L. Frank Baum’s Coronado - A Walking Tour - Coronado Eagle & Journal | Coronado News | Coronado Island News: Oz Con International | Coronado Oz Con | Winkie Con

L. Frank Baum’s Coronado - A Walking Tour

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014 11:16 am

Coronado Public Library, 640 Orange Avenue

A great place to start your walking tour is at the Coronado Public Library. Appropriate because Baum changed children’s literature significantly as the first American author to introduce “fantasy” as a writing genre and first author world-wide to follow up a first novel with a sequel (there are 14 books in his Oz series). Baum said “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written solely to please children of today. It aspired to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are let out.” Little did he know that he would be pleasing children of all ages for over 100 years.

Opening August 1 at 6:00 pm (and continuing through the month of August) The Coronado Public Library will feature an exhibition of rare Oz memorabilia from Winkie Con’s David Maxine and graphic originals from the works of Eric Shanower. The Exhibition is Free and Open to the public during library hours. While at the library be sure to see the exquisite Art Glass Wizard of Oz panels designed by artist Brenda Smith in the Children’s section.

Village Vintage Theater, 820 Orange Avenue

The original theater opened In 1947 in Coronado. The one-screen theatre with its Art Deco interior was a roaring success from the very first night. However by 2000 the theatre had fallen into disrepair with disinterested owners and the doors were shuttered after the screening of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The Village Theatre became a blighted building on Coronado’s main street.

Finally, Lance Alspaugh, CEO of Los Angeles’ Vintage Cinemas secured an agreement from the theatre owners. Coronado City Council funded $2.7 million through its Development Agency with the understanding that the 1947 façade would be renovated. On June 25, 2011, ten years and $3 million later, old became new again and the beautiful etched glass doors of the renovated Village Theatre flung open to greet overflow audiences.

On August 7, 2014 Coronado Vintage Village Theatre will screen the re-mastered 1939 Wizard of Oz in 3D. For more information or to purchase tickets visit the Coronado Island Film Festival website at www.coronadoislandfilmfestival.com.

Coronado’s Downtown, Orange Avenue

In 1897 Baum founded Show Window, a periodical for window trimmers. He also founded the National Association of Window Trimmers. The goal was “the uplifting of mercantile decorating to the level of a profession”. Baum was at the forefront of this new movement. How appropriate that our downtown businesses will be celebrating Baum with Oz inspired window fronts, Oz merchandise and Oz specialty menu items.

Hotel Del Coronado, 1500 Orange Avenue

In 1904, the Baum’s made their first trip to the Hotel del Coronado to escape the harsh Chicago winters, arriving by train that traveled from San Diego, south and then up The Strand. They arrived in January and stayed until April. Baum was 48 years old at the time and already established as an author. Thanks to his success as a writer they were able to winter at the Hotel for many years.

During his initial visit Baum told a reporter that “those who do not find Coronado a paradise have doubtless brought with them the same conditions that would render heaven unpleasant to them, did they chance to gain admittance.”

Baum suffered from heart problems and found Coronado’s sunshine and beaches restorative. The San Diego Unions Article dated 1905 quoted Baum ; ‘ Never could I have done all this in so short a time, if I had not gathered such a fine collection of vim out here during last year’s visit (referring to writing and his 1904 visit)

1101 Star Park Circle and the Baum - Meade House

(PRIVATE RESIDENCE - please do not disturb!)

To have more space when their first child was born, the Baums began wintering on Star Park Circle, in the only home still standing in America where Baum lived. Writing in the mornings and golfing in the afternoon at the Coronado golf course or reading to children in the courtyard of the Hotel Del, Baum enjoyed a prolific time in his writing career, and wrote three of his Oz books while in Coronado: Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz (1908), The Road to Oz (1909), and, The Emerald City of Oz (1910).

Coronado Historical Association, 1100 Orange Avenue

The Coronado Historical Association’s (CHA) Baum exhibit includes a rare first-edition Baum book and for a more in-depth Oz experience of the island that inspired L. Frank Baum they offer a special Wizard of Oz Walking Tour. A 90 minute, docent-led tour will include special stories, spaces and places related to the Wizard of OZ. Tours leave daily at 11 am. Meet at the Coronado Public Library front entrance at 640 Orange Avenue. Cost: $20 For information contact the Coronado Historical Association at 619-435-7242 or go to www.CoronadoHistory.org. Reservations recommended.

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1 comment:

  • Dennis Blackburn posted at 8:30 pm on Mon, Oct 2, 2017.

    Dennis Blackburn Posts: 1

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