Friday, November 8, 2019

Pandora's Box, starring Louise Brooks, to show in San Diego, California

The 90th anniversary of the release of Pandora's Box is being celebrated in San Diego, California later this month. On Saturday, November 23, the San Diego Symphony Orchestra will screen the 1929 Louise Brooks film at Copley Symphony Hall to mark the 90th anniversary of the San Diego Fox theater, which also opened in 1929. The San Diego Symphony Orchestra will not appear as part of this performance, but instead, the film is accompanied by a live soundtrack performance on the Fox Theater Organ by Russ Peck. More information about this event can be found HERE.

According to the San Diego Symphony Orchestra website, "One of the most fascinating and controversial films of the Silent Era, G.W. Pabst’s Pandora’s Box debuted in 1929, the same year The Fox opened its doors. Starring the unforgettable Louise Brooks as a seductive and feminine force of nature, this brazenly melodramatic movie was a startling breakthrough for the portrayal of women on the Silver Screen."

The Jacobs Music Center's Copley Symphony Hall opened in 1929 as the Fox Theatre, part of the nationwide Fox theater chain.  Designed by Weeks and Day in the Spanish Gothic-revival style, the Fox was an "old-school" movie palace, measuring 68,000-square-foot and accommodating more than 2,200 people.
The Fox cost $2.5 million to build, and at the time was the third largest theater in California. After many years of use as both a movie theater and live venue, it was conferred to the San Diego Symphony in 1984 and was extensively renovated. While its exterior has changed radically, the interior has been restored to the way it looked in 1929.
This year also marks the 90th anniversary of another 1929 Louise Brooks film, The Canary Murder Case. A mystery story, The Canary Murder Case was the last film made by Brooks in the United states before she left for Germany to make Pandora's Box (and Diary of a Lost Girl). When The Canary Murder Case opened in San Diego in March of that year, the Fox was still under construction. (The Fox opened 90 years ago today, on November 8, 1929). As with Brooks earlier films shown in San Diego, The Canary Murder Case played at the Cabrillo theatre, where it was well received. The San Diego Union headline for March 10 read “Cabrillo Theatre Offers Gripping Mystery Picture.”

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