Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lulu by the Bay

Lately, I have been compiling a list of Bay Area screenings for each of Louise Brooks' films. (See yesterday's blog as an example of my efforts.)

And so far, I have put together a ten page document detailing all of the listings I have been able to uncover - listings from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, Marin County and places in-between. It's a fun project - though also frustrating. My lists are far from complete, as many screenings (especially those at smaller neighborhood theaters) were not advertised or listed, or the materials which do document them (like old newspapers) simply don't exist anymore or can't be gotten at.

Nevertheless, I forge ahead. Tomorrow, I will head to Sacramento and the State Library of California to look at various Bay Area newspapers held there on microfilm. That library even holds San Francisco newspapers not held by the San Francisco Public Library, like the San Francisco Illustrated News (a glorious old-fashioned tabloid) and the Richmond Record (the latter is a neighborhood newspaper, which hopefully will carry advertisements for the neighborhood theaters in that district).

It is a work in progress.

In early blogs, I posted some of my findings for The Street of Forgotten Men (1925) and King of Gamblers (1937). I have been able to add many more listings. Here, so far, is what I have been able to find for the now-lost film, Just Another Blonde (1926).

New Stanford in Palo Alto (Jan. 13-14, 1927); Sequoia Theatre in Redwood City (Jan 15, 1927); Novelty in Martinez (Feb. 3-4, 1927); Warfield in San Francisco (Feb. 12-18, 1927); Grand Lake in Oakland (Feb. 19-25, 1927); Hub Theatre in Mill Valley (Feb. 26, 1927); Princess Theatre in Sausalito (Feb. 27-28, 1927); California in Berkeley (Mar. 2-5, 1927); Richmond Theatre in Richmond (Mar. 16-17, 1927); Peninsula in Burlingame (Apr. 3, 1927); Orpheus in San Rafael (Apr. 14-15, 1927); Casino Theatre in Antioch (Mar. 19, 1927); Mission in San Jose (Apr. 20-23, 1927); Regent Theater in San Mateo (Apr. 29-30, 1927); Coliseum in San Francisco (May 10-11, 1927); Haight in San Francisco (May 22, 1927); Alhambra in San Francisco (May 28-29, 1927); Wigwam in San Francisco (May 31 – June 3, 1927 with The Lady in Ermine); Castro in San Francisco (June 7-8, 1927); Alexandra in San Francisco (June 8-9, 1927); Irving in San Francisco (June 12, 1927 with Great K & A Train Robbery); Riviera in San Francisco (June 13-14, 1927); Royal Theatre in South San Francisco (July 6, 1927); New Balboa in San Francisco (July 20-21, 1927); Roosevelt in San Francisco (July 22, 1927); California Theatre in Livermore (July 23, 1927); Golden State in Oakland (July 25, 1927); Lincoln in Oakland (July 25, 1927); Hayward Theatre in Hayward (Aug. 2, 1927 with Diplomacy); Rivoli in San Francisco (Aug. 28-29, 1927); Majestic in San Francisco (Oct. 8, 1927).

What's interesting is that this particular film was shown in outlying town like Palo Alto (home to Stanford University) and nearby Redwood City BEFORE it was screened in San Francisco. Usually in the 1920's, films played in the major cities before they made their way elsewhere.

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