Specimens of motion picture film compiled and catalogued by Earl Theisen (1903-1973). A portion of the collection is derived
from other motion picture history donations to the museum, but most of the items were collected by the donor. 1889-1947, undated
Theisen (1903-1973) was the Honorary Curator of Motion Picture and Theatrical Arts at the then-called Los Angeles Museum for
several years following 1931. He had a primary role at the museum in developing the Motion Picture Gallery. Much of the
film collections in the museum’s History Department were acquired as a result of his efforts.
He was a technician at the Dunning Process Plant, a member of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers, and a member of the
Society’s Historical Committee. He wrote articles for the publication “The International Photographer” from about 1932 to
1936 and also served as its Associate Editor. In articles he discussed the history of motion pictures; film production and
the film industry, including the art of animation; in a semi- regular column he covered news about the Hollywood industry.
One of the articles from the May, 1934 issue noted that he was a “member of the Faculty as Lecturer in the Department of Cinematography,
University of Southern California.”
While serving as curator at the museum, Theisen became active as the Executive Secretary of the Motion Picture Hall of Fame
at the California-Pacific International Exposition (1935-1936) at San Diego, California. He organized a motion picture gallery
at the exposition using his contacts in the hectic film industry to acquire props and materials within a matter of five weeks.
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