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Matías Bombal

  Matías Bombal Caricature  

Matías Bombal, the host of “Matías Bombal’s Hollywood,” has been seen and heard in many entertainment venues as a master of ceremonies throughout California.  Born in Santiago, Chile, June 3, 1967, Matías was surrounded by the arts at an early age.  His father, Antonio Bombal, was a professor of comparative literature and in his later life, a piano tuner.  The poet Pablo Neruda was a close friend in a family that included the Chilean novelist Maria Lusia Bombal.  They moved to Berkeley, California in 1968, where his father was teaching.  His mother, Judy Nevis, is a native Californian and has had a career in public service as a Deputy Director with California’s Department of Housing.  Matías grew up and learning Spanish and English at the same time in an environment of classical music.  The next logical musical step was jazz!  Matías developed an intense interest in the music of the 1920's and 1930's from listening to his grandmother’s 78 r.p.m. records.


Following a move in 1976 to Sacramento, Matías began his life-long love of the movies and their exhibition.  At nineteen years of age and on sheer enthusiasm, he was placed in charge of the restoration and management of Sacramento's historic Crest Theatre.  He made a considerable impression on the valley’s show going public in his tenure there from 1986 to 1991, with colorful stage introductions and clever and rare film bookings. 

  Matías at the Crest Theatre  


  Matías at the Guild Theatre  

He was directly involved with reviving Sacramento’s Guild and Colonial Theatres, as well as working in the Tower, Sacramento Inn, and Crestview theatres as promoter, booker, historian and all around showman.  He has appeared as an extra and/or lent his production assistance to the films Bird, Pink Cadillac, Xenia, Wisdom, and an episode of Highway to Heaven.  He was featured as a cashier in an independent black & white comedy short silent film 9 Items or Less

  Matías in front of stage curtain  

TV 58, KSCH, Sacramento brought Matías to the small screen as a Sunday night movie host, introducing classic movies in a trademark tuxedo (movie palace managers were never seen in anything else) This led to work as master of ceremonies at numerous theatrical events throughout California on stage, screen, television and radio.  Matías was featured with the Music Masters Orchestra as a singer and announcer, working closely with noted big-band leader Dick Jurgens who would help rehearsing the band that played "Hotel" style arrangements of tunes from the 20's and 30's.

  Matías with Music Masters Orchestra  


The owner of the Bijou Theatre in Lincoln City, Oregon, brought Matías to the central Oregon coast in 1996 for 6 years to manage and operate that 1937 theatre.  While there, he was approached to do a movie talk show on the local commercial AM radio station, KBCH.  The Popcorn Hour, co-hosted by the owner of the Bijou Theatre, Keith Altomare, was a huge success.  Matías went on to produce 3 other popular weekly programmes.

  Matías at the Bijou Theatre, Oregon  


  Matías at KBCH  

The KBCH shows included: On The Air: Dance bands, sweet music, and personalities of the 20’s and 30’s.  The Great Singers: Pop singers and song stylists of the 40’s through the 60’s offering ballads and standards, and the most popular show in that radio market- Pipes on Parade: Theatre organ music in old and new recordings from all over the world.  Matías would also fill in for other disk jockeys, and was always called upon to interview famous stars of film and music that would be in the area.


As a film/music historian Matías has contributed to many books on film history, especially on the silent and early “talkie” era.  He is an authority on the pioneer film star Ramón Novarro, and has the Mexican actor’s own collection early cinema memorabilia.   He has a vast collection of original 78 r.p.m. recordings (in the thousands) that document the best in music from 1915-1950.  His first time on radio was at nine years of age on NPR affiliate KXPR. 

Mr. Bombal has worked as an emcee all over the west coast for special events- such as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee (now Sacramento Music Festival), the silent movie series at Salem, Oregon’s great movie palace, the Elsinore, the classic film series presented by the Friends of the Fox at the Bob Hope Theatre in Stockton (Formerly the Fox-California) where he was the prize master of The Fabulous Fox Giveaway, The Reno Film Festival, a silent films series at the Ironstone Vineyards of Murphys, California and the Newport (Oregon) Performing Art Center's film festivals. 


Many people in Northern California and Nevada enjoyed listening to Matías as the popular host of radio’s Classic Jazz and Swing, which was carried over 5 affiliate NPR stations for 4 years originating from The KXJZ Stations of Capital Public Radio in Sacramento.  He has been seen ascending out of the orchestra pit of Oakland, California’s Paramount Theatre for the popular spin to win game, Dec-O-Win, part of the movie classics shown at the fabulous 1931 Art-Deco National Historic Landmark. He’s often engaged with Don Neely’s Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, as their on-stage announcer.   Mr. Bombal additionally assists in the presentation of a yearly variety show benefit in Palm Springs, California and served the board of the non-profit Sierra Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society as publicist.

  Matías in the jazz studio of CPR  




Matías and Dec-O-Win wheel   Matías on Oakland Paramount stage-1   Matías on Oakland Paramount stage-2  

Matías Bombal lives in Sacramento, where he cultivates and preserves his many media collections for future generations.  In addition to attending the many press screenings for films he reviews here, he does voice work for commercials and industry, working for a variety of clients.  Matías Bombal writes about movies for Valley Community Newspapers, is a member of The Sacramento Press Club, and presents movie classics at The Crocker Art Museum. Mr. Bombal is heard on KAHI Radio, reviewing movies on the Thursday evening news and "Poppoff" on Fridays every week. He is the Past President, Board of Directors of the Sacramento Section of the Mercedes Benz Club of America.  In his spare time, he enjoys motoring in his classic 1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S (Mercedes “Eva” Bombal) and delights in learning a new word each day.




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