December 28, 2012


The vision for DeKalb’s Egyptian Theatre since it was saved from demolition in the late 1970’s is a community-based one. The success of the Egyptian Theatre has continually been embraced by both the arts community and the people of DeKalb County.

The Egyptian has maintained the same rental rates for using the theatre since 2006, even as operating expenses continue to rise.  In order to keep the theatre open and accessible for community use, the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers are finding creative ways to raise the funds necessary to maintain our low rental rates and not pass along fee increases to our community users.

“We have actually added non-profit discounts and multi-day rental discounts in recent years to assist local groups even further,” stated Board President Ryan Weckerly. Since 2006, the number of community groups utilizing the theatre has grown every single year; now more than 25 community groups currently use the theatre.

The mission of the Egyptian Theatre is: “To share and protect the historical integrity of the theatre as a regional arts center for entertainment and community involvement.” In furthering this mission, the theatre is excited to announce a brand new program – the Egyptian Theatre Community Grant Program. These grants are available to assist with the rental cost of the theatre for non-profits located within DeKalb County.

Awarded grant amounts will typically range from $250-$1,500 for an event and will be given as a credit for rental of the theatre for a specific event. Since the grant program is new, special deadlines apply for the 2012-2013 season only. The grant application and guidelines are all online through the Egyptian Theatre website at

Grant applications are due prior to receiving a rental contract. This allows groups to find out what grant amount they might receive before committing to renting the theatre. Organizations may apply for more than one grant in a year, but priority will be given to organizations that have not yet received a grant in that year.

“We are very excited about this new program and hope that it will be a way for even more community groups to utilize this fantastic venue,” stated Executive Director Alex Nerad.

Any non-profit organization in DeKalb County is encouraged to apply for the grant. Groups that haven’t utilized the theatre for their previous events are encouraged to contact us. Events in recent years have ranged from theatre productions, concerts, dance performances, films, athletic events, art shows, graduations, receptions, and meetings.

Through the continued support of the community and the City of DeKalb, the theatre has been able to make significant improvements over the past few years. These improvements now position the theatre to be able to accommodate nearly any type of event. Brand new theatre seats,  a new and updated lighting and sound system, renovated dressing rooms, and Wi-Fi access throughout the building are just a number of the reasons that the theatre is perfect to host your next event.

The Egyptian Theatre has been operated and maintained by the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization Preservation of the Egyptian Theatre, Inc. since 1978. The Egyptian Theatre is located at 135 N. Second Street in downtown DeKalb, IL.