Egyptian Theatre Expansion Study

DeKalb, Illinois

The expansion study proposes incorporating programming originally left out of the facility, as well as multiple types of new performance spaces including a new cinema and a smaller more flexible white box theater available for performances or as a rentable venue. In addition to the performance spaces, the proposed expansion includes a catering kitchen and VIP lounge which will provide more comfortable accommodations for bigger acts, as well as facilitate receptions, banquets, and dinner theatre shows. Updates to the mechanical systems include the addition of air conditioning in the main auditorium, allowing the facility to operate year-round. The expansion project will facilitate the growth and development of DeKalb, IL, and establish the Egyptian Theatre as the epicenter for arts, culture, and entertainment within the region for generations to come.

The Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, IL was constructed in 1929 at the onset of the Great Depression. Original plans had to be scaled back and the theatre was completed without sufficient support spaces that modern theatres require, such as staff offices, multipurpose spaces, and restrooms capable of handling large crowds.  Despite its shortcomings, the Theatre has maintained its presence in the community and is still a major venue for arts and entertainment in northern Illinois. 

Client: Preservation of Egyptian Theatre, Inc.

Project Size: 72,000 SQ. FT.

Completed: 2015