Harry Wald Collection

Film reels from the Harry Wald Collection

Film reels from the Harry Wald Collection

The Harry Wald Collection is an assemblage of burlesque films largely from the 1930s to the 1960s. The collection consists of 250 reels of 35mm 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 and The World Theater. 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, and many prints of burlesque films from the 1950s-1960s. This collection provides 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.