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Public Domain Movie Night: “Show People” Starring Marion Davies

May 31 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Show People Movie Poster

Join us for this joyous silent comedy, that gives us a glimpse into 1920s Hollywood on the cusp of sound.

LGBTQ+ movie fans will begin Pride Month in a meaningful way, as male lead William Haines was the first Hollywood star to live out of the closet as a gay man.

Peggy Pepper (Marion Davies) is an aspiring actress from Savannah, who arrives in Hollywood to make a name for herself. She is helped along by an established comedian, Billy Boone (William Haines), but what will happen when her fame eclipses his?

SHOW PEOPLE is directed by King Vidor, and features an eclectic and delightful slate of cameo performers from the silent era.

Arrive when doors open so you don’t miss the introduction by Marion Davies biographer Lara Gabrielle.

Silent film actress Marion Davies, the longtime romantic partner of William Randolph Hearst, is often dismissed or outright defamed, due to the popularity of Citizen Kane and the character of Susan Alexander thought to be based on her. In fact, the untalented opera singer Susan Alexander bears little resemblance to Davies at all. Davies was a groundbreaking comedienne, who laid the groundwork for Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, and her decades-long relationship with Hearst was meaningful and mutually devoted. Lara Gabrielle’s acclaimed biography, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, has been credited with breaking Davies free from the legacy of Hearst and Citizen Kane. It brings Davies into her own light as a talented, independent actress who took charge of her own career and her own destiny, declaring that she was “the captain of her soul.”

Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies will be available for purchase in the lobby. Following the screening, Lara will take questions and sign books.

Your $5 ticket includes snacks and any seat in our spacious 400-seat great room.

Doors open at 6:30 pm on Friday, May 31st.
Location: 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco.

Lara Gabrielle is a film writer and researcher, whose work on Marion Davies has been featured in Alta, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Missouri Review, The Wall Street Journal, and on PBS’s American Experience. Gabrielle has spoken at festivals and retrospectives worldwide, and has collaborated on screenings and initiatives with The American Film Institute, The New York Public Library, UCLA, Film Forum, and The National Endowment for the Humanities. She is acknowledged as “the reigning expert on Marion Davies,” serving as a consultant on Davies’s life and legacy for books, dissertations, and film projects. Gabrielle’s biography, Captain of Her Soul: The Life of Marion Davies, has been included on many top book lists for 2022, and was shortlisted for the 2023 Northern California Book Award. Gabrielle lives in Oakland, California.

Tickets are available here.


Internet Archive


Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94118 United States
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