Thursday, June 20, 2019

mobile device navigation

Missing the navigation bar? Go to the bottom of any post and click on "view web version" to see the right column list of films/theatres.

"The Good Fairy"


Margaret Sullavan gets a job as an usherette in a large movie palace in Budapest in "The Good Fairy (Universal, 1935). The lobby of the Pantages in Hollywood is what we see as the theatre's lobby. William Wyler directed the film that also features Herbert Marshall and Frank Morgan.



Ms. Sullavan has a neon arrow to direct patrons right or left as they enter the inner lobby at the rear of the main floor.



Herbert Marshall gets distracted by the flashlight. Nope, not a shot done at the Pantages.



Watching a tearjerker. Nice seats but not the ones at the Pantages.



A lobby card for the film. Thanks to Eric Lynxwiler for sharing this from his collection. It's on Flickr.

There's another lobby shot from the film on page 35 of the Arcadia Publishing book "Location Filming in Los Angeles" by Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved. The page with the Pantages shot is included in the preview on Google Books.

See the pages about the Pantages Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres website for hundreds of photos of the building. 

On IMDb: "The Good Fairy"

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

"Lady Killer"


"Lady Killer" with James Cagney (Warner Bros., 1933) starts in New York on the rooftop of a Warner Bros. theatre called the Strand. It's time for roll call and a pep talk. Silent film detective John Bengtson has determined that the scene was shot on the roof of the former Arnold Building auto dealership and parking garage at 7th, Figueroa and Wilshire. Later the Statler Hilton was on the site. It's now the location of the Wilshire Grand Center. John has it all delightfully analyzed in his article "How James Cagney Filmed Lady Killer."

On the right it's part of the Barker Bros. Department Store, a building still on the southeast corner of 7th and Figueroa. The Signal Oil vertical sign we see at the center of the image is on the building now known as the Fine Arts Building.



Cagney showing up late for roll call.  On the left in the distance is the Bible Institute on Hope St.



The manager telling the head usher that he's been hearing stories about a particular usher using the mezzanine men's room for games of dice. We don't see it in this shot but the usher's hat has a lovely WB crest on the front.



We get a night view of the marquee of the theatre whose roof we were supposedly on earlier. It's actually just a couple blocks away. It's footage of the marquee of the Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre at 7th and Hill. with a bit of work in the center to rename it the Strand. We get the tip of the Hill St. vertical sign on the right where it says "...TOWN THEATRE."

"Wild Boys of the Road" was a September 1933 release. "Lady Killer" was out in December. See the pages about the Warner Downtown on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building as well as several hundred photos. The theatre, now used for selling jewelry, opened as the Pantages in 1920.

Cagney soon gets fired at the theatre for multiple infractions including not being nice to a lady trying to bring her dog into the show and then gets involved in various rackets. When things get too hot he leaves New York with Mae Clark and goes to Los Angeles. He gets picked up by the cops at the Santa Fe station but Mae bails him out. Of course Cagney becomes a film star when a scout looking for gangster types spots him. The film, directed by Roy Del Ruth, also stars Douglas Dumbrille, Margaret Lindsay and Leslie Fenton.



Later some mobsters from back east arrive and we get a chase that includes this view up Vine St. showing what is now the Montalban Theatre south of Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to John Bengtson for the screenshot where he has the theatre boxed in red. All ends well with Cagney continuing his film career and marrying a movie star.

The Los Angeles Theatres site has a page on the Montalban Theatre with many photos.

On IMDb: "Lady Killer"

"Break of Hearts"


We get a nice concert scene using the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4400 Wilshire Blvd., in "Break of Hearts" (RKO, 1935). Here Katherine Hepburn is coming down the house left aisle of the theatre, supposedly a concert venue in New York. The film was directed by Phillip Moeller.



Settling into a seat. She's a composer married to a conductor played by Charles Boyer. He's very late.



A view toward the stage with both audience and musicians restless. 



A look down from the balcony at the Ebell. Still no conductor. 



Boyer arrives backstage. But it's not a scene done at the Ebell. He's been out drinking as he thinks Hepburn doesn't love him anymore. She actually does but has been acting cool as she's heard he's been out with other women. 



Boyer onstage finally at the Ebell. It doesn't go well. He behaves erratically and then falls over. She goes to Reno. He says he's giving up music. Later, after Hepburn has had success with her music she comes across a haggard Boyer and devotes herself to healing him. Yes, she triumphs and he starts conducting once again.
 
See the page about the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building and many photos.

On IMDb: "Break of Hearts"

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

"The Buddy Holly Story"


We're at the Apollo Theatre in "The Buddy Holly Story" (Columbia, 1978) only this exterior view is of the Atlanta Fox, with a bit of added signage. We also see a night view of the real signage of the Apollo as well as several neighboring theatres. When we go inside we're at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 4400 Wilshire Blvd.



