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Lurie (Louis R.) collection of Curran and Geary Theater press books
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Preferred Citation
  • Related Materials

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Louis R. Lurie collection of press books documenting the Curran and Geary Theater productions
    source: Lurie, Louis R.
    Identifier/Call Number: M1148
    Physical Description: 72.5 Linear Feet (87 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1923-1976
    Abstract: This collection is composed of scrapbooks from the Curran and Geary theaters in San Francisco. These professionally-assembled albums document over fifty years in the history of these theatres, covering a wide range of productions: plays, variety shows, comedy shows, magic shows, ballet, opera, revues, films, and other productions. The scrapbooks primarily contain newspaper clippings, along with press notices, advertisements, playbills, programs, menus, correspondence and photographs. The newspaper clippings include feature stories, interviews, advertisements, and critical reviews.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection consists of scrapbooks documenting the bookings by the Lurie Company into their Geary and Curran Theaters in San Francisco. There are also a small number of scrapbooks from other theatres in San Francisco and a few from the Majestic Theatre in Los Angeles. The scrapbooks primarily contain newspaper clippings with feature stories, critical reviews, interviews, advertisements, and press notices. Along with the clippings, there is also other promotional material such as playbills, programs, entertainment guides, flyers, press releases, menus, lists of radio plugs, scripts for radio plugs, photographs, racetrack programs, and correspondence. The scrapbooks were prepared as a record of bookings by the Lurie Company’s press agents (Thomas Earnfeld, Richard Obee, and others) for the Curran and Geary Theaters. The bookings covered in the scrapbooks include plays, revues, comedy shows, magic shows, variety shows, concerts, opera, ballet, and movies. The scrapbooks also cover the San Francisco Civic Light Opera, which was closely associated with the Curran Theater, from the 1st Annual Season in 1938 to the 39th Annual Season in 1976.
    The scrapbooks are arranged chronologically. The dates recorded for each production are the opening and closing dates of the production. For scrapbooks that have only one date, that is the opening date of the production. The scrapbooks cover one or more productions.
    The bulk of the clippings in the scrapbooks are from the major San Francisco daily newspapers (including the San Francisco Bulletin, San Francisco Call, San Francisco Call & Post, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Daily News, San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Journal). There are also clippings from neighborhood newspapers, newspapers from nearby cities, and special interest newspapers. Although the clippings are primarily in English, there are a number of clippings in German, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, Russian, Japanese, Swedish, Serbian, and Danish.
    The scrapbooks document a large number of actors, including: Margaret Anglin, Lauren Bacall, Pearl Bailey, Lucille Ball, Tallulah Bankhead, Ethel Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Ralph Bellamy, Richard Bennett, Gertrude Berg, Betty Bronson, Billie Burke, Sid Caesar, Leo Carillo, Lon Chaney, Carol Channing, Ruth Chatterton, Bobby Clark, Katharine Cornell, Noel Coward, Jane Cowl, Sammy Davis Jr., Olivia de Havilland, Marlene Dietrich, Melvyn Douglas, Katherine Dunham, Alice Faye, Frank Fay, Jose Ferrer, Henry Fonda, Lynn Fontanne, Trixie Friganza, Helen Gahagan, Eva Gabor, Mitzi Gaynor, Mercedes GilbertFarley Granger, Mitzi Hajos, Ann Harding, Julie Harris, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Rose Hobart, Taylor Holmes, Sally Ann Howes, Walter Huston, Al Jolson, Carolyn Jones, Spike Jones, T.C. Jones, Bertha Kalich, Boris Karloff, Buster Keaton, Bert Lahr, Burt Lancaster, Angela Lansbury, Gertrude Lawrence, Francis Lederer, Vivien Leigh, Eugenie Leontovich, Cecilia Loftus, Bessie Love, Bela Lugosi, Mary Martin, Chico Marx, Johnny Mathis, Claudia McNeil, Ralph Meeker, Burgess Meredith, Thomas Mitchell, Jeri Miyazaki, Ricardo Montalban, Paul Muni, Alla Nazimova, Julie Newmar, Eugene O'Brien, Laurence Olivier, Nance O'Neil, Anna Pavlova, Gregory Peck, Edith Piaf, John Raitt, Gregory Ratoff, Paul Robeson, Edward G. Robinson, May Robson, Martin Sheen, Lowell Sherman, Sylvia Sidney, Phil Silvers, Jean Simmons, Cornelia Barbara Stanwyck, Michiko Sunahara, Lyle Talbot, Jessica Tandy, Lenore Ulric, Peter Ustinov, Rudy Vallee, Gwen Verdon, Robert Warwick, Ethel Waters, Mae West, Crane Wilbur, Emlyn Williams, and Anna May Wong.
    The other newspapers included in the collection are: Alameda County Reporter, Alameda Times-Star, Alvarado Pioneer, Ashbury Heights Advance, Belmont Courier, Berkeley Gazette, Brentwood News, Brisbane Sun, California Democrat, California Demkrot, California Journal, Carmel Pine Cone-Cymbal, Castro Valley Reporter, Chinese Times, Daily Californian, Daily Commercial News, Contra Costa Courier and Danville Journal, Daly City Record, Dinuba Sentinel, Divisadero District Advocate, El Imparcial, Emanu-El, Eureka District News, Fillmore District News, Fourth Air Force Clipper Weekly, Geyserville Press, Golden Gate Valley News, Half Moon Bay Review, Hayes Valley Advertiser, Hayward Journal, Hispano-America, Ingle-Wood Advance, Japanese American News, Jewish Journal, La Voce Popolo, L'Itaalia, Lodi News, Los Gatos News, Manteca Bulletin, Marin Herald, Marin Journal, Mercury Register, Millbrae Leader, Mission Enterprise, Mission Merchants News, Modern Time, Napa Journal, National Industrial Review, New Mission News, New York Times, Nichi Bei Times, Oakland Menorah, Oakland Post-Enquirer, Oakland Tribune, Oakmore Journal, Organized Labor, Pelican, Peninsula Beacon, Peoples World, Petaluma Argus-Courier, Pittsburg Post, Presidio Heights Press, Richmond Banner, Richmond Progress, Richmond Record, Russian Life, San Bruno Recorder, San Francisco Inter-City Ledger, San Francisco Municipal Journal, San Jose Evening News, San Leandro Reporter, San Lorenzo Valley Journal, San Mateo Times, San Rafael Independent, Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Sausalito News, South O' Market Press, Stanford Daily, Sunset Dispatch, Sunset Parkside Courier, The Argonaut, The Collegian, The Mirror, The Monitor, The San Franciscan, The Union Gazette, The Wasp Newsletter, Times Gazette, Twin Cities Times (Larkspur, Calif.), Twin Peaks Sentinel, Vestkusten, Weekly Herald, Western Women's Club News, Woodland Daily Democrat, and Young China.

    Biographical / Historical

    Louis Lurie was a real estate developer, theatrical producer and philanthropist. His real estate company built and owned a large number of commercial office space in San Francisco. Among the buildings the company owned were the Curran and Geary Theatres, and the Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. Lurie started the Lurie Company and the Louis R. Lurie Foundation. Lurie was born September 6, 1888 in Chicago and he died September 7, 1972 in San Francisco. Robert Lurie, Louis' son, was an owner of the San Francisco Giants.

    Conditions Governing Use

    While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. Any transmission or reproduction beyond that allowed by fair use requires permission from the owners of rights, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/spc/using-collections/permission-publish

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open for research. Note that material is stored off-site and must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item] Louis R. Lurie collection of press books documenting the Curran and Geary Theater productions (M1148), Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Related Materials

    Samuel Stark theater program collection, 1832-1972 (M1149)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Theater -- San Francisco (Calif.)
    Music -- Performance -- California -- San Francisco
    Vaudeville -- United States.
    Dance -- Performances
    Lurie, Louis R.
    Curran Theater (San Francisco, Calif.)
    Geary Theater (San Francisco, Calif.)