The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



The Emperor's Bridge Campaign Contributes Four Rare Emperor Norton Films to the Internet Archive

Following on from Lights! Camera! Norton! — its recent sold-out Emperor Norton film nights at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco — The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, the San Francisco-based nonprofit that advances the legacy of Emperor Norton, has contributed four rare Emperor-themed films to the Internet Archive, the nonprofit library that collects published works and makes them available in digital formats.

The films include the three that were shown at the Roxie, plus one more:

The Story of Norton I: Emperor of the United States (1936) — Columbia Pictures

"Emperor Norton's Bridge" (1956) — Season 1, Episode 8, of Telephone Time

"Emperor Norton" (1956) — Season 4, Episode 21, of Death Valley Days

"The Emperor Norton (1966) — Season 7, Episode 23, of Bonanza

All four of these films are rarely seen outside the confines of film screening societies and, occasionally, subscription cable television — and sometimes not even then.

The Campaign is delighted and grateful to have the Internet Archive as a partner in making these films available for viewing by a broader audience. *

In addition to uploading these films to the Internet Archive, with descriptions provided by The Emperor's Bridge Campaign...

The Archive provided — at no charge to Campaign — a high-resolution scan of the Campaign's own 16mm copy of the 1936 theatrical film short, The Story of Norton I — which appears to feature the earliest dramatic portrayal of Emperor Norton extant on film.

This copy of the film is doubly rare, as it is the complete original version of the film, including the Columbia Pictures titles. Copies of the film in other collections — including the Library of Congress and the Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley — are of a 1947 reissue by the Academic Film Company. In this reissue, the film is retitled Emperor Norton, and the original Columbia title cards are switched out.

The scan was done by Dimitrios Latsis, a post-doctoral fellow at the Internet Archive, who was the Campaign's truly fabulous "point person" throughout this collaboration.

Digital files of the three other films were prepared by Jesse Chandler of Adjective Entertainment.

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign has contributed these films to the Internet Archive through the Campaign's own ARchive of Emperor Norton in Art, Music & Film (ARENA)

Indeed, the Internet Archive's hosting of these films has made it possible for the Campaign to add the films to our ARENA and to present the films directly via our Web site. 


All the films are viewable via ARENA's new Film section here.

They also are viewable via the Internet Archive here

* One or more of these films may be under copyright. They are presented via The Emperor's Bridge Campaign and the Internet Archive solely for non-commercial, educational purposes.

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