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Ventriloquist, musician, and life-long entertainer Harry Holland first fell in love with California’s Eastern Sierra communities in the early years of the 1900s as he toured the American West with a traveling entertainment group. Harry left the life of a traveling performer in favor of setting down roots in Bishop, bringing with him his love of showmanship and his passion for the latest form of entertainment: moving pictures.
Over the course of the next forty years, Harry devoted his energy and talents to bringing
top-quality entertainment to the Owens Valley, culminating in the creation of the Bishop
Theatre which still operates today.
Harry’s dynamic story is illustrated with original photographs of early Bishop and the events hosted in Harry’s theatre, photographs which have remained in the collections of Harry’s descendents.
"Before Netflix there was Harry Holland, the quintessential, hard-scrabble, up-by-thebootstraps American immigrant, who’d dedicated his life to delivering entertainment to the small, far-flung burgs that dotted his corner of the West, which happened to sit in the shadow of California’s Eastern Sierra.
The tale of this colorful teller-of-tales is woven in the newly published book Bishop Theatre: Harry Holland’s Dream, written by Katie Bird and Kyle Holland, both direct descendants of Harry.
…Bishop Theatre is a tale of American perseverance and ingenuity, as well as a peek behind the curtain at the dawn of the Hollywood film industry, which grew from the dusty roads and small-town outposts of the Owens Valley to the digital, global behemoth it is today. So the next time you sink into your couch with your loved one and a remote for an evening of Netflix-and-chill, you can perhaps give a thought to Harry Holland, who, in order to bring the magic of movies to his fellow citizens, made weekly, two-day-long, 500-mile-roundtrip sojourns across the inhospitable Mojave in a Brush Runabout loaded with a crate of the latest offerings from Tinseltown."
"A fantastic read! I fell in love with the town of Bishop when I visited a year ago. Exploring the streets of the town as well as the stunning landscapes that surround it. I am so happy I was able to order this book and have a piece of Bishop's told history back at home with me. This is an amazing contribution to the history of Bishop and honoring Harry Holland's legacy. Learning more about Mr. Holland's life and his impact on the town of Bishop was truly inspiring. Anyone who reads this can apply the many experiences he went through to their own life motivations to achieving their own dreams. Accompanying the text are several surviving photos of Mr. Holland, the theaters and theater equipment.
The book itself is printed on high quality pages, colors and quality of the photos are crisp, vibrant, and very clear considering the photos are extremely old. The size of the book is perfect for any bookshelf or coffee table to add to anyone's collection and would be a great conversation piece. Definitely a 10/10 recommend!"
This book is not the work of one single author, but rather the product of an extensive family endeavor, a collaboration between Howard Holland, his sister Arlene Morris, and Howard’s grandchildren, Kyle Holland and Katie Bird. Without the help of everyone involved, this book would not have been possible.