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|About||Welcome to The Fillmore|
The original owner of The Fillmore property, Emma Gates Butler, hired James W. and Merritt Reid in 1910 to draw plans for an Italianate-style dance hall at the southwest corner of Fillmore and Geary. The Majestic Hall and Majestic Academy of Dancing opened in 1912 on the second and third stories of the building, where the usual fare was Wednesday night socials and masquerade balls.
The Fillmore was a dance hall operating under various names and managements - The Get Acquainted Society, Ambassador Dance Hall - through the 1930s, and a roller rink through the 1940s. In 1952, local entrepreneur Charles Sullivan began to book some of the biggest names in black music into The Fillmore. Sullivan booked West Coast tours for performers including James Brown, Bobby 'Blue' Bland and Ike & Tina Turner. During the 1950s and 1960s, San Francisco gained a reputation as the preeminent Bohemian community in the United States. This reputation was never more deserved than during the mid-sixties, when the hipster of the Beat movement grew into the hippie of a more mainstream counter-culture. By the 1950s, the literary North Beach scene had given way to the emerging Haight-Ashbury, and radical politics had a niche across the Bay at the University of California at Berkeley. The line between culture and politics is easily blurred by young people in search of adventure. In the search for fun and community, public dances became the craze in 1965. With Ken Kesey leading his band of Merry Pranksters to the outer limits of reality, and the Family Dog putting together dance concerts at Longshoremen's Hall, San Francisco was on its way to becoming the hip capital of the world.
Bill Graham was a veteran of the artistic community, but his greatest talents were his keen business acumen and his ability to organize events, creating comfortable and safe atmospheres without stifling the creative energies around him. Maintaining high aesthetic standards and calling on limitless personal energy, Bill