Technicolor Whoopee in Times Square

Exhibitors Herald–World, October 11, 1930

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“Technicolor gets prominent recognition in the electrical display on the Rivoli theatre, New York, for the showing of Eddie Cantor’s ‘Whoopee,’ a United Artist picture. The Cantor comedy is an all-Technicolor film.”

Whoopee

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.  Details of independent walks will be published this fall.

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.

Selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Jane Russell Underwater on Broadway

Film Bulletin, February 21, 1955:

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“RKO showmen, who have been promoting ‘Underwater’ in a great big way during recent weeks, really gave the Superscopic a smash ballyhoo by erecting the largest movie sign to light up Broadway in the past 10 years, covering two corner walls of the building housing the Mayfair Theatre.

“A 50-foot figure of Jane Russell is mounted on a colored background of ocean, 85 feet wide by 81 feet high. The famous form is hand-painted on lucite with dramatic lighting directed from behind.

“Construction of the mammoth spectacular  received extensive press breaks and coverage by TV and radio.

underwater_pe close up

 

“A striking comparison in size can be made as workman puts the finishing touches on La Russell’s lips.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cezar 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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Gangsters Fight Gangsters on the Streets of New York, 1939

From the Jackie Cooper obituary, The Guardian, May 5, 2011:
“By 1936, despite his popularity, Cooper had reached his teens, and MGM decided not to renew his contract. After leaving the glossiest of Hollywood studios, he went to Monogram , the poorest…”

Showmen’s Trade Review, June 3, 1939:

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“What’s playing today, please?”

“Whoever asked that question must be blind, for how could any normal person help but see this banner broadside, the poster cutouts, and the still blowups and catchlines the Globe Theatre on Broadway utilized for its attention-getting display on Monogram’s ‘Streets of New York.’

“Cooper proved a strong draw to initial World’s Fair  crowds.”

Streets of New York

Cezar 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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy

It is Easter in July on Broadway

Showmen’s Trade Review, July 10, 1948:

2015-03-30_170723_pe_pe“Largest theatrical display on Broadway made its début last week when MGM’s Easter Parade opened at Loew’s State as the first feature in the theatre’s new long-run policy.
“The facsimiles (and reasonably accurate, too) of the four top stars in the picture (l-r: Peter Lawford, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller) are three and one-half stories high (you’d have to climb a ladder to tie Astaire’s shoestring).
“The electric sign runs the entire width of the Loew and MGM home office building. Loew’s State was completely renovated for the Technicolor musical and the new policy it inaugurated.”

Easter Parade

Cezar 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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

 

 

Outside the Law Goes Legit on Broadway

Starring Priscilla Dean and Lon Chaney, “Outside the Law”  received a special “innovational” New York City première on January 16, 1921.

Exhibitor’s Herald, February 5, 1921:
“An innovational première was given Universal’s ‘Outside the Law’ on Sunday, January 16, when four legitimate New York theatres gave special matinée and evening performances, projectors, screens and fronts being installed the previous night after the close of the stage plays in engagement, which are not presented on Sunday.”

chaney2_pe (Medium)“The Longacre theatre, New York, as decorated by Universal for the four-theatre special engagement of ‘Outside the Law,’ an event of great interest to exhibitors who will play the picture”

chaney3_pe (Medium)“Early morning view of the Astor theatre, showing graphically the effect obtained by use of prison wall masking, a type of lobby decoration which will doubtless be used nationally in behalf of the picture.”

chaney5_pe (Medium)“‘Outside The Law’ advertising matter was superimposed upon that bearing the legitimate attraction in engagement at the Lyric theatre.

chaney4_pe (Medium)“Oil paintings of exceptional pictorial interest add to the strength of the prison wall effect, as illustrated in the display made up for the George M. Cohan theatre.”

chaney1_pe (Medium)“Every seat in the Astor theatre, New York, was sold before the opening of the special Sunday engagement of ‘Outside the Law’ on January 16.”

“Frequent applause and capacity attendance are reported as characterizing the Sunday showings and subsequent screenings at the Broadway theatre, where a week’s engagement followed.”

Outside the Law

Cezar 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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Capitol Theatre, Broadway at 51st, Then and Now, 1946

Showmen’s Trade Review, October 26, 1946:

capitol2t_pe“Believe it or not, that quiet street scene in the top photo is Broadway and 51st Street prior to the construction of the Capitol Theatre, which opened on October 24, 1919.

Contrast the pastoral atmosphere of that scene (note the nearly invisible man on the corner–cameras couldn’t catch people on the move in those days) with the movie-going activity in the bottom photo which shows an opening morning at the Capitol some 27 years later; specifically during the current engagement of MGM’s ‘No Leave, No Love’ and stage show.

“This week the Capitol is holding special ceremonies in observance of the theatre’s 27th anniversary.”

capitol2pe

Cezar 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.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc This includes a Times Square talk or walk.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

 

 

 

Theatre Walks 2014-2015

Award winning author, Cezar Del Valle has had many years of experience developing and leading walking tours of New York’s theatrical and cultural districts.

Mindful of the budgetary constraints facing most non-profits, Del Valle is willing to discuss fees.

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January 8, 2012 walking tour for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP)
“Your amount of historic knowledge was nothing short of incredible”
-Dana Schulz, Program and Administrative Associate, GVSHP

Times Square:
Explore the “Crossroads of the World” to discover some of the lesser known sites along the “Great White Way.”

Lower East Side:
Five walks are available of New York City’s former melting pot of the immigrant working class.

Introductory Walk(s)
Three tours offer a basic introduction to the neighborhood’s showbiz past from immigrant theatre to off-off-Broadway and early television.

Yiddish Rialto
Stroll Second Avenue as Del Valle relates tales of Adler, Picon, Thomashefsky and other greats of the Yiddish stage.

Bowery
The colorful, salty history of the Bowery, once alive with Yiddish, Italian and Chinese theatres, vaudeville houses, dime museums, concert saloons and early film venues.

Downtown Brooklyn:
A former hub of theatrical activity, downtown Brooklyn is currently enjoying a rebirth with the development of the new BAM Cultural District.

Coney Island:
Del Valle invites you to Brooklyn’s “Sodom by the Sea” where Gary Grant walked on stilts, Harpo Marx made his stage début and where the music halls ran early & late.

Visit our Theatre Talks website for information and reviews.

Above photo copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.