James E. Dillon Theater Collection.

James E. Dillon.

ca. 1901-1933.

1,015 photographic prints: gelatin silver; 11 x 14 in. or smaller.

Photographic prints: OP10771/0-1011.

San Diego History Center
Booth Historical Photograph Archives
P.O. Box 81825
San Diego, CA 92138

Gift of James and Ruth Dillon, 1953.

Open for research.

For permission to reproduce or publish, contact the curator of the Booth Historical Photograph Archives at the San Diego Historical Society. Reproduction or publication of any part of this collection must include the following information next to the image(s) or in a special section of credits: James E. Dillon Theater Collection, San Diego History Center, Booth Historical Photograph Archives.

Arranged in alphabetical order by play title. Many photographs stamped on verso or otherwise marked White Studio (New York, N.Y.), occasionally with the photographer’s last name. Includes alphabetical index. Some images badly faded. Forms part of the San Diego History Center Original Print Collection.

Born in Reno, Nevada, James E. Dillon (1886-1972) began his stage career in Los Angeles as an actor in light opera and drama. He came to San Diego in 1912 as part of the World’s Fair Stock Company. That same year he married fellow actress Ruth Van Deusen on stage during rehearsals. They settled in San Diego and had a daughter. Dillon performed as an actor at various theaters and apparently managed the Grand Theater, and perhaps others, before moving on to radio in the 1930s.

The James E. Dillon Theater Collection contains publicity photographs collected by San Diego actor and theater manager James E. Dillon. They were used to advertise various New York plays appearing in San Diego theaters early in the 20th century. These production stills show original cast, costumes, and stage settings for almost 200 theatrical productions written by George Ade, George M. Cohan, Victor Herbert, J. Hartley Manners, and others. Probably performed by local repertory companies, the plays include: Peg O’ My Heart, Little Women, Under Two Flags, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Get Rich Quick Wallingford, Cave Girl, Daddy Long Legs, Fortune Hunter, Naughty Wife, Rose of the Rancho, Trail of the Lonesome Pine, Too Many Husbands, and many others.

Theatrical productions.

Dates indicated are when photograph(s) were taken and not when play appeared in San Diego.

