History Buff


Ann Erdman’s Mystery History No. 22

Ann Erdman’s Mystery History No. 22

Where are we?   And what’s happening?   In this circa 1957 photo, actors take a break from their classes at the Pasadena Playhouse.     It all began when Gilmore Brown had a vision for a community theater in 1917. The Community Players offered performances in facilities throughout Pasadena. In 1924, the cornerstone was [...]

Beaches: Watercolors and Sketches by Eva Fenyes

Beaches: Watercolors and Sketches by Eva Fenyes

Over the past three months, Michelle Turner, Collections Manager at Pasadena Museum of History, presented a progressive exhibit of beach art, which she posted on the museum’s Facebook Page.  Each Wednesday between Memorial Day and Labor Day she selected and introduced one of Eva Fenyes’ sketches by way of social media.  This did reach a [...]

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

Ghost Theaters on Colorado Blvd. (Part 3)

It’s been awhile since we last looked at Colorado Boulevard’s “ghost theaters”—marquees and other relics along the street; skeletal reminders of Pasadena’s once-glorious picture palaces. In part 3 of our ongoing series, we examine the stories behind three more of these vanished movie houses. Tower Theater (1930-1952) – 114 E. Colorado Blvd. A parking lot [...]

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

FDR: Speech, Worship, Want, Fear

“Freedom from Want” is one in a series of Four Freedoms oil paintings created in 1943 by Norman Rockwell and made famous when they were printed in the Saturday Evening Post that same year. He was inspired to paint the series based on President Franklin Delano Roosevelt‘s State of the Union speech on Jan. 6, 1941, one month after the U.S. entered [...]

Mystery History No. 21

Mystery History No. 21

Where are we? And what’s happening? These photos were shot in July 1978. The photo to the right shows boxing trainer and coach Canto Robledo very animated as his gives advice and (below) shouts instructions to his fighter in the ring.           Canto Robledo was born in 1913 in Tyron, New [...]

Mrs. Fenyes and the Movies (Part 3 of 4): Warner’s Egyptian Theater

Mrs. Fenyes and the Movies (Part 3 of 4): Warner’s Egyptian Theater

By Sheryl Peters, Pasadena Museum of History docent, researcher, and educator. Warner’s Egyptian Theater opened in Pasadena, California on May 6, 1925 as a combination vaudeville, legitimate theater, and movie house.  It offered the latest feature films, newsreels and comedies, plus first rate vaudeville acts between the pictures.  Newspaper articles promoting a gala opening emphasized [...]

History Mystery No. 20

History Mystery No. 20

What’s this and where are we? In this undated photo, presumably shot in the late 1890s, a group on an outing stops at Devil’s Gate. There’s not much more than a puddle of water in the photo. Here’s the same location with much more water, probably shot in winter or spring.     Benjamin Eaton [...]

Riding the Birds in South Pas

Riding the Birds in South Pas

The South Pasadena Public Library staff has spent years digitalizing historical photos of this small town, south of big sister Pasadena, which are now on view to the public at Online Archive California. Perusing a few of the pics, we came across the picture to the right… The Cawston Ostrich Farm was located in the [...]

Mystery History No. 19

Mystery History No. 19

Where are we and what’s happening? In the photo to the right, an unidentified man waves farewell just before dawn on March 23, 1942, after being processed at the Rose Bowl Stadium for residency at the Manzanar internment camp. The stadium, Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia and the Fairplex in Pomona were among the processing centers and [...]

Mystery History No. 18

Mystery History No. 18

What’s happening here? With apologies for the morbidity, in the photo to the right, City of Pasadena public safety personnel look over the rubble left behind after a grandstand collapsed during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 1926. Eight spectators died. It was a terrible tragedy that, thanks to resulting regulations for careful construction and inspection [...]

Maude Woods - Opening October 22nd in Pasadena

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