King Tut Craze

     In 1922, Howard Carter broke into an untouched Egyptian tomb that turned out to belong to the boy ruler, King Tutankhamen. Little did he know he was setting off a stylistic frenzy throughout the Western World. Why does this impact my vaudeville mystery story set in the Roaring Twenties? Simple. The King Tut craze affected style at all levels, from clothing to furniture to architecture. Many of the theaters that were built during the Twenties boasted King Tut features. The most famous is probably Grauman’s Egyptian Theater built in 1922, pictured here. Interestingly, the opulent faux-Egyptian style building, complete with hieroglyphics and palm trees, was actually constructed just before Howard Carter discovered the famous tomb. In fact, it opened two weeks before the big discovery. But the search for King Tut’s tomb had been going on for some years and public interest was high. It was, shall we say, perfect timing for Grauman to open his theater just as the discovery was making headlines across the Western world.

     Other, smaller theaters in other, smaller cities across the country sprang up in the King Tut style. Not many are still around. I use one of them in my mystery.  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. And of course, we shouldn’t forget the wonderfully camp 1960’s Batman’s King Tut. That guy cast a long shadow 🙂

  2. Wow, this is amazing. The interior photo is simply beautiful. Is it a photo or artist rendering?

    This information is great. I do not know much about the period but it is of great interest to me.

  3. It’s a photo . . . and fabulous in color! Google “Grauman’s Egyptian theater” and you can see other black and white and color pictures.


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