Marjorie Himmelstern was a grand neice of prominent playwrite, producer, and theatre owner David Belasco, who was born in San Francisco in 1853 to Humphrey (1830-1911) and Reyna (b. 1830) Belasco, emigrants from London, England. Humphrey and Reyna had 10 children, including Frederic (Frederick), Walter, Edward, George, and Sarah. David Belasco started his theatrical career as a child actor, but he switched to stage managing and producing as a young man. He built and managed two theatres in New York City, the Stuyvesant and the Belasco, and he promoted the careers of several accomplished actors, including David Warfield. He rose to success at the turn of the century, a period in which theatre management practices were tending towards combination, organization, and efficiency. Belasco challenged the attempt by a partnership of six producers, which was known as the Theatrical Syndicate, to exert national control over theatrical production and exhibition. A flamboyant man, Belasco was also a prolific playwright. Among his most well-known works is "The Golden Girl of the West," which was adapted as an opera by Puccini. David Belasco married and had two daughters, Reyna Victoria and Augusta. In 1894, Frederic Belasco, David's brother, formed the Alcazar Stock Company in San Francisco with M.E. Mayer. Belasco and Mayer, with the help of several Belasco brothers, produced and staged plays each week for a theatre-hungry public. In time, the Company had 30 actors on its staff. In 1907, the brothers-in-law Belasco and Mayer built a new theatre at Sutter and Steiner streets to showcase their productions. Within four years, the partners had outgrown that venue and relocated "uptown" to the new 1,400-seat Alcazar Theatre on O'Farrell, between Powell and Mason.
From the description of Marjorie Himmelstern collection on the Belasco and Bender families, 1892-1926. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 743435650
From the description of Marjorie Himmelstern collection on the Belasco and Bender families, 1892-1926. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 154690403