Paramount Theatre, Oakland, California
Home Page
Calendar of Events
Box Office
Directions
Oakland Symphony
Oakland Ballet
Employment
Movie Classics
Brief History
Theatre Tours
Bookings & Rentals
Resources & Contacts
Charts & Specs
Links
HISTORY OF
THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE

Page Two: Timothy Pflueger and Diego Rivera

click for large image of Paramount Theatre exterior
DETAILED HISTORY
Page One
Timothy Pflueger
Page Two
Pflueger & Rivera
Page Three
Artists & Designers
Page Four
Timeline: 1929-1931
Page Five
Space Reserved
Page Six
Space Reserved
History of the Paramount Theatre
previous page
Page One
next page
Page Three
HISTORY OF THE PARAMOUNT THEATRE
(Page Two)

The Exposition internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes of 1925 was only one factor contributing to the genesis of the Paramount Theatre design. The thriving renaissance of the fine arts in the Bay Area provided Pflueger with an unusually gifted pool of talent upon which to draw. Even more significant was the architect's enthusiastic appreciation of art and his ability to select his sources judiciously and interpret them creatively. His sensitive understanding of the creative process enabled him to synthesize the work of various artists into a consistently harmonious and elegant whole. Although Pflueger, described as a "rough nugget" by his staff, allowed his designers "free-wheeling research within the avant-garde" (according to a former staff member, Michael A. Goodman), he nevertheless deftly controlled the final result.

Timothy Pflueger was credited by one professional journal as "responsible for the work of more sculptors and mural painters in his buildings than any other western architect ." (Architect and Engineer, June 1941, p. 19) He engaged the most famous muralist of the time, the Mexican Diego Rivera (1886-1957), to paint "The Wealth of California" for the San Francisco Stock Exchange, and Rivera later identified Pflueger's most original concept as his use of the fine arts in his buildings. "The group he gathered about him achieved a success in expressing their individual vision of American Society in a harmony which included the architectonics of the building." (Rivera, My Art, My Life) Pflueger and Rivera were boon companions during the latter's stay in San Francisco from 1930 to 1934, and while Rivera was not directly responsible for the facade mosaic of the Paramount Theatre, his influence may be seen in the majestic monumentality of the two figures in it as well as in its use of earth colors. [Illustration from a detail of Rivera's The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, San Francisco Art Institute. Rivera is seated on the middle of the scafolding with his back to the viewer and the trio below him includes Paramount Theatre architect Timothy Pflueger.]

Timothy Pflueger in panel #3 of Pan American Unity mural At the invitation of Timothy Pflueger, Diego Rivera returned to San Francisco from Mexico in 1940 to execute the Pan American Unity mural at the Golden Gate International Exposition for which Pflueger had designed several pavillions and buildings at the Exposition's site on Treasure Island. The significant, even intimate, relationship between architect and artist is evident in their correspondence of the period. The Pan American Unity mural was part of "Art in Action", an exhibition which gave the public the opportunity to witness the actual creation of works of art. Pflueger had commisioned the mural for its eventual display in the library of San Francisco Junior College (now City College of San Francisco), one of several campus buildings designed by Pflueger. However, two decades were to pass before the mural finally was erected in its present home in the foyer of the Diego Rivera Theatre, a CCSF building designed by Milton Pflueger, Timothy's brother.

Pflueger was an active participant in the artistic life of the Bay Region not only through his notable patronage of artists but also through his service as a member of the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Art Association from 1930 until his death. Between 1932 and 1937, he served as President of the Association. He was, of course, a member of the Northern California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Since Timothy L. Pflueger's death in 1946, the firm has been headed by his brother, Milton T. Pflueger, A.I.A. The still-active firm, now styled Milton T. Pflueger and Associates, served as consultant during the restoration of the Paramount Theatre in 1973.
previous page
Page One
next page
Page Three
PARAMOUNT THEATRE 24-HOUR HOTLINE: 510-465-6400
Administration: 510-893-2300 • Fax: 510-893-5098


BOX OFFICE HOURS:
Tuesday through Friday: 11:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 11:00am - 3:00pm
Closed Sunday, Monday, & Holidays
unless there is a scheduled event.
Event Box Office opens 2 hours prior to curtain time
for that evening’s event sales ONLY.



Ticketmaster secure online purchase or call 1-800-745-3000
Home Page
Calendar
Box Office
Directions
Symphony
Employment
Movies
Tours
Rentals
Resources
Specs
Links