The Harry Wald Collection

3 May
Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection

Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection. Photo by Alison Carrick.

In Fall 2012, the Film & Media Archive acquired The Harry Wald Collection, an assemblage of burlesque films largely from the 1930s to the 1960s. The collection consists of 250 reels of 35 mm film, including the original negative of Tijuana After Midnite (1954).

Harry Wald owned and operated theaters in the St. Louis area for many years, including the Grand Theater, formerly located downtown on Market Street near Broadway. The Grand Theater produced burlesque and comedy shows from the 1940s until 1963 when it was demolished.

The World Theater, formerly located on St. Charles Street and now demolished as well, went through many changes over the years. Under Wald’s ownership, the theater showed risqué movies and also produced stage shows. The collection includes the original negative of Tijuana After Midnite (1954), a film produced by Wald, and  Dance Hall Racket (1953) written by and starring the comedian, Lenny Bruce.

This collection will provide not only a cultural history of mid-twentieth century America but is also part of St. Louis history, and documents the burlesque and variety shows which were produced at that time.

Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection

Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection. Photo by Alison Carrick.

Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection

Film cans from the Harry Wald Collection. Photo by Alison Carrick.

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2 Responses to “The Harry Wald Collection”

  1. katmckee1 March 20, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

    My great uncle, George A. Baur, was stage manager for The Grand Theatre for 26 years until it’s demise in 1963. I would love to see some of these films.

  2. wufilmarchive March 21, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

    Wow, I’m sure he has some great stories! We do an event called Rawstock once a semester where we show films from this collection and others at local venues. The next one will be in May so please check our new blog and website for events/updates closer to the date: http://library.wustl.edu/category/special-collections/film-media-archive/
    http://library.wustl.edu/spec/filmandmedia/
    Thanks.

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