Number(s) Title Author Theater Date
Box 1 (oversize)        
Folder 1        
0-7 The Littlest Rebel Spreckels    
8-10 Amazons     1913?
11-16 Oh Boy!      
17-20 Madame X Alexandre Bisson Empress  
21-26   Marrying Money    
Folder 2        
27-30 At 9:45      
31-35 A Voice in the Dark Ralph E. Dyar Strand ca. 1919
36-42 Sis Hopkins      
43-46 Arms and the Girl      
47-49 The Man from Mexico      
50-55   Pollyanna    
Folder 3        
56-61 Jerry      
62-66 Jim’s Girl      
67-71 Kick In Willard Mack Strand ca. 1914
Folder 4        
72-73 Saturday to Monday      
74-80 The Trail of the Lonesome Pine John Fox Jr.    
81-85 Little Shepard of Kingdom Come   Strand  
86-90 Please Get Married      
91-94 A Regular Feller      
95-99 The Show Shop      
100-105   Sinners    
Folder 5        
107-116 The Spoilers Rex Beach   ca. 1907
117-121 A Successful Calamity      
122-129 Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway      
Folder 6        
130-134 Way Down East      
135-139 Walkoffs      
140-146 Clarence   Strand  
147-151 The Concert      
Folder 7        
152-156 Peg O’ My Heart J. Hartley Manners Spreckels  
157-162 Which One Shall I Marry?   Lyceum  
163-173 Within the Law     ca. 1915
174-179 Sick a Bed      
Folder 8        
180-185 Nothing but the Truth      
186-192 The Brat      
193-199 A Pair of Sixes   Lyceum  
200-203 A Pair of Queens      
204-209 The Thirteenth Chair      
210-216 Pals First      
Folder 9        
217-229 Maggie Pepper      
230-234 Johnny, Get Your Gun Edmund L. Burke Strand ca. 1917
235-238 Law of the Land   Spreckels?  
239-243 On Trial      
244-247 The Old Homestead      
248-254 Our Little Wife      
255-259 One of Us      
Box 2 (oversize)        
Folder 10        
260-264 Little Miss Brown      
265-276 The Easiest Way      
277-281 Lombardi Limited      
282-285 Get Rich Quick Wallingford George M. Cohan Empress ca. 1910
286-290 Seven Chances      
291-296 Country Cousin   Isis  
Folder 11        
297-305 What Happened to Mary      
306-312 Alma, Where Do You Live?   Strand  
  [Note: 313-330 not used.]      
Folder 12        
331-337 Broadway Buttermilk   Strand  
338-347 Going Some      
348-355 Good Gracious, Annabelle      
356-361 The Great Divide   Utah  
362-364 Help Wanted [with Charles Ruggles]      
365-369 Gypsy Trail      
370-374 Lilac Time      
375-379 Grumpy   Strand  
380-385 Mary Awake      
386-391 Miss Leading Lady      
Folder 13        
392-398 Daddy Long Legs Jean Webster Strand ca. 1920
399-404 The Unkissed Bride      
405-411 Some Baby      
Folder 14        
412-418 The Yellow Ticket      
419-425 What’s Your Husband Doing      
426-430 Business Before Pleasure   Strand  
431-446 Potash and Perlmutter Montague Glass   1913?
Folder 15        
447-452 Nancy Lee, the Small Town Girl      
453-454 The Gorilla   Savoy 1924
455-456 The Deserter      
457-463 Bunker Beau     1916?
Folder 16        
464 Ready Money      
465-470 Yes or No      
471-475 Forever After   Strand  
476-479 Polly with a Past      
480-484 Fair and Warmer      
485-489 Five Million      
490-491 Polly of the Circus      
Folder 17        
492-494 The County Chairman George Ade Isis  
495-499 Divorcons      
500-504 Branded      
505 Believe Me, Nannette      
506 Naughty Wife      
507-512 Song of Songs     1914
513-519 Captain Red, Jr.      
520-524 Friendly Enemies Samuel Shipman Strand  
525-528 Too Many Husbands      
529-530 The Fight      
531-535 Common Clay     1915
Folder 18        
536-540 The Ouija Board Crane Wilbur Strand ca. 1920
541-545 The Hawk      
546-547 Saturday to Monday      
548-551 The Only Girl Victor Herbert Savoy 1933
552-556 Deluxe Annie      
557-560 Damaged Goods   Empress 1913
561-563 Such a Little Queen   Spreckels  
Folder 19        
564-568 Come Seven Octavus R. Cohen Strand ca. 1920
569-574 Why Marry?      
575-585 Cave Girl George Middleton Strand ca. 1920
586-591 Broadway Jones      
592-600 Girls      
601-605 The Girl in the Taxi      
Box 3 (oversize)        
Folder 20        
606-611 Rose of the Rancho David Belasco    
612-619 Pair of Silk Stockings      
620-624 Nearly Married   Strand  
625-634 Bought and Paid For   Strand  
635-640 Eyes of Youth      
641-644 Elevating a Husband      
Folder 21        
645-650 Little Women      
651-658 Under Two Flags Paul M. Potter   ca. 1901
659-663 Stop Thief      
664-670 Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch   San Diego H.S. 1931
671-675 Mother Carey’s Chickens Kate Wiggin    
676-681 Polly of the Circus      
Folder 22        
682-687 Under Cover [with Rockcliffe Fellowes]      
688-692 Winning of Barbara Worth Harold Bell Wright Strand  
Folder 23        
693-697 Rich Man, Poor Man Maximilian Foster    
698-702 Three Faces East      
703-708 Never Say Die      
709-710 Officer      
711-716 Romance of the Underworld      
717-722 Nothing but Lies      
723 Blind Youth      
724 The Big Idea      
725-730 Baby Mine      
731-735 Believe Me, Xantippe      
736-740 Wedding Bells Salisbury Field Strand ca. 1919
741-744 No More Blondes   Strand  
745-748 The Woman in Room 13      
Folder 24        
749-756 Rolling Stones      
757-760 College Widow      
761-765 Cinderella Man      
766 So Long, Letty   Empress  
767 Up in Mabel’s Room      
768 Under Orders      
769 The Only Girl      
770-773 Naughty Wife      
774-780 The Price [with Helen Ware] George Broadhurst   ca. 1911
Folder 25        
781-786 Happiness   Strand  
787-790 High Cost of Living      
791-795 House of Glass      
796-801 Here Comes the Bride      
802-804 Miss Hobbs      
805-806 Kindling      
Folder 26        
807-814 Love Route      
815 Marriage of Kitty      
816-821 The Little Teacher     1917?
822-831 It Pays to Advertise   Strand 1918
832-833 The Heir to the Hoorah Paul Armstrong Strand  
834-838 Excuse Me      
Folder 27        
839-844 Romance      
845-850 Stitch in Time      
851-855 Cappy Ricks   Isis  
856-857 Your Neighbor’s Wife Frederic Hatton Empress ca. 1916
858-864 Upstairs and Down      
Box 4 (oversize)        
Folder 28        
865-869 The Miracle Man      
870-875 Innocent      
876-879 A Prince There Was      
880-889 The Man from Home   Isis  
890-894 Heart of Watanna      
Folder 29        
895-907 Fifty Miles from Boston      
908-911 Fortune Hunter      
912 A Trip through China      
913-919 Full House      
920-923 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm Kate Wiggin    
924-931 Blue Envelope      
Folder 30        
932-937 A Cure for Curables Earl Derr Biggers Strand  
938-948 The Very Idea      
949-954 Civilian Clothes   Strand  
955-961 Cheating Cheaters      
962-965 Parlor, Bedroom and Bath   Strand  
966 Turn to the Right! Winchell Smith Strand  
967 When Dreams Come True      
968 Old English [with George Arliss] John Galsworthy   ca. 1924
969 Mutt and Jeff’s Dream   Spreckels  
Folder 31        
976 Twinkle, Twinkle [with Joe E. Brown]   ca. 1926  
977 Carmen     1924
970-975 Seven Keys to Baldpate George M. Cohan   1917
Folder 32        
978-1006   [Unidentified productions]    
Folder 33        
1007-1011   [Unidentified actors and actresses]