The effort to restore and refurbish the historic Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay got a much-needed financial boost Tuesday night, when the Coos Bay Urban Renewal Agency approved a $70,000 facade grant.
According to Greg Rueger, President of the Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association, the Urban Renewal grant makes an even larger grant possible. “In December, we received a $160,000 grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust that was contingent upon our securing the remaining funds needed to restore the theatre. This $70,000 from the Urban Renewal Agency allows us to meet the Trust’s ‘top-off condition’ and lock in the award.”
The Meyer Memorial Trust award will also fund completion of the structural work on the theatre building, the Broadway facade restoration and various other restoration and patron enhancements in the interior of the Egyptian. The Meyer Memorial Trust is a private foundation that is not connected to Fred Meyer, Inc.
The facade design, which was approved by the ETPA Board in November, was created by historic preservationist George Kramer, former Chair of the Oregon Heritage Commission. “Kramer has won numerous awards for historic preservation,” Rueger said, “and we’re fortunate to be able to take advantage of his rich historical background with this design.”
Although a great deal of work remains — including remodeling the concession area and reroofing the front of the theatre — Rueger said the Meyer Memorial Trust Award and Urban Renewal Agency grant mean the ETPA can shift its focus. “These awards mean we are now over the top with the funding we need to complete all of our critical and highly desired restoration, and reopen the Egyptian Theatre to once again serve our community.”
The board currently expects a grand re-opening of the theatre sometime in June, with regular programming starting again in July.