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

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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

Unveiling Radio City Music Hall 1939

Motion Picture Herald, April 15, 1939:

“Unveiling of the Radio City Music Hall in New York is shown in the before and after pictures of the marquee of that theatre when it was hidden behind the Sixth Avenue Elevated and after the structure was demolished.”

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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

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.

 

 

Aztec Theatre 104 N. St. Mary’s Street, San Antonio, TX

Motion Picture News, March 4, 1927:

“Art of the Aztecs honored in atmospheric theatre.”

“Recreating in a luxurious modern amusement palace the ancient Mayan style of architecture and sculpture, the Aztec Theatre in San Antonio is one of the most interesting innovations in theatre design and decoration.”

Aztec2 “Above is shown the impressive foyer of the Aztec, its massive walls and huge columns, topped with Aztec idols, expressing the atmospheric note which predominates.”

Aztec4“Spacious halls and stairways add to the note of richness of the theatre, as indicated by the mezzanine landing.”

Aztec3“Aztec designs are carried into all furnishings, even to the comfortable lounges provided in the foyer and mezzanine.”

Aztec1“The auditorium, striking in its ornamentation and color.”

“At a price of just under $2 million and with a capacity of 3,000, the Aztec officially opened on June 4, 1926 as one of the most decorative movie theaters in the country” (from the Aztec Theatre website).

Loew’s Oriental Theatre 1832 86th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World, February 18, 1928:

“Again the luxury of the East in the theatre. In design as well as in name, Loew’s new Brooklyn house is emphatically Oriental.”

babypeggy“The unique front of the Oriental, impressive in its novelty, it observes
the principles of economy and of art as well.”

oriental2 (Medium)_pe (Medium)“An elegant, even gorgeous nook where patrons may loiter as voluptuously as they might  be in Bagdad.”

oriental1 (Medium)“The auditorium from the stage, with everyone of the 2,800 seats in undistorted  view of the screen.”

Oriental3“View of auditorium, showing the stage. One notices a variety of ideas Oriental,
even unto Ancient Egyptian and medieval Moslem.”

Convenience plus beauty is the achievement of H. G. Wiseman, the Oriental’s designer.

College

Baby Peggy

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.

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.