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Zorro Unmasked

From June 1 through August 31, 9 AM – 5 PM, the Mission Preservation Foundation at Mission San Juan Capistrano (check out this site for the guitar music alone!) displays its new summer exhibit, “Zorro Unmasked.” This temporary exhibit will showcase the cinematic history of Zorro from past films and television, in conjunction with Zorro Productions, Inc. (established and with corporate offices in Berkeley), in the newly refurbished West Wing Building.

On Sundays, from 12 – 2 PM, the kids can explore the Zorro Unmasked Curiosity Cart and make a paper rose, a Zorro mask, or pick up free activity booklets.

Zorro was created in 1919, and nearly every generation has had the opportunity to become familiar with the “Spanish Fox,” who has come to symbolize  justice, hope, romance, and courage. The exhibit will feature original costumes worn by actors Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones from “The Legend of Zorro” (2005). Original film props and other items from the films of Douglas Fairbanks, Tyrone Power, and Guy Williams, as well as Zorro items from pop culture, film, TV, magazines and books will also be on display. The exhibit is free to members. For information call (949) 234-1300.

On Saturday, July 31, at 11 AM, Sandra Curtis, Ph.D., the author of Zorro Unmasked, the Official History, will discuss highlights of the 90-year history of the 19th century champion of the oppressed, whose story is intimately entwined with that of Mission San Juan Capristrano. Her lecture is entitled, “The Legend of Zorro: Myth or History?” Space is limited, so RSVP by calling (949) 234-1375.

You can read the book, The Curse of Capistrano (1) by Johnston McCulley (Zorro’s creator), on Wikisource. The book is in the public domain in the United States, since it was published before January 1, 1923. The story was later published as a novella, The Mark of Zorro, in 1920. “The Mark of Zorro” was also a 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks, a 1940 film starring Tyrone Power, and a 1974 television movie starring Frank Langella.

-Bill at

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