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.

 

 

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Jungle Monsters Battle To The Death in Denver

Complete publicity tagline for “White Pongo”:  “JUNGLE MONSTERS BATTLE TO THE DEATH AS A WOMAN WATCHES IN TERROR!”

Showmen’s Trade Review, February 9, 1946:

Pongo_pe (Large)“Here’s how the Rialto Theatre, Denver, designed a special front to sell PRC’s double horror bill, ‘White Pongo’ and ‘The Missing Corpse,’ with understandable emphasis on ‘White Pongo.’

“The impressive front carried jungle foliage with huge cut-outs of apes to point up the film’s eerie motif.”

White Pongo
Ray “Crash” Corrigan once again dons the gorilla suit to play White Ponga, the name of the albino ape throughout the film.

The Missing Corpse

An industry joke back in the 1940s was that PRC stood for Pretty Rotten Crap and not Producers Releasing Corporation, a poverty row studio turning out a film in a week or two on an extremely low-budget.

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.

 

Zombie Bally Live at the Princess Theatre, Montreal, Canada

Motion Picture Herald, November 12, 1932

zombiePPH1_pe“Take a good look at the grand front Thomas [Cleary] engineered for ‘White Zombie,’  and if you all don’t agree it’s a cuckoo then our eyes have gone back on us. Cost a bit, to be sure, but when results are taken into consideration, it’s nothing to get cold feet about.

“Lest the photo does not reproduce to full advantage, a false turret-like top portion of a castle was built about the marquee, flooded at night time with a bank of blue lights that produced a weird effect. The seven ‘Zombie’ characters standing at different points on the marquee were ‘live’ and caused a lot of comment from passers-by below on the street.

“Note the compoboard, or whatever was used to fashion the house effect, was blocked off to resemble masonry, and the cutout letters reading ‘The House of the Living Dead.’

“A nice piece of work and once again we congratulate Tom Cleary for his showmanlike ideas.”

 

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.

 

State Theatre, 492 DeKalb Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Exhibitor’s Herald, January 21, 1922

State

 

“One of the latest additions to an already large list of motion picture theatres in Brooklyn is the new State theatre at DeKalb and Franklin avenues built by Bleendes & Strausberg.

“There are fifteen hundred seats and each seat has an unobstructed view of the screen. The matter of cooling and ventilation received close attention, the contract for this part of the equipment being placed with the Typhoon Fan Company of New York.

“On each side of the screen special compartments were constructed and the large Typhoons installed, the air being forced out into the auditorium through grilles just over the screen.

“During the warm weather this Typhoon System, it is claimed will change the air in the State once every minute, or sixty times an hour. For ventilating during the winter the System is reversed in its operation and the foul air withdrawn.”

 

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

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014-15, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

 

Ridgewood Theatre 55-27 Myrtle Avenue, Ridgewood, NY 11385

Exhibitors Herald, February 19, 1921:

Ridgewood THEATRE“The dominant advertising thought among Brooklyn exhibitors is for the advertising of the theatre primarily, the attraction being given second place in the majority of cases.

“S. L. Whiting, manager of the Ridgewood theatre, shown in accompanying illustrations, gave evidence of this tendency in his 4th Anniversary Week, in progress at the time the photograph was taken.

“Though ‘The Mark of Zorro,’ Douglas Fairbanks’ most recent United Artist production, was the attraction, the theatre and the anniversary were brought most prominently into the foreground in practically all publicity efforts made.

“The policy is thoroughly commendable in almost every respect. There lies in the adoption of such a policy a single danger, the possibility that an attraction of unusual merit may be given less than its due amount of advertising and the engagement therefore yield less than its potential profit, but that danger is one which should not give pause  to the man who realizes as every man should realize that it is by his theatre rather than by attractions exhibited therein that he must succeed or fail.

“The possibility is easily avoided by an extension of budget limitations to accommodate extra advertising for the theatre itself rather than pay for it out of the general advertising budget.

“Brooklyn exhibitors display sound showmanship in thus focusing attention upon their theatres. Theatre thought of the day evidences a remarkably unified movement toward improvement in that direction. The service of the leaders in this movement is a genuine one which should not be permitted to pass unappreciated.”

Ridgewood4_pe

 

Douglas Fairbanks, Creator of Zorro

We Love Ridgewood Theatre

After the Final Curtain

NY City Lens

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

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014-15, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Meralta Theatre, 2035 E. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90033

Meralta

 Exhibitor’s Trade Review,  April 29, 1922:
“K.C. Manny, manager of the Meralta Theatre, a Los Angeles suburban house, put Goldwyn’s Watch Your Step over by means of two unique exploitation stunts at very little costs.

“Obtaining an old steam automobile with a high-speed record, he place it in the lobby. Running a wire from an ordinary electric socket to a buzzer placed under the hood of the machine, he obtained the suggestion , which was further heightened by a mounted six-sheet hung directly over the automobile, and a row of stills stretched from stern to stern of the ‘old boat.’

“Taking advantage of the possibilities of the title, Mr. Manny had a stencil  made, reading

‘Watch Your Step’

and lettered the sidewalks within a radius of half a dozen blocks of the theatre, in addition to stencilling the title on the automobile. Three-sheets, one-sheets and color enlargements, obtained from the exchange, added color to the lobby display.

“A ten-dollar bill more than met the cost of both stunts.”

Meralta Theatre

Cullen Landis

Watch Your Step

Above photograph is from Exhibitor’s Trade Review, May 27, 1922

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

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014-15, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.