Young artists lead effort to save the Egyptian Theatre

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A push is on in Park City to ensure the future of the Egyptian Theatre. A group of young artists are working to build a financial foundation so strong a struggling economy won't be able to touch it, and they're banking on your memories.

The rich history of the Egyptian Theatre has inspired the group to start a campaign to ensure the theater's future. "They've been doing live performances on this very site for 100 years," said Stacy Hess, co-founder of the Save the Egyptian Campaign.

People stop to take pictures of the theater all the time. It's one of the main symbols of the Sundance Film Festival, and this group wants to make sure it's successful all year long. "Everybody has a memory of the Egyptian," Hess said.

That's what Hess' campaign is based on. During the festival, her group is asking community leaders, and stars, and everyone to film short vignettes about their memories of the Egyptian.

They'll turn them into a documentary, which they'll give to the Egyptian. They hope it raises awareness of the importance of independent theater, as well as donations. Among those with fond memories is filmmaker Angela Shelton. "It's a real honor for me to help this theater stay alive," she said.

Shelton's first movie, "Tumbleweeds," premiered here. "I was here to watch it and walked into the Egyptian Theater with goose bumps," she said.

She went on to win the filmmakers trophy, and today she's helping victims of sexual abuse through her documentaries. She wants all artists to have the same opportunity. "Five, 10 years from now, I want to see this theater here thriving, nice and polished," Shelton said.

When it's not hosting Sundance premiers, the Egyptian Theatre has a full schedule of live performances.


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Sarah Dallof


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