Aurora Borealis Lights Up Times Square

Universal Weekly, October 14, 1933:

iceberg_pe

“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.

AboutMe

Goodreads

Medotcom

Advertisements

An Exciting Night at the Old Meralta

Excerpts from Motion Picture Herald, July 22, 1939:

“Here is an example of a striking transformation in the old Meralta theatre in Los Angeles, which incidentally was completed in seventeen days.”

night1_pe  “The “Front of the Meralta before remodeling. and the auditorium shortly after the work  had started.”

 

night_pe

“Above and below, the front and auditorium of the Meralta after modernization.”

night2_pe

Ride a Crooked Mile

His Exciting Night

 

Since 1996, 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.

AboutMe

Goodreads

Medotcom

Hurricane Strikes Times Square

Motion Picture Herald, November 20, 1937:

hurricane_pe.jpg

“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

RKO Cleans UP Flushing

Motion Picture Herald, June 19, 1948:

flushing

“Sol Sorkin with his broom brigade, ready to clean up the town, and also the box office of the RKO Theatre, Flushing, New York. Sol is right in the middle, wearing a broad grin, and surrounded by his gang”

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is 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:

underwater_pe

“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

Human Billboard Lights Up Hollywood Boulevard

Exhibitors Herald-World, July 6, 1929:

2015-08-07_182356

“Probably the first human billboard ever constructed for exploitation of a motion picture was erected to publicize the opening of the M G M’s ‘Hollywood Revue of 1929’ at Grauman’s Chinese theatre.

“This sign, the letters of which were formed by living girls in scanty costumes, was erected on the busiest boulevard of Los Angeles and for five blocks in either direction the streets were roped off to traffic.

“The sign measured 40 feet in length and 35 feet high, was set on a silhouette of Hollywood’s skyline, base with an effigy of Grauman’s Chinese theatre placed in the center.  The letters in the sign spelled Hollywood Revue and were of the raised type covered with silver cloth with the girls in the channels. The whole sign was lighted with colored lights and made a striking appearance.

Bessie Love acted as master of ceremonies and pulled the cord which unveiled the display. Thousands of people who had gathered to see the display gave a thundering applause which was recorded by the newsreel photographers.”

The Hollywood Review of 1929

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

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.