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New Book! THEATRES OF THE SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA

A new book in the Arcadia Publishing “Images of America” series is now available, chronicling the theatres–old and recent–that have dotted the stretch of communities between the City of San Francisco and San Jose. THS Founding Member Jack Tillmany, author of the best-selling Theatres of San Francisco, and co-author of Theatres of Oakland, has teamed up with THS Board member and author of Theatres of San Jose Gary Lee Parks in producing another volume, THEATRES OF THE SAN FRANCISCO PENINSULA. THS members who attended the 2008 “San Jose and Around the Bay” Conclave will remember the Fox in Redwood City, and the Stanford and Varsity in Palo Alto. All three are given ample coverage in this new book, but readers will find there were once far more theatres than these in the geographic area covered. Notable among those giants long-lost are the Fox San Mateo in San Mateo (1925) which can lay claim to being the first movie theatre in America to showcase Art Deco as a major component to its interior design. Also in the same city: The full-blown Art Deco splendor of the Baywood (1930), a rare Northern California design by L.A.’s S. Charles Lee, who appears again in the wild, built-from-scratch Skouras-era Carlos, in San Carlos (1941). The ubiquitous Reid Bros. are represented, with their usual, but pleasing interpretations of 1920s Spanish style in theatres of South San Francisco, Burlingame, and Palo Alto. Weeks & Day are likewise represented in the huge Fox Peninsula Theatre in Burlingame (1926), which had a rooftop sign on a par with Oakland’s Grand Lake. All of these theatres are either gone or converted to other uses, and so Jack and Gary’s book preserves them for the public in images. Also represented are an astonishing number of drive-ins, all of them now gone. Many of the drive-in photos come from the Syufy Collection. The multiplex era is included, with examples both austere and showy, and–going back to the genesis of area theatres, several nickelodeons and legit houses are shown. Themajority of vintage photographs are taken from Jack Tillmany’s enormous collection. Gaps were filled by Gary visiting local libraries and historical museums, photographing a few sites as they appear today, and of course, making use of THS’s own celebrated Archives. Several remarkable discoveries were also made when Jack was able to gain access to the B’Hend-Kaufmann collection at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Theatres of the San Francisco Peninsula can be ordered at www.arcadiapublishing.com
Filling-in the full title in the appropriate box on Arcadia’s site will direct you to the book.

One Comment

  1. T

    I have a 14K gold pocket watch once owned by a Charlse Muchlman – owner of a movie house in San Fransico 1920 – inscribed inside as a gift to him by his “Motion Picture Friends” – do you have any other information about this gentelman – the watch belonged to my Grandfather – how he came to it varys in stories.
    Thank you
    T-horton@sbcglobal.net

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