Beware the Lumnious Man in Dallas!

Universal Weekly, February 8, 1936:


“Just take a look at the front on ‘The Invisible Ray’ designed by Louis Charninsky, Managing Director, Capitol Theatre, Dallas.

“There are no less than eight outstanding exploitation features represented, each would do any showman proud.

“At the extreme left is an electrical display, set up through the cooperation of the Dallas Light and Power Co. and the Southern Methodist University physics department. High voltage transformers, placed on a table behind plate glass for protection, produced jumping sparks.  Warning and explanatory signs added to the intrigue.

“The mechanical man, and ballyhoo man, dressed in metallic helmet and cloth cape similar to that worn by Karloff in picture, were used for an entire week around town and out front.

“The ‘invisible fish’ display followed  along the lines suggested in the pressbook, using clear water with a sign explaining the presence of invisible fish and asking the people to look for them.

“At the right side is a telescope focused on poster mounted on adjoining building. Behind Charninsky, looking through the telescope, is ‘The Luminous Man’ poster, available at all Universal Branches.

“Notice the 24-sheet poster cut-out above the front, and the six-sheet cut-outs on either side, in which red and green flashers were used behind the eyes.

“Charninsky, to interest the chemistry and physics students in the high schools and colleges, held a special invitation preview for the instructors who were asked to tell their students about the scientific angle of the picture.

“Newspaper ads and displays in windows around town played up the scientific angle.”

The Invisible Ray



Since 1997, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has been conducting a popular series of  theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

He has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.






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