Publication Date

Fall 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Theatre Arts


David Kahn


Chinese theater, Chinese theater San Francisco, Chinese theatre, Chinese theatre San Francisco, Theater riot, Theatre riot

Subject Areas

Theater history


During the 1870s and 1880s, San Francisco's Chinese theaters were scenes of tumultuous riots, which this thesis has designated as The Gold Mountain Theater Riots. City petitions and ordinances restricting the performances of Chinese theaters, police raids on Chinese theaters when they did not comply with these ordinances, stampedes caused by panics, and tong and Chinese theater rivalries were all catalysts for violence in America's first Chinese theaters. The Gold Mountain Theater Riots attempts to gain further knowledge of why these extra-theatrical events occurred, through the examination of Chinese audiences and the police involved in these theater riots as reported in San Francisco Newspapers during this era.