Egyptian Theatre

116 W. 10th Street,
Sioux Falls, SD 57104

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc., Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp.

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg, Henry J. Schwarz

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Styles: Egyptian, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Colonial Theatre, Pay's New Egyptian Theatre

Nearby Theaters

EGYPTIAN Theatre; Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Another long-lost downtown Sioux Falls movie house, the Colonial Theatre was built in 1913 and opened on June 13, 1914. It was operated by Asher K. Pay. It was remodeled and reopened September 17, 1926 in an Egyptian style, and was renamed Pay’s New Egyptian Theatre. The opening attraction was a stage production of “7th Heaven”. It was soon operated by Warner Bros Circuit Management Corp. who were followed by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary John Friedl. It was remodelled again in 1938, by the architectural firm of Liebenberg and Kaplan.

The Egyptian Theatre was closed in 1961 and razed in 1963 to be replaced by a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 21, 2004 at 2:57 pm

Jack Liebenberg was the architect of the Egyptian Theatre and it had a seating capacity of 825.

roger on December 30, 2004 at 8:18 pm

prior to the remodeling as the Egyptian, the theater was known as the Colonial Theater. Also after the theater became the Egyptian the local projectionists of Local 556 of the IATSE had a meeting and recreation room under the balcony of the theater. The theater was demolished in the early 60’s (to make way for a parking lot, of course) and sadly was no longer around when I moved to Sioux Falls in 1965.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 6, 2005 at 8:07 am

A correction to my posting on Dec 21, 2004.

Jack Liebenberg was not the original architect of the Egyptian, he was responsible (with his partner Seeman Kaplan) for the 1938 re-modelling of the theatre.

cosmo on August 14, 2005 at 9:08 pm

I saw the 3D movie “The Maze” at the Egyptian in 1953. This was not a picture that was seen by many.and seeing “Them” and “The Great
Caruso” at the Egyptian.
What a wonderful childhood I had at the movies in Sioux Falls

Lefty57106 on May 9, 2007 at 4:35 pm

According to Building South Dakota: A Historical Survey of the State’s Architecture to 1945 by David Erpestad and David Wood, the Egyptian was designed by Henry J. Schwarz in 1913 as a Senior project at the University of Pennsylvania. The Marquee was designed by J.J. Liebenberg in 1938. It does not mention anything about further renovation by Liebenberg. I have pictures of the Egyptian as early as 1927. If it was ever known as the Colonial, I don’t yet know.

Lefty57106 on July 4, 2007 at 1:58 pm

Check out
View link
for a halfway decent account of the life of the Egyptian/Colonial Theater.

The Colonial closed in 1926 and reopened later that same year as the Egyptian. The 1938 renovation brought a larger, more impressive marquee by Liebenberg, but the Egyptian was there before that remodel.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm

Volume 4 of History of Dakota Territory by George W. Kingsbury says that Asher K. Pay opened the Colonial Theatre on June 13, 1914.

Page 14 of Eric Renshaw’s Forgotten Sioux Falls (Google Books preview has photos of the theater before and after its Egyptian-style remodeling, which the caption says took place in 1926.

Renshaw says that the Colonial opened on January 30, 1915, but I’m inclined to trust Kingsbury, whose book was actually published in 1915. There is also the record of a lawsuit that indicates that at least one of the Colonial’s roof trusses was already in place on February 23, 1914. That would be consistent with a June, 1914, opening.

rivest266 on December 11, 2016 at 4:07 am

September 15th, 1926 grand opening ad in the photo section.

50sSNIPES on April 10, 2020 at 12:48 pm

As Of 1933, The Egyptian Theatre Was Not Operated By Paramount Pictures I Believe Because When I Looked Through A Bundle Of Information About It, The Egyptian Is One Out Of A Couple Theaters In Sioux Falls Operated By Warner Bros Circuit Management.

SethG on April 24, 2024 at 8:31 am

Closed 1961, demolished 1963, to add to the giant desert of surface parking that makes up about half of downtown.

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