Hattie and Minnie Mooser were sisters and hostesses who were a part of the bohemian and theatrical life of San Francisco. They (along with their brothers George and Leon) were born in Nevada to Samuel and Rose Mooser, raised in Sacramento, and, in 1900, moved to San Francisco. Hattie was involved in social service, and worked for the juvenile court, giving benefits on its behalf with guest stars from local theaters. In 1918, Hattie founded the first municipal children’s theater in San Francisco, which later expanded into a children’s art center and a tearoom. In 1921, Minnie helped Hattie open San Francisco’s first supper club, in Chinatown, called the Aladdin Studio Tiffin Room. In 1925, they opened the Aladdin Nite Club; because of its refusal to sell liquor and thereby compete with other clubs which did sell liquor, it was forced to close in 1929. In 1933, the two sisters managed the Beach Chalet in Golden Gate Park. During World War II, they volunteered as cooks and hostesses at the Stage Door Canteen, a club for those serving in the military.
The collection consists primarily of scrapbooks documenting the Mooser sisters’ interest and work in theater and their businesses (the TIffin Room and the Aladdin Nite Club). The scrapbooks contain mostly clippings and some ephemera, but a few include photographs of the Tiffin Room and the Aladdin Nite Club (including some photographs of the Chinese employees of the nite club). Two scrapbooks document in papers and photographs the history of the Mooser family and the life of George Mooser (brother), who was a theatrical manager and agent. One photo album consists of autographed headshots of the vaudeville performers who were hosted by the Mooser sisters at their nite club. The collection also includes biographical materials, including a short typed manuscript of a memoir that discusses the sisters’ childhood, the opening of the Tiffin Room, Hattie’s work in social service, their work with children, and the Bohemian world of 1920s San Francisco.
Mooser, Hattie, 1878-1970 Mooser, Minnie, 1881-1979Size
2 boxes and 8 oversize boxes (4 linear feet)Collection #
BANC MSS 2010/728Publication Date
December 20, 1877