The Mighty Wurlitzer at the Castro Theatre, San Francisco

San Francisco, open your Golden Gate
You’ll let no stranger wait outside your door
San Francisco, here is your wanderin’ one
Saying I’ll wander no more

The Castro Theatre was our neighborhood picture palace back in San Francisco. Went to dozens of movies there, sometimes with Mr Grumble, sometimes with the Bograt, sometimes with both: King Kong, Casablanca, The Garden of Allah, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, that movie Steve’s son was in called Brokeback Mountain, etc etc etc. But the organ was always the best part.

Here’s David Hagerty between evening shows giving the best of The Mighty Wurlitzer and ending, as he always does at every performance, with an inspiring rendition of my spiritual birthplace’s official anthem, “San Francisco” (Bronislaw Kaper and Walter Jurmann, lyrics by Gus Kahn, 1936).

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“Isn’t It Romantic?” by Rodgers & Hart, from Love Me Tonight, Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, 1932

The most audacious musical film sequence ever directed. If I had seen Love Me Tonight before I went to work for The Old Man I would’ve been more patient with him.

“Wanting You” by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II from The New Moon, 1935

Another MGM musical, pre-Freed Unit. They were such a handsome couple and sang like angels, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Who in their audience could have realized when watching such a mannered scene that they were in the middle of a tumultuous on-again off-again love affair and that right after filming this number—that very night in fact when everyone had gone home—the two of them would be under that very tree having furious makeup sex?

Thanks to fellow MacDonald-Eddy fan Sharon Rich (as related to her by Jeanette’s sister Blossom) for that lovely bit of info.