Gary Busey, Charlie Martin Smith and Don Stroud backstage at the Ebell as Buddy Holly and the Crickets. Steve Rash directed the film.



Paul Mooney as Sam Cooke at the Apollo show. 



A balcony view at the Ebell.



A look offstage left while Busey sings.



A peek at the proscenium and the front of the balcony.



 On the Ebell main floor. 



Another theatre on the road. They've disguised the vertical but we're on Peachtree St. in Atlanta not far from the Fox. It's the theatre that ended its life called the Columbia.



When we go inside we're back at the Ebell.  Same proscenium, same yellow drapes we saw as the Apollo.



 Don Stroud headed offstage left.

See the page about the Wilshire Ebell Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building along with many photos. The opening show in the film was shot at the Moonlight Rollerway Skating Rink in E. Pasadena. Reportedly some venue in Atlanta was used for the final show. 

On IMDb: "The Buddy Holly Story"

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

"B-Girl Rhapsody"


The burlesque feature "'B-Girl Rhapsody" (Broadway Roadshows, 1952) was filmed at the Burbank Theatre (aka the New Follies), 558 S. Main St. It's a film version of a stage show and we don't see anything of the theatre. It stars Lily Ayers and Crystal Starr. The direction was by James R. Connell and Lillian Hunt. Ms. Hunt managed the shows at the theatre. The film is available from Something Weird Video.



A poster for the film appearing on IMDb.

See the page about the Burbank Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the building.

On IMDb: "B-Girl Rhapsody"

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

"Starsky and Hutch"


We see the Galway Theatre, 514 S. Main St., several times in the pilot episode for the TV show "Starsky and Hutch" (Spelling-Goldberg, 1975). The pilot gives us quite a tour of other downtown Los Angeles locations as well.



Back again at night -- this time to meet an informant. 



Our two leads watching a bit of the show. 


The informant arrives.



Leaving the theatre. See the page on the Galway Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about this now-vanished grindhouse. The building it was in is still there, in use as a community services agency with offices downstairs and housing upstairs.



In the show's pilot we go by both the back and front of the Regent Theatre, 448 S. Main St., several times. Here we're looking south across Winston St. See the pages about the Regent Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the venue along with photos inside and out.

On IMDb:"Starsky and Hutch"

Monday, May 13, 2019

"Entourage"


The title sequence of "Entourage" (Warner Bros, 2015) gives us quick looks at many theatre marquees redone with names of performers. And a few untouched marquees as well. Doug Ellin directed this spinoff of the TV show that stars Kevin Dillon, Jeremy Piven, Adrian Grenier and Kevin Connolly plus many other performers doing cameos.



At the Broadway Bar with, almost, a look at the Orpheum next door. 



A noirish look south from 8th with the Tower on the left. The marquee was advertising a show promoted by Live Nation. The Rialto and Orpheum are beyond. 



A quick swing by the Crest on Westwood Blvd. south of Wilshire.  



Back on Broadway for a better look at the Orpheum. 



A very quick glimpse of the Vista. 



And, most touching of all, a tribute at the Los Angeles to Jose Huizar in happier days. The marquee copy was celebrating the 7th anniversary of his Bringing Back Broadway initiative.

See the Los Angeles Theatres site for detailed information about the Crest, Los Angeles, Orpheum, Pantages, Tower and Vista theatres.

Thanks to Mike Hume for taking note of the title sequence. Head to his Historic Theatre Photography site to check up on his explorations. He also has pages about many of the theatres that we see in "Entourage." He notes that for him the zippy title sequence was the most interesting part of the movie. 

On IMDb: "Entourage"

Saturday, May 4, 2019

"Bright Lights"


The Busby Berkeley film "Bright Lights" (Warner Bros, 1935) shot scenes outside the Follies. The film stars Joe E. Brown and Ann Dvorak as a married vaudeville comedy team that started in burlesque. Patricia Ellis is also featured. The script was by Burt Kalmar and Harry Ruby. The film played the Follies in 1936.



An October 1935 Times article about shooting on Main St. Thanks to Ken McIntyre for finding it for a post on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.  

See the page about the Follies Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos as well as a history of the building. It opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was demolished in 1974.



A lobby card from the film appearing on IMDb. 

On IMDb: "Bright Lights"

Friday, May 3, 2019

"Everybody's Girl"


We spend lots of time at the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St., in "Everybody's Girl" (Broadway Roadshow Attractions, 1950). The film was directed by Lillian Hunt, who managed the shows at the theatre. The film, also known as "Hollywood Peep Show," stars Gay Dawn, Mary Andes and a dozen other dancers, singers and comics from the Follies.



A dancer working stage left. The gentleman in the lower left is the drummer. 



Gay Dawn doing her thing stage right. 

See the page about the Follies Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos as well as a history of the building. It opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was demolished in 1974.

The film is available from Something Weird Video. Their notes:

"A 'Streamlