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1876 - California oil industry born as CSO No. 4 in Pico Canyon becomes state's first commercially productive oil well [story]
Pico No. 4


[KHTS] – Free tickets are available for the recovered and recently restored 1928 “Ramona” starring Dolores del Rio is planned to premiere at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse this June.

Dolores Del Rio as the title character and Warner Baxter as Alessandro in Edwin Carewe's 1928 "Ramona." Screenshot courtesy of Hugh Munro Neely.

Dolores Del Rio as the title character and Warner Baxter as Alessandro in Edwin Carewe’s 1928 “Ramona.” Screenshot courtesy of Hugh Munro Neely.

The movie will be shown at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse on Sunday, June 14, at 2 p.m.

This event is the result of a unique historical partnership between the Ramona Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, the Los Angeles Theatre Organ Society and the Rancho Camulos Museum and National Historic Landmark.

What is the connection among these groups?  It’s all about Ramona.

Helen Hunt Jackson’s epic California novel, “Ramona” was published in 1884. It quickly captured the nation’s interest in the golden west.  The Ramona Parlor of the Native Sons of the Golden West, a benevolent preservationist organization was chartered in 1887. San Gabriel, its current location, is known as the birthplace of Ramona.  The first president of the Ramona Parlor was Reginaldo del Valle.  The del Valle’s were the owners of Rancho Camulos which became famous as the “Home of Ramona”.  Thus they share the Ramona legacy.

There were four known American movie versions of “Ramona”.  The first was DW Griffith’s 1910 version starring Mary Pickford which was filmed on location at Rancho Camulos and it is shown regularly to visitors.  The second was Donald Crisp’s 1915 version starring Adda Gleason which was filmed at Rancho Camulos and other areas in Ventura County.  It is considered a lost film as only portions of one reel exist in the Library of Congress.

The third was Edwin Carew’s 1928 version starring Dolores Del Rio. It was filmed in Utah and for many years was considered to be lost. The fourth was Henry King’s 1936 version starring Loretta Young.  It was filmed in Monterey California and is readily available.

Director Edwin Carew’s thought to be lost 80 minute silent film classic, which will be shown on June 14, was discovered in the Czech Republic having found its way there by way of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Republic.  It was restored by the Library of Congress and re premiered in 2014 at the Billy Wilder Theatre of the UCLA Hammer Museum. A panel discussion including experts Dydia DeLyser and Phil Brigandi who were involved in finding and restoring the film will follow the screening.

The showing of the film at the historic 1927 San Gabriel Mission Playhouse, with accompaniment by renowned organist, Robert Salisbury on the playhouse’s 1924 Wurlitzer pipe organ, will make this a memorable event.

Although admission is free, tickets must be obtained in advance at the website.

In addition, after the panel discussion, at 4:00, there will be a $25 VIP reception at the Native Sons of the Golden West Ramona Museum to benefit the Rancho Camulos Museum and National Historic Landmark. The Rancho Camulos Museum is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark and educating the public about the historical impact of the 1884 novel “Ramona”.

Attendees will have an opportunity to interact with the panelists and other VIPs, view artifacts, and enjoy light refreshments.

Contact cachristopher1@att.net by June 8 for reservations.

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