Tut’s Fever Movie Palace
Red Grooms (b. 1937, Nashville; lives in New York City) and Lysiane Luong (b. 1951, Paris; lives in New York City). Commissioned by Museum of the Moving Image
Tut’s Fever is a working movie theater and art installation created by Red Grooms and Lysiane Luong, an homage to the ornate, exotic picture palaces of the 1920s. Inspired by the tomb paintings they saw during a trip to Egypt, Grooms and Luong covered the walls, floor and seats of the theater with hand-painted, Egyptian-style depictions of Hollywood royalty. Silent screen star Theda Bara works the box office, Mae West stands behind the concessions stand, and Mickey Rooney is the usher. Rudolf Valentino, Elizabeth Taylor and many others grace the walls, and each slipcovered chair in the theater features an image of Rita Hayworth. Visitors can open a sarcophagus to find a sculpture of James Dean lying in his tomb, cigarette still dangling from his mouth.
Tut’s Fever is a permanent feature of the Museum’s core exhibition, Behind the Screen.