Aurora Borealis Lights Up Times Square

Universal Weekly, October 14, 1933:

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“Broadway ablaze! This mammoth electric sign covers the entire house-front of the Criterion Theatre. The letters S-O-S in the title flash on alternately. An Aurora Borealis effect is secured with irradiating  lights, and an airplane with practical propeller whirring  near the giant iceberg adds to the effect.

S-O-S Iceberg

Criterion Theatre

 

Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Walks also available at Local Expeditions

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.

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

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Hurricane Strikes Times Square

Motion Picture Herald, November 20, 1937:

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“Giant electrical illumination featured front of New York Astor Theatre for the two-a-day date on ‘Hurricane’ measured 75 feet in length and 40 feet high, letters from 14 to 24 feet. Two large palm trees swaying in breeze and other storm effects created by staggered flasher system were used. 14,000 bulbs were said to have been employed in the display.”

The Hurricane 

 

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

Rains Followed by Crowds at The Roxy, New York City, 1939

Motion Picture Herald, September 23, 1939:

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Roxy 2_pe (Large)

“Crowds from here to way over there are jamming their way not into a bomb shelter, the publicity department of the New York Roxy theatre proudly points out, but into the theatre on the tenth day of Twentieth Century Fox’s ‘The Rains Came.’ The total attendance exceeded 250,000 on the 12th day of the run.”

The Rains Came

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

New Marquee for the Paramount, New York

Showmen’s Trade Review, May 28, 1949:

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“Flash and glamor increased, costs reduced by new marquee [below] on Paramount, New York, in which Adler changeable letters replace the former made-to-order electric displays (above).”

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Golden Earrings

The Accused

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  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.

 

 

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.”

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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.