American Vaudeville Museum

All material © 1998-2012 American Museum of Vaudeville, Inc.  Page 53

Mike Gilmore

1917 – 2004

Half the theatre experience was behind the drop curtains, the travelers, cheaters and wings. Mike Gilmore served as an electrician (and historian) for many of San Francisco’s (and a few of Los Angeles’ stage houses from the late 1930s, the end of the vaudeville era, to the early 1980s. It was a half century of witness to the technological changes in live theatre and the on-stage and off-stage antics of some of the bigger stars in America.

Mike mistook Charles Boyer for a waiter, was an entranced audience of one for Charles Laughton who read poetry to Mike, had to deal with the big-star shenanigans of Katherine Hepburn, Yul Brynner and Danny Kaye, and enjoyed warmer relations with several famous strip tease artistes. In addition to working in theatres, Mike teched for television shows, movies and outdoor extravaganzas.