Guide to the Mike Campanella films

Amanda G. DeWilde
Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 264-2976
Fax: (916) 264-2884
Copyright 2018
Sacramento Public Library. All rights reserved.

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room
Title: Mike Campanella films
Identifier/Call Number: MC 61
Physical Description: 4 Reels 8mm color film; 48 minutes
Date (inclusive): 1958-1960
Abstract: Michael Campanella (1894-1960) was Sacramento boxing promoter and dance hall proprietor. The films in this collection document his life in Sacramento and include footage of Dreamland Dance Hall and K Street scenes, along with many views of his travels in Italy.

Biographical Note

Michael Campanella was Sacramento dance hall proprietor and boxing manager. Born in 1894 in Potenza, Italy, he immigrated to the United States in 1902. Campanella married May in 1925 and had two sons: Donald and Michael. He worked as a laundryman from the late-1920s until the late-1930s, when he found work as a bartender at Dreamland Dance Hall. By 1940, he co-owned the hall with Charles W. Morgan. The Dreamland Dance Hall was located at 917 and 919 Sixth Street from the early 30s through 1953. For most of its operation, it was a popular taxi dance hall, offering 10-cent partner dances and beer. Campanella's co-owner, Charles W. Morgan passed away in 1953 from a sudden illness. Campanella continued to operate the business until his death in 1960 and over time became affectionately known as "Dreamland Mike." In addition to his work for Dreamland Dance Hall, Campanella worked as a boxing promoter, bringing young fighters to the Sacramento area in the late-1940s through the 1950s.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Michael Campanella films, MC 61, Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California.

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of four color 8mm film reels dating from circa 1958-1960. The first film documents Mike Campanella's travels in Italy. The second contains numerous images of Sacramento, including Fairytale Town at Land Park, couples dancing in Dreamland Dance Hall and Campanella cleaning its exterior, and views of the 400 block of K Street with views of the Rialto Theater and demolition next to it. The third film includes additional scenes of demolition; exteriors and street scenes through the downtown area including the court house; scenes of Campanella with boxers and managers, including Damasco Collazo; a visit to a tomato farm in Northern California; and some family scenes including a wedding at St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno. The fourth film contains images of a baby brought for christening to Immaculate Conception Church, home construction, scenes at the Campanella home and additional travels in Italy.