bigger, but the Egyptian just feels like a real movie theater, a true one-screener, a movie house of old, and after hours and hours of watching movies in multiplexes during the rest of the year, I can’t wait to get back to the Egyptian come January.”
Recent screening of note: “At last year’s Sundance, I purposely saved Andrea Arnold‘s Wuthering Heights for a late-in-the-fest screening that I could enjoy in relative solitude, away from the hubbub of the Holiday theaters (where most of the the press and industry screenings take place) or the Eccles, and the Egyptian was the clear choice. A frenzied trek up Main Street, a nervous wait in line, and a mad dash to get a beer to chug pre-watch were all worth it once Arnold’s gorgeous film started. The Egyptian is a such a lovely setting for such a lovely film, and it soothed me in all the ways that my festival-addled mind needed. Also, you know, beer.”
Devotion to the concessions: “They have beer here. What else do you need to know? Fine, I think they also have popcorn.”
Last word: “Worth the hike up Main Street, no other theater that serves Sundance feels more like a true Sundance experience and a uniquely Park City place to be.”