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You asked: Why is the Egyptian Theater boarded up?

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If you’ve driven through Downtown Boise lately you might have noticed that the doors to the Egyptian Theater are boarded up.

The classic theater first popped up in 1927, and remains one of the longest-standing buildings in Downtown Boise.

It survived the wrecking ball in the 1970s, and currently enjoys a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Boise’s urban renewal agency, in pursuit of a doomed plan to build a downtown Boise mall, planned to rip down the building. It removed scores of historic buildings in the downtown core over the year. But for the Egyptian, local resident Earl Hardy stepped in to buy the theater – just 30 days before its date with the wrecking ball. The Hardy family still owns the building through its foundation.

But for now, the Egyptian’s projector remains silent and its stage empty. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the theater to cancel all events through January of 2021.

It took the opportunity to do some maintenance work – leading to that plywood over the entrance. Crews painted and repaired the doors to the building. Conveniently, they cut a peephole in the wood so passers-by can see the work.

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Here’s the shot we grabbed earlier this month:

Work on the interior doors of the Egyptian Theater in Boise. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

Thanks Jaclyn, and others, for the question!

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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