From Fillmore to Fillmore West

On display in our Upstairs Gallery-

In the summer of 1968, Bill Graham abandoned the legendary Fillmore Auditorium at the corner of Fillmore and Geary for the more spacious confines of the Carousel Ballroom at the corner of Market and Van Ness. The move occurred at a time of great unrest in many American cities, precipitated by the assassinations of The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. in April and Senator Robert F. Kennedy in June. As a result of these and other events, attendance at the Fillmore was dropping to unsustainable levels. Ever the entrepreneur, Graham flew to Ireland to personally secure the lease on the Carousel from the building’s owner, pleading his case over a lengthy breakfast of steak and eggs, washed down with a bottle of bourbon. Upon his return, lease in hand, Graham then took the opportunity to rebrand the Carousel as the Fillmore West, making it less the successor to the beloved Fillmore Auditorium than the twin of his new showcase in New York, the Fillmore East.

From March 28 through April, From Fillmore to Fillmore West will feature posters from the final few months of the Fillmore Auditorium and the Carousel Ballroom, the first few weeks at the Fillmore West, and photographs by Elizabeth Sunflower of the Fillmore Neighborhood, circa 1968.