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The Unicorn Theatre, Mithras Bookstore & Green Tiger Press
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The Unicorn Theatre, Mithras Bookstore & Green Tiger Press Collection is made up of photographs, posters, books and archival material collected by the La Jolla Historical Society since the 1930s to use for historical research and reference. The Green Tiger Press, Unicorn Cinema and Mithras Bookstore landed among us in the high-spirited days of the 1960s. Although operating in the different mediums of an independent publishing house (Green Tiger), a film venture (The Unicorn) and a bookstore (Mithras), all three shared a common pursuit – presenting and sharing whatever they found to be truly marvelous. They also shared a common founder in Harold Darling. Green Tiger printed children’s books operating out of an old car showroom in downtown San Diego. The Unicorn and Mithras, concealed behind inconspicuous facades near the corner of Pearl Street and La Jolla Blvd., became legendary La Jolla landmarks, known for edgy presentations and eye for the offbeat as well as celebrations of the classics, both in film and literature. The Unicorn attracted growing crowds of artists and cineastes, including Ken Kesey who stopped for a visit on his Magic Bus tour, and Andy Warhol, who screened the early rushes for his surf film there in the late 1960s. Today, Green Tiger continues to operate its publishing venture in Seattle. The Unicorn and Mithras closed in 1984 after two decades of operation. The topics in this Collection pertain to the history and heritage of La Jolla, California; its people, places and events. A container list is included on the PDF and HTML versions.
The La Jolla Historical Society inspires and empowers the community to make La Jolla’s diverse past a relevant part of contemporary life. The La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections encompass over 80 years of actively collecting archival material, books, maps, scrapbooks, ephemera, fine art, newspapers, street and land use files, business and personal documents and historic and archaeological artifacts. The Society boasts over 20,000 photographs, over 1000 postcards, 400-plus architectural drawings and approximately 200 oral history recordings. Collecting was initiated by Howard Randolph and volunteers on the historical committee of the Library Association of La Jolla. The Collection began by gathering photographs and documentation in the late 1930s, which later became the nucleus of the La Jolla Historical Society’s Collections. The Society was created in 1963. Through many moves in location the Society continued collecting and expanding. Accumulated Collections took on its current construct in 2010 after the renovation of the La Jolla Historical Society’s campus of structures in central La Jolla, which consists of the 1904 Wisteria Cottage and 1940s Balmer Annex used for exhibits and programming, and a 1909 cottage used for business and research offices. The late Ellen Browning Scripps’ 1916 automobile garage was also renovated and now houses the Collection in a modern collections storage facility. Materials are housed in archival boxes, sleeves, envelopes and other archival-safe materials and are cared for according to standards and best practices of the museum profession. In 2016, the Society initiated new PastPerfect Museum Software to manage and catalog its Collections and in 2018 started using the Online Archive of California to upload searchable information from its Collections to enable improved public access. The Society will continue these processes and look forward to utilizing new opportunities to collect, preserve and share the history of La Jolla.
3 linear feet
The La Jolla Historical Society holds the copyright to any unpublished materials
The Collection is open for research