Original 1897 San Francisco ORPHEUM THEATER SOUVINER VIEWBOOK Drag Queens AFRICAN AMERICAN ACTORS Vaudeville BURLESQUE Musical Stars
1897 Souvenir Retrospective Viewbook Celebrating San Francisco's Orpheum Theater's First Ten years 1887 to 1897.
One of the greatest performance spaces in Bay Area history, the Orpheum opened on O'Farrell street by Union Square on June 30, 1887. It was conceived, built and run by notable Impresario Gustav Walter, a German immigrant to San Francisco. This scarce Orpheum Viewbook is an illustrated retrospective of its historic first decade 1887 to 1897. Filled with sixty-five (65) b&w photographic portraits and fifty-three (53) unique biographical sketches of the principal artists, musicians, Vaudeville and Burlesque stars, drag queens, circus performers, opera stars, comedians, female impersonators, and variety show entertainers who appeared during this most successful first decade. A long list of other notable performers appears at the end. Calamitously, only nine years later, the Orpheum was totally destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
Among the featured entertainers are Albert and Mamie Anderson, an important African American Vaudeville husband and wife duo.
ORPHEUM 10TH ANNIVERSARY SOUVENIR June 30, 1887 - June 30, 1897. Gustav Walter, Director General Orpheum Circuit, John Morrisey, Ass't Director. Published by Theatrical Pub's Co. (Horwinski Bros.) Printers, Publishers, Advertising Agents, Programmes and Souvenirs our Specialty, San Francisco, 1897, first and only edition. Printed card covers, front cover is embossed, bound with twisted gold string laced through three punched holes and bow tied at the top, 9.25" x 12", unpaginated 52 pages (including covers). Richly illustrated throughout with black and white photographs, and period advertisements for well heeled theatre patrons including local restaurants, hotels, tobacco shops, liquor stores, photographers and talent agencies. VERY GOOD CONDITION: Original 1897 program is complete as issued, covers have light shorelining to the right margin that lightly affects the inner pages, front cover has small staining, creases, edge wear, some wear to the string bound edge, and it's a touch faded, internally, some leaves have small closed edge tears, light signs of wear from handling, and a word is pencilled out on the retrospective essay, overall, tight, bright, clean and unmarked, a very respectable copy. Scarce. Only 2 copies held in OCLC collections worldwide, California Historical Society and Milner Library at Illinois State University. There may be a copy held in the San Francisco Museum of Performance & Design, Performing Arts Library Collection of Bay Area Theater Images and Memorabilia, the OAC (Online Archive of California) shows an image of the front cover only.