The Emperor's Bridge Campaign

TO HONOR THE LIFE + ADVANCE THE LEGACY OF EMPEROR NORTON

RESEARCH • EDUCATION • ADVOCACY

Filtering by Tag: Strange As It Seems

“The Old Boy Doped It Out Pretty Damn Well” — Notes on an Early "Emperor's Bridge" Campaigner

A May 1956 episode of the television series Telephone Time is one of the four films currently included in The Emperor’s Bridge Campaign’s digital ARchive of Emperor Norton in Art, Music & Film (ARENA).

The series was created, produced and hosted by John Nesbitt. And the episode is titled “Emperor Norton’s Bridge,” although the Bay Bridge — the Emperor’s bridge — appears nowhere in the story.

As it happens, though, Nesbitt — starting years before the airing of the episode — was a lifelong advocate for naming the Bay Bridge after Emperor Norton.

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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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