September 19, 2019
By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection
This week’s image is of a postcard depicting the Rim of the World Bowl. The prominent Crestline developer, Charles S. Mann, conceived, designed, and built the amphitheater in 1930. Part of his inspiration may have come from the Hollywood Bowl which was constructed in the early 1920’s. The Rim of the World Bowl, sometimes referred to as the Crestline Bowl, was located in Crestline. The Bowl was able to serve several purposes including providing quality entertainment and education to the people on the mountain and, perhaps most importantly, to a developer like Charles Mann, draw more people up to the mountains to breathe the clean air and buy more cabins. On July 18, 1930 the cornerstone for the $10,000 structure was laid with completion scheduled for August of that same year. Part of the cornerstone was a box of various newspapers. An association was formed so that upon completion of construction the day-to-day operations of the Bowl including scheduling programs, ticket sales, and even parking could occur efficiently. The association was directed by Clyde Garrett. Dedication of the new Rim of the World Bowl took place on August 8, 1930 and was attended by some 400 people. Charles Mann spoke at the dedication and the audience was treated to a first rate set of performances starting with the Rim-of-the-World Little Symphony. Throughout the early part of the 1930’s the Bowl was used for a variety of events such as performances, pageants, summer school events and Easter sunrise services. In August of 1931 the Bowl hosted a Spanish night where various Spanish artists sang, danced, and performed musical scores – all for 50 cents. The commercial success of the Bowl was limited primarily by the timing. America in the 1930’s experienced the Great Depression. Over time the Bowl fell into disuse and was eventually torn down.