The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



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Emperor Norton Plaque Restored; Site Eyed for Reinstallation at New Transbay Center

A well-known and fondly regarded Emperor Norton plaque created in 1939 most recently was installed at San Francisco’s old Transbay Terminal for 34 years — from November 1986 until the terminal was prepared for demolition in late 2010.

The weathered bronze plaque has been out of the public view for the last 8 years. But, recently, the plaque was lovingly restored — and plans are moving forward to reinstall the plaque at the new Transbay Transit Center.

Read on for a photograph of the plaque as most have never seen it — and for details on the location now being eyed for this rare and wonderful tribute to the Emperor.

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

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign 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. 

These films are rarely seen outside the domains 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 — both via the Internet Archive and via the Campaign's own ARchive of Emperor Norton in Art, Music & Film (ARENA). 

This collaboration with the Internet Archive includes the Archive's new high-resolution scan of the Campaign's 16mm copy of a 1936 theatrical film short that appears to feature the earliest dramatic portrayal of Emperor Norton extant on film.

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LIGHTS! CAMERA! NORTON! A Campaign Fundraiser

On Thursday 23 March, The Emperor’s Bridge Campaign presents Lights! Camera! Norton! —  an evening of three films about Emperor Norton at the legendary Roxie Theater in San Francisco.

The event includes a screening of our own 35mm print of a 1936 short that we believe features the earliest dramatic portrayal of the Emperor on film.

This special evening takes place in the 254-seat Big Roxie theater and is a fundraiser for the Campaign: After the first 50 tickets sold, 50 percent of all proceeds from this screening will benefit The Campaign.

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An Evening of Artists in Conversation About Emperor Norton

At a special event on Thursday 13 October, titled My Emperor, My Muse, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign will bring together an eclectic and interesting mix of people — artists who've created specific Emperor-themed works and others who have thought deeply about Emperor Norton — for a conversation about the Emperor's abiding cultural import as an avatar of whimsy, openness, tolerance and fair play.

We'll learn why Emperor Norton moves these people; how he has shaped their projects; why they think the Emperor remains a cultural touchstone; and the role that they think art can play in shaping and polishing the stone.

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Reckoning With Both the Man and the Myth

On Saturday 9 July 2016, the San Francisco History Association held its 18th Annual Awards Dinner at the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club on Washington Square. At the Dinner, the Association presented The Emperor's Bridge Campaign with its 2016 Ron Ross Founder's Award, which is "given each year to a person, group of people or organization for performing an impressive undertaking that support's San Francisco history."

What follows are the acceptance remarks offered at the Dinner by Campaign founder and president John Lumea.

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Emperor Norton's Neighborhood: Walking Tour to Benefit The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

On Sunday 12 June 2016, Emperor Norton — played by Joseph Amster of Time Machine Tours  will lead a special "off the menu" historical walking tour focusing exclusively on Emperor Norton sites and stories.

The tour is a fundraising benefit for the Campaign. Please join us!

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The "Emperor Norton Bridge" By 2022

The Emperor's Bridge Campaign proposes that the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge be additionally named for Emperor Norton in 2022 — the 150th anniversary of when Emperor Norton set out the original vision for the Bay Bridge in 1872. On 10 May 2016, Campaign president John Lumea sent to Campaign supporters and followers a letter outlining the bridge-naming proposal and options for pushing it forward. 

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To celebrate the advent of the bike craze in San Francisco, as memorialized by Eadweard Muybridge's iconic 1869 photograph of Emperor Norton on a bone-shaker, The Emperor's Bridge Campaign is delighted to be partnering with SF Tweed and San Francisco Steampunks to present a May Day bike ride ending with a picnic at Marina Green. Our friends from the Mechanics' Institute also will be joining us. Details on the flip!

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