This compilation is also available as a pdf here.

  • Angus Bowmer founds the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Ashland, 1935.
  • James Blue directs an 8mm version of HAMLET as a UO student. Eugene, 1952.
  • James Ivory co-writes and directs SHAKESPEARE WALLAH. India, 1963.
  • Gus Van Sant writes and directs MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO, incorporating characters and dialogue from Shakespeare’s Henry IV. Portland, 1991.

Players take a bow, in James Ivory’s SHAKESPEARE WALLAH, starring Felicity Kendal (second from right), and based on her diaries.

James Blue (1930-1980) was Oscar nominated in 1969; James Ivory (b. 1928) was Oscar nominated in 1987, 1993, 1994 ; Gus Van Sant (b. 1952) was Oscar nominated in 1998, 2009.

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women

merely players….

As You Like It, Scene VII

Ellis Lawrence (1879-1946)

The year Ellis Lawrence was born, the telephone was a new invention. His father very likely wore a top hat and his mother a bustle. The world had yet to witness the invention of airplanes, automobiles, radios.

There were no movies, for the simple fact that there were no movie cameras.

By the time the young architect arrived in Portland in 1906, early movie theaters were popping up all over. The city was electrified, streetcars traveled everywhere, and the population was exploding.

Ellis Lawrence went into business with fellow MIT graduate E. B. MacNaughton, and began to shape the future of his new home state.

Q: How did Ellis Lawrence enter Oregon film history?

A: Three ways.

#1. Ellis Lawrence designed the Elsinore Theatre in Salem. The unusual attention to detail in the interior design of this 1926 movie palace testifies to the Arts and Crafts Movement aesthetic which informed Lawrence’s approach to his work.

#2. Future three time Oscar nominee James Ivory entered the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts in 1946. Ellis Lawrence founded AAA in 1914 and led it until his 1946 death. The undergraduate art school education Ivory received was the direct result of Lawrence’s vision and leadership.

#3. Future PSU art historian Leonard Kimbrell (1922-2013 ) entered AAA the same year as James Ivory, and received the same benefits. When Kimbrell became a teacher himself, his most famous student would be Mike Richardson, future founder and CEO of Dark Horse Entertainment.

While so many of us were making money, Lawrence was making men.

E. B. MacNaughton, president of First National Bank