Dishonorable on Broadway

Motion Picture Herald, February 6, 1932:

“Broadway with the Criterion ready for the premiere of ‘Strictly Dishonorable'”

timessquare_pe

“Departing from problems and issues and resorting merely to typical aspects of  contemporary American life, content to achieve lively entertainment, Universal translated the highly successful stage play, ‘Strictly Dishonorable,’ into a work of cinema that–unexpectedly, perhaps– won critical praise commonly elicited by only pretentious ‘supers.’

“Probably without any such intentions, this picture entered the group of Universal’s notable productions.”

Strictly Dishonorable

 

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.

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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

 

 

 

Theatre Talks 2014-15

Need a special presentation for your organization? Cezar Del Valle has created a series of popular illustrated talks ideal for historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Digital Projector is Needed

Mindful of the budgetary constraints facing most non-profits, Del Valle is willing to discuss fees.

Chatting with the audience before his talk at the Brooklyn Collection, Central library.

Chatting with the audience before his talk at the Brooklyn Collection, Central Library.

Matinée Memories:
The most popular and requested talk covers not only the historical and architectural development of the “neighborhood” movie house, but also the role it played during the Great Depression, World War II and the Cold War. Various stage novelties such as Bank Night, Dish Night, Crooner Contests, dance competitions and beauty pageants are also discussed.

This talk  customized to feature a particular region.

Movie Palace Grandeur:
During the “Golden Age of Hollywood”, the major studios constructed large-scale movie palaces of extraordinary architectural beauty. Audiences could escape into a fantasy world beyond their wildest dreams of luxury and gilded glamor.
This presentation highlights the largest and most opulent of these theatres.

The talk customized to feature Art Deco.

Times Square:
The world-renowned center of New York entertainment, from the summit of its celebrity to the district’s eventual decline and current controversial “revitalization.”
Featuring a colorful cast of characters, the talk showcases the famous sites that were once part of the “Great White Way.”

Coney Island:
Del Valle invites you to Brooklyn’s “Sodom by the Sea” where Gary Grant walked on stilts, Harpo Marx made his stage début and where the music halls ran early & late.

Other talks are available on legitimate theatres and  vaudeville.

For more information and reviews visit our Theatre Talks website.

Photo copyright Betty Sword, all rights reserved.

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

Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District Walking Tour

Photographs by Betty Sword, taken in preparation for my November 9th walking tour of the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District  presented by the Theatre for a New Audience.

The walk begins, at 10am, in front of the BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building. For additional information:

Email humanities@tfana.org or call 212-229-2819×31

2new audienceDesigned by Hugh Hardy, of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, the 299 seat Theatre for a New Audience opened November 2nd with A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Julie Taymor.

Built over a former parking lot, the 27,500-square-foot theatre “also houses a 50-seat rehearsal space and a lobby café.”

3new audienceThe tour begins at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (in the background to the left) and following a circular route ends at the Theatre for a A New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center (right).

theatre 22 (Medium)The BRIC Art House is the former Strand Theatre, opening in 1919 as movie palace designed by Thomas Lamb.
Originally designed by J. B. McElfatrick, the BAM Harvey opened as the Majestic Theatre on August 30, 1904 with the stage production of The Wizard of Oz. The space renamed in honor of BAM President and Executive Producer Harvey Lichtenstein when he retired in 1999.

theatre 286o (Medium)Opened in 2001, the Mark Morris Dance Center features seven column-free studios with wood-sprung floors and spacious dressing rooms with lockers and showers.
Primarily used by the company and school, the seven studios are available for rent to non-profit dance companies at deeply discounted prices.

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.

Palais Garnier, 8 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris, France

Designed by Charles Garnier, the 1,979 seat opera house opened with a lavish gala performance on January 5, 1875.

Opera

 

Excerpts from Daily Graphic, New York, September, September 19, 1874:

”The great pile occupies an entire square, as large as that occupied by our new public buildings. Its main front, indeed, all its fronts, constitute a variety of architecture and statuary beyond description: Inside all these wonders increase.

The space allotted to the stage, the dressing rooms, rooms or studios for the artists, reception rooms, machine rooms, machine shops, with the endless devices for scenery, seem to be more than half the entire area; and as you gaze into this mysterious combination, the auditorium looks comparatively small, even with its tier after tier of boxes and its sweeping corridors

Some idea of this immense edifice may be gathered from the size of the saloon, or foyer, a rectangular hall over 160 feet long and forty feet high. It is lighted by day by five windows looking into the boulevard, and in the night by a bewildering array of chandeliers.”

“The panels they were to fill, the spaces for the mirrors, the lofty and wide spreading ceilings, the walls, the very floors, conveyed an idea of vastness, heightened by the gorgeous decorations in bronzes and gold, in mosaic and fresco, in marble and other products of French and foreign quarries. I forbear an estimate of what this palace of music will accommodate or what it costs, but its acoustic capacity seems to have passed judgement.”

“Work on it was arrested, of course, during the siege and the Commune, and it was several times in danger, but the present Government has given it an immense appropriation to finish it by January.”

 

The Daily Courier, Onondaga, New York, November 19, 1874:

“The chandelier for the middle of the Paris Opera House will be a marvel in its way. It will cost $8,000.”

 

Excerpts from the Deaf Mutes’ Journal, April 29, 1875:

“The French government proposes to establish a school of mosaic decorations at Serves. Such a school was actually established by Napoleon I, with the object not only of naturalizing a beautiful and useful art in France, but also of assisting an unfortunate class, the workmen employed being all deaf and dumb. But since 1830 nothing has been heard of it.”

“The fact that one of the most intersting and original conceptions of the architect of the Paris Opera-house was executed by Italian artists has been the means of reviving this plan for a school of mosaic decorations. The original idea will be carried out so far that pupils showing a taste for the art, will first be sought at the Deaf and Dumb Institution.”

 

Postcard is part of the Theatre Talks collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use.
At least give credit to source. We know that some people will not honor this but it would be nice if they did.

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 currently available for theatre walks and talks in 2013.

Municipal Theatre, Le Patis de Conde, La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, France

France_peResearching this theatre (also known as the El Dorado) on the internet proved a bit difficult. It was the same basic facts repeated. Built Largely of millstone, construction on the theatre started in 1892 with an opening date of 1896.
The building served as a hospital during the Battle of the Marne in 1914. One website notes that early shows were given by troops passing through. 
While tourism refers to the theatre as a “place where you can attend concerts, plays, and association meetings.”

One expects a little more from a theatre with a century of history.

The posters in the above are for early film shows:

poster1poster2Today, the theatre apparently features motion pictures regularly.

Postcard is part of the Theatre Talks collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use.
At least give credit to source. We know that some people will not honor this but it would be nice if they did.

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 currently available for theatre walks and talks in 2013.

Deutsches Theater, Schwanthalerstraße 9-11, Munich, 80336, Germany

German

Built 1894-1896 by the architects Alexander Blum and Karl Stohr from designs by Joseph Rank, the  Deutsches Theatre rated, by Lonely Planet Travelers, as 294 of 413 things to do in Munich. Originally intended as a stage for spoken drama by young Naturalist playwrights, the neo-Baroque theatre quickly evolved into the Bavarian Royal Residence’s most glamorous variety venue.

The first major renovation of the 1600 seat theatre took place in 1939 only to have the auditorium totally destroyed in a March 1943 bombing. A reconstruction in a simpler style started in 1951 under supervision of architect Ludwig Reiber. The columns and arches of the balcony replaced by cantilever. This space undergoing a renovation in 1978.

The Deutsches Theater has belonged to the city of Munich since 1982, presenting a steady diet of Broadway shows and West End musicals. During Fasching (carnival) the space  transformed into a fancily decorated ball room.

Due to current restoration work, the Deutsches Theatre is staging performances in a palatial tent at Frottmaning, equipped with state-of-the-art technology. The theatre scheduled to reopen March 19, 2014 with “der Broadway-Klassiker” West Side Story (followed by Grease in April).

The 1963 photograph of My Fair Lady is part of the Theatre Talks collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use.At least give credit to source. We know that some people will not honor this but it would be nice if they did.

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 walks and talks..