Karloff and Chaney at the Loop, Detroit

Motion Picture Herald, May 18, 1946:

dracula_pe“Karloff and Chaney fans were attracted to this outside display at the Loop theatre, Detroit, which did a forceful selling job for manager Fred Walton. Note the profuse display of stills which Walton uses.”

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

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Paramount’s “All-Talking” Coney Island Ballyhoo

Exhibitors Herald-World, September 27, 1930:

Paramount_pe

Motion Picture Projectionist, August 1930:
“What is probably the first talking sign of its kind ever erected has been installed on the Coney Island boardwalk by the Brooklyn Paramount.

“It measures 180 feet in length by 28 feet in height and stands 75 feet from the ground. The sign will be in operation for several hours every afternoon and evening during the summer season.

“Loud speakers are used with announcers and will be supervised from a house in the rear, Announcements can be heard for a half mile and the sign can be seen for at least three-quarters of a mile.”

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

Under Two Flags on the Lower East Side

Universal Weekly, December 30, 1922:

clinton

Clinton Theatre, 80-82 Clinton Street, New York, NY

“The Clinton Theatre, New York, Manager Philip Dion, ran the picture [Under Two Flags] five days to S. R. O. business at every performance.

“An Arab distributed personal visiting cards of Priscilla Dean on the back of which was scribbled a note announcing her picture at the Clinton.

“A week before the showing Dion placed a mysterious frame, covered with muslin on the inside of his lobby. A little hole was left for the curiosity seeker. A sign over it read, ‘Don’t look!’  As a result everyone did look and read of the coming of Priscilla Dean.”

Under Two Flags

Priscilla Dean

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.

The Old Dark House Plays Paterson, New Jersey

Universal Weekly December 27, 1932:

Warner's Rivoli Theatre, 130 Main Street, Paterson, New Jersey

Warner’s Rivoli Theatre, 130 Main Street, Paterson, New Jersey

“The entire theatre front is a replica of “The Old Dark House!’ Giant cut-out heads of Karloff peering over the roof with weird green and red lights in the eyes! Two banks of flood lights crisis-crossing the display at different angles causing spooky shadows! Under the marquee and in the lobby green and red lights flashing on and off cross each other at angles! The whole eerie display flooded with green and amber lights!

“Tha is a brief description of the front and lobby design by Eddie Helwig, manager to sell ‘The Old Dark House’ at the Rivoli Theatre, Paterson, N.J. and follows along the idea suggested in Universal’s practical press sheet. Several character heads, cut-out from the posters were used on the display. The upper part of the ‘house’ appeared over the marquee and the lower part under, taking in the box-office. It was all cut-out of beaver board and painted by the theatre artist.

“During the running of the trailer, a week in advance of the opening, at the point where the weird noises and lighting occur, Helwig turned the house lights off suddenly, sweeping the house into total darkness for a few moments. It was a very effective stunt as it started the patrons talking about ‘Dark House.’ A lobby amplifier was used during the run to ballyhoo the thrills and mystery of the picture.

“Helwig’s campaign resulted in the Rivoli’s best opening in months. Albert S. Nathan, Universal exploiter, assisted.”

The Old Dark House

Rivoli Theatre

 

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.

 

 

Midnight Horror Show at the Loew’s Theatre, Richmond, VA

Showmen’s Trade Review, October 22, 1949:

Loews 2“If you’re going to put on a midnight horror show, reasoned Manager George Peters of Loew’s Theatre, Richmond, Va., then go out and ballyhoo it. And he did.

“He obtained five new Studebaker convertibles and paraded them around the downtown section the afternoon before the show. The first was driven by a blindfolded driver, the second contained the Monster and the others were filled with beautiful girls. Needless to say, the show was a sellout.

“Two of the convertibles are shown above. Snazzy, eh?”

 

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.