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Galveston: The Gilded Age of the Golden Isle (1977)

Galveston and Texas History Center - Rosenberg Library

Sound | 1977

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TAMI Tags
  •  The Karankawa people 
  •  The Victorian Age 
  •  Architecture 
  •  Cotton industry 
  •  The Civil War 
  •  Architect Nicholas Clayton 
  •  Filmmaker King Vidor 
  •  Historic residential neighborhoods 
  •  In 1991, Ellen Beasley curated an exhibit at Washington’s National Building Museum focusing on Galveston’s corner stores 
  •  Galveston Garten Verein 
  •  Built in 1880, the tiered dancing pavilion was the only structure in the Garten Verein Park to survive the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 
  •  Galveston Hurricane of 1900 
  •  Economic downturn 
  •  Prohibition 
  •  Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve 
  •  Restoration of the Strand 
  •  Grand 1894 Opera House 
  •  Five months before the documentary aired, Galveston voted to allow its shrimp boats to remain berthed at Pier 19. 
 
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Galveston: The Gilded Age of the Golden Isle is a documentary directed by University of Houston alumnus Robert Cozens, the director of Film Operations at KUHT, Houston’s PBS affiliate. It was broadcast nationally on PBS on June 24, 1977. Paying particular attention to Galveston’s economic development and Victorian architecture, the film traces the history of the city from its settlement by the Karankawa people to the throes of Prohibition. It also overviews ongoing restoration projects, such those related to the Strand Historic District and Grand Opera House.
Filmmaker King Wallis Vidor was born on February 8, 1894, in Galveston. His father, Charles Shelton Vidor, was a lumber producer and merchant with the Miller-Vidor Lumber Company, headquartered in Galveston. (The towns of Vidor and Milvand were named after him.) Growing up in the coastal city, Vidor survived the Galveston Hurricane of 1900. 
 
Vidor began his career in film as a teenager, working as local a freelance newsreel cameraman and projectionist. After making a few amateur films, he opened his first film company, Hotex, in Houston. In 1915, a 21-year-old Vidor moved to Hollywood, directing his first feature film four years later. In 1922, he won a long-term contract with Goldwyn Studios (later part of MGM).  Following the commercial success of The Big Parade (1925), Vidor became one of MGM’s top studio directors. In 1929, he made his first sound film, Hallelujah!, which was also the first all-black musical. 
 
Vidor’s successful career as a director continued well into the Golden Age of Hollywood, including Stella Dallas (1937), Duel in the Sun (1946), The Fountainhead (1949), and War and Peace (1956). He also directed the Kansas sequences in The Wizard of Oz (1939), including “Over the Rainbow,” but did not receive screen credit. Vidor received five Academy Award nominations for Best Director, winning an Honorary Award in 1979 for his life’s achievements. Directing films until 1980, he was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest career as a film director. 
 
Vidor died on November 1, 1982, in California. He was 88 years old.
TFC
1970s
1970’s
Galveston
Galveston County
Houston
Harris County
documentary
Robert Cozens
Cozens, Robert
director
directed by
KUHT
PBS
William Colville
Colville, William
screenwriter
written by
Moody Foundation of Galveston
history
strand
the Strand
Gulf of Mexico
gulf
Galveston Island
bay
Galveston Bay
Bay of Galveston
seawall
Galveston Seawall
boardwalk
beach
Native American
Native American culture
Karankawa
Karankawa people
Karankawa tribe
Karankawa nation
Barbara Berger
Berger, Barbara
interview
archeology
archeologist
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Cabeza de Vaca
exploration
explorer
expedition
colonialism
port
Port of Galveston
harbour
ship
boat
shipping
cargo shipping
Victorian Age
Victorian Era
Harris Kempner
Kempner, Harris
E.C. Northen
Mrs. E.C. Northen
cotton
cotton industry
economy
industry
Howard Barnstone
Barnstone, Howard
architecture
architect
Bishop’s Palace
church
cotton field
cotton gin
Queen Victoria
trade
slavery
Civil War
war
Nicholas Clayton
Clayton, Nicholas
Junior League of Galveston
Mary Clayton
Clayton, Mary
Oscar Wilde
Wilde, Oscar
stick architecture
Electric Pavilion
Wilbur Goodman
Goodman, Wilbur
Beach Hotel
hotel
King Vidor
Vidor, King
Ellen Beasley
Beasley, Ellen
preservation
restoration
Garten Verein
garden
garden club
Galveston Hurricane of 1900
Galveston Hurricane
hurricane
weather
weather disaster
natural disaster
oral history
damage
wreckage
aftermath
oil
oil industry
Spindletop
Houston Ship Channel
University of Texas Medical Branch
UTMB
school
university
college
higher education
Prohibition
Balinese Room
Hollywood Dinner Club
gambling
Jean Lafitte
Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve
Galveston Historical Foundation
Samuel May Williams House
Ashton Villa
emporium
Old Strand Emporium
Sante Fe Building
Strand Historic District
theater
theatre
Grand 1984 Opera House
opera house
opera
Salvatore Archidiacono
Archidiacono, Salvatore
Pier 19
fisherman
fish
shrimp
shrimp boat
C.S. Devoy
Devoy, C.S.
Richard Kiley
Kiley, Richard
narrator
narrated by