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Ellis Family Theater Memorabilia Collection, 1887-1959 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Ellis Family Theater Memorabilia Collection, 1887-1959Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Ellis Family

Extent: 3.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 08/16/1984

Subjects: Actresses--United States--Biography, American drama, American drama (Comedy), Baker, Ellis, actress, Bijou Theater (St. Paul, Minn.), Ellis, Edith, 1876-1961--Archives, Ellis, Edward, 1870-1952--Archives, Ellis, Edward Charles, b. 1845--Archives, Ellis family--Archives, Kelly, George, 1887-1974. Showoff, Motion picture plays, American, Playbills--Specimens, Theaters--Minnesota--St. Paul

Forms of Material: Personal Papers, Photographs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Ellis Family Collection consists of theater and movie scripts by Edith and Edward Ellis, playbills, programs, reviews, photographs, and information about the Ellis family, specifically Edith Ellis. Also included are movie house ledgers, movie production picture magazines, posters, and promotional photographs from the Bijou Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Its connection with the Ellis Family is unclear; possibly the theater was operated by the Ellis Family.

Biographical Note

The Ellis Family theatrical history began in 1859 when Edward Charles Ellis, age 14, left home and made his stage debut as a blackface comedian. This performance marked the beginning of over 100 years in theater for the Ellis Family.

Beginning in approximately 1900, Edward's daughter, Edith Ellis, wrote three dozen plays for production on Broadway, elsewhere in the United States, and in London. Edward's son, also Edward Ellis, had a successful career on Broadway and went on to Hollywood. Granddaughter Ellis Baker acted on Broadway, performed the successful "Showoff" in London, and headed acting companies across America. She retired to Escondido, California in 1979.

Subject/Index Terms

Actresses--United States--Biography
American drama
American drama (Comedy)
Baker, Ellis, actress
Bijou Theater (St. Paul, Minn.)
Ellis, Edith, 1876-1961--Archives
Ellis, Edward, 1870-1952--Archives
Ellis, Edward Charles, b. 1845--Archives
Ellis family--Archives
Kelly, George, 1887-1974. Showoff
Motion picture plays, American
Theaters--Minnesota--St. Paul

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: William B. Fark

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Ellis Family Theater Memorabilia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],

Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: "Vespers", a play in four acts by Edith Ellis; "The Vinegar Tree," by Paul Osborn; "White Collar" by Edith EllisAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: "The White Morning", a drama in four acts by Edith Ellis (scenario only) from Gertrude Atherton's novel of the same nameAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: "The White Villa" by Edith Ellis. Based on "The Dangerous Age" by Karen Michaelis (including press reviews)Add to your cart.
Folder 4: "Why Keep a Diary", a comedy (film version) by Edith Ellis. Adapted by Lazlo Fodor's "Lullaby"Add to your cart.
Folder 5: "Without the Law", a mystery playlet in two scenes, by Edward EllisAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: "Affairs of a Gentleman" by Edith and Edward Ellis (review only), 1934Add to your cart.
Folder 7: "Contary Mary" by Edith Ellis (announcement only)Add to your cart.
Folder 8: "The Great Meados" by Edith Ellis (forward only), 1930Add to your cart.
Folder 9: "Imaginary Invalid" by Edith Ellis (playbills only), 1936Add to your cart.
Folder 10: "The Moon and Sixpence" by Edith Ellis (program, reviews, William Somerset Maugham calling card)Add to your cart.
Folder 11: "The Point of View" by Edith Ellis-Baker (announcement only), 1903Add to your cart.
Folder 12: "White Collars" by Edith Ellis (postcards, playbills, reviews, see also oversize), 1925Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Ellis family photographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Ellis Baker portraits (see also oversize)Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Ellis Baker in theatrical roles-photographsAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: Other actors, actresses-photographs, some from original Ellis troopAdd to your cart.
Folder 17: Reviews of books transcribed by Edith Ellis: "Open the Door", "Incarnation...", "The Astral Plane"Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Notes from Ellis Baker re. Edith Ellis and her works. (Apply to several of the scripts in box 1)Add to your cart.
Folder 19: "Edith Ellis "Credentials" (resume), circa 1920Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Miscellany about Ellis family: papers written, articles aboutAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Five Bijou Theater, St. Paul, Minneapolis ledgers (connection with Ellis Family is unknown. The theater may have started as a saloon in the late 1880s, evolved into an opera house and then movie theater by the 1930s), 1887-1950sAdd to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],

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