The Emperor's Bridge Campaign



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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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Sleuthing the Origins of an Early Film Portrayal of Emperor Norton

At the recent San Francisco History Days fair at the city's landmark Old Mint building, Stephen Parr of the San Francisco Media Archive and Oddball Films screened a rarity from the Oddball archive — a 1947 film short titled Emperor Norton, from the Academic Film Company.

In fact, Emperor Norton is a retitled reissue of the film The Story of Norton I, made by Columbia Pictures in 1936. This may be the earliest film portrayal of the Emperor.

We haven't yet connected all the dots. But the picture of this film is much clearer than it was. It's a fascinating story.

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