The Passing of Joseph Musil
Posted by DTSA July 2nd, 2010 03:25 | Community | 0 Comments
Memorial Service to be held at the Salon of Theaters
Saturday July 10th, 5 PM
207 N Broadway
The Final Curtain for our friend Joe Musil.......
We are saddened to share with you that Joseph Musil passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 29th. His death comes as a shock to many, as he was around and about until a few months ago. Joe had been hospitalized for a heart operation, which did occur at UCI, although he suffered from diabetes and congestive heart failure, and had been on dialysis recently as well. As so many know his life was designing theatres as well as homes and all manor of period architecture. What a legacy he left, his mark of distinction was his love of detail, and particularly the art deco period.
Joe was the subject of many articles in trade magazines, The Los Angeles Times, The Orange County Register and magazines focused on preservation and the Arts. His lifes passion which began as he would gladly tell you when he was four years of age, when his Grandmother took him to the Strand Theatre in Long Beach. There he saw and experienced all that Hollywood offered in those early days, a floor show, a live orchestra, a newsreel, cartoons, and finally the big show. He knew then what he wanted to do in lilfe. Joe worked for many years designing sets, costumes, staging, and ultimately theatres for The Walt Disney Company. He worked for Disney both as an employee and then on a contract basis after he went on his own. His credits include The Crest Theatre in Westwood, The El Capitan in Hollywood, and scores of others as well as work for private parties and developers too many to mention.
The Artists Village became his home quite a number of years ago, most remember him as one of the earliest tenants in the Santora Building of the Arts. His "Salon of Theatres" was visited by hundreds of visitors monthly, and was the subject of an interview done for the movie Primer Santa Ana (click here to see his interview
.) Walking into his suite instantly calmed you as you listened to period theatre organ music and saw the elaborate models of theatres all over the world. In addition there was the heady smell of incense wafting in the air. Joe was instrumental in many coming to the Santora as he was an ambassador for the arts and a civic booster, very proud of the Santora and Santa Ana.
Whether you needed advice on a new sign, a theatre room in your new home, a new home designed or a complete redo of an existing theatre, Joe was your man. He was always available to share information, with his pleasant demeanor, ready smile and hearty laugh. He was a creature of habit, a daily visitor to Polly's Pies on North Main, they considered him more than a regular, he was almost a "fixture". Joe called Santa Ana as his home both professionally and personally, and he had scores of friends who will miss him dearly. Not to mention his incredible talent, creative energy, historical and architectural knowledge and his ability to put your thoughts on paper visually.... freehand. That is nearly a lost art today with computers, which by the way you wouldn't find in his office, and no cell phone, Joe was old school that way, and we loved him for it.
When you consider what Joe's life was, loving all that was the magic of the theatre and how it was created and nurtured, there are many metaphors that we could draw upon. The curtain went up early for Joe, and we would all agree it came down too soon, but as Red Skelton used to say at the end of his show, "Good evening, and God Bless.........so we say, God Bless you Joseph Musil we were glad to have been your friends and be a part of the theatre of your life"