Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Golden State Theatre Photos

This is the exterior view of the Golden State Theatre; the top part of that central portion is molded tin starting just above those top center figures and filigree's--a shell which add to the height and grandeur. All the windows had some kind of embellishments over them as well and on both top corners are square panels with an eagle head design--the one visible has been removed. This was an old Vaudeville house and was on the circuit of houses that various acts would tour to; an actor/performer could develop an act and tour this circuit for years. The original dressing rooms still exist, little cramped cubby holes lined with slatted wood panels, a sink and mirrors.

This is the upper lobby and has been pretty much completely restored with the exception of some of the ceiling murals--the entire interior was repainted grey and this upper balcony level partitioned off into two other theatres. The damage from the installation and removal of those partitions is still visible in the main auditorium and has not quite been mended. Not visible in this shot are 4 hideous, beautifully carved wooden chairs, and the equally ornate embellishments along the top of the wall at right.

The top section of the Grand Lobby entrance, looking from the upper balcony lobby toward the street outside. I don't know the name of the Spaniard in the mural who stands so heroically in the bow of the dingy. I think it's a dingy. Could be a skiff. And he could be Portuguese.

A wall panel outside the mens' restroom the anteroom of which is paneled in mirrors, but otherwise pretty functional. And yes, I have looked into the ladies' loo as well. Sans ladies, of course. It's much prettier. There are niches in the walls of the building every so often that have a small ornate Egyptian/art deco-ish plaque in the upper portion of the niche with a capped pipe coming out of the wall below them. Couldn't figure out what they were. Then I saw firehoses wrapped around a few of them. Ah.

The main theater chandeliers, which hang at the rear of the auditorium under the balcony--there are also 3 very large circular recessed lighting niches in front of these toward the front of the balcony. I couldn't find any shots of the side walls of the auditorium and am endeavoring to get some photos of my own taken.

The stage itself--not quite as wide as ACT's, I think, with little wing space for scenery and sets, but a well functioning fly system enabling us to lower backdrops and scenic elements down. The acoustics are amazing--you can speak in a normal voice and be heard in the back row of the balcony--the slightly curved ceiling may be responsible, and I'll see if I can get some pictures of the ceiling of this room--quite beautiful. The mighty Wurlitzer organ is in a niche front center stage and I believe has a lift to raise and lower it into position. The forestage you see here has been squared out into a more complete platform--those side niches filled in--and we'll have stairs left and right so we can go into the audience. Grand, isn't it?


Blogger alexae said...

Well aren't you getting fancy with the photography and all... nice shots.

March 24, 2008 at 10:48 PM  

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