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Arriving for Madame Butterfly at the Hollywood Bowl
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for Fantasia, is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
The Hollywood Bowl (2301 North Highland Avenue) is the largest natural amphitheatre in the United States. The Theatre Arts Alliance purchased 59 acres in Bolton Canyon in 1919 and started holding event in Daisy Dell. In 1924 the land was deeded to the County of Los Angeles. In 1926 Myron Hunt designed the seating area of the Bowl, which remains today, and an arched proscenium by Allied Architects was up for the season. Lloyd Wright designed a wooden pyramid shell in 1927, and a series of concentric half ellipsis that were not weather proof in 1928. The next year Engineers Elliott, Bowen and Walz built the iconic concentric semicircle shell. George Stanley designed the 1940 fountain featuring a granite statue of the Muse of Music. Architect Frank Gehry installed cardboard tubes to improve the acoustics in 1970, replacing them ten years later with hollow fiberglass spheres. In 1983 the Hollywood Bowl was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In 2003 Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates and Gruen Associates built a new shell and the 1929 shell was demolished.
The bowl shell has been removed for this performance of Madame Butterfly (Puccini) at the Hollywood Bowl, performed for a sold out crowd of 22,000 August 9, 1938. The stage set contains a building designed to look like a traditional paper and wood Japanese house (left), and the decorations on the Shoji screens were noted in reviews. Carla Peroni conducted the opera, Hizi Koyke stared as Cho Cho San to rave reviews, and Mario Chamlee played Pinkerton. A sign on the stage reads "Please keep quiet" and the orchestra pit is empty, but people are starting to fill the boxes.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-005-655.4 8x10
Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Amphitheaters--California--Hollywood (Los Angeles)
Opera--Stage-setting and scenery--California--Los Angeles
Stage props--California--Los Angeles
Shoji screens--California--Los Angeles
Audiences--California--Los Angeles
Mountains--California, Southern
Santa Monica Mountains (Calif.)
Hollywood Hills (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs
Hunt, Myron,1868-1952

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