550-544 Pacific Avenue

Built in 1906, this building housed Thalia, by 1908 the hottest dancehall on the street and birthplace to the Texas Tommy, the first swing dance and a dance move that became famous across the country.

You can see the Texas Tommy immortalized in a rare 1914 film clip This is the earliest known film footage of swing dancing - a silent film showing Afro-Americans doing the Texas Tommy (or Texas Tommy Swing) circa 1914 in California. They do the Texas Tommy in the second half of the film clip (the partner dance with two people) - there is more to this film but the rest is not online as far as is known. There is a direct line of development from 1911 Texas Tommy in California to 1927 Lindy Hop in New York City.

The entrance at 544 opened to stairs to the balcony, for the "slummers", more genteel people who wanted to watch the entertainment below without actually partaking of such unseemly behavior. :-)