San Simeon: Morning, Billiard and theater rooms.

Located behind the Refectory or Dining Room (#3 on the floorplan below) are a series of 'smaller' rooms which house a variety of functions.
Directly attached to the refectory is the morning room. The heavy Spanish influenced style doesn't neccesarily strike me as typical of the light and airy space typical of a morning room but it is sun filled with large french doors out to the patio.The reclaimed woodwork throughout this main section of the castle is extraordinary. I loved this zigzag pattern in a vestibule ceiling.
Below is the vestibule out to the patio.
The walls are square cut stone with these really interesting doorways: not sure if they were created for the site or were reclaimed. Are those the symbol of the Prince of Wales above the doorways -the 3 ostrich plumes? Our tour guide didn't know. Notice the radio on the sideboard: in this 'museum' like setting, people were living, having parties, curing hang-overs while drinking their morning coffee.
Behind the morning room lies the billiard room, no 'fancy' antique looking pool tables for Mr. Hearst, they're more appropriate to a pool hall! I loved the polychrome ceiling in this room and those gilt chandeliers.
Last is the theater which could match any grand movie palace of the day, #7 on the floorplan above. After dinner, Mr. Hearst would screen the newest movies from his movie studio, Cosmopolitan Productions, which frequently featured his long time mistress, Marion Davies.
Marion Davies acted as hostess here at the 'ranch'. She started out as one of the famous Ziegfeld Girls of 1916 before quickly becoming one of the first movie stars. Her later career as a major film actress existed mainly because Hearst created his film studio to feature her movies. She appeared in 29 silent movies for the company as well as 17 'talkies'. It has been rumoured that her 'niece' was actually Hearst's and Marions daughter, but I haven't heard of that has been proved. While never married, she was clearly the love of his life. Davies suffered from alcoholism and died 10 years after Hearst's death of cancer.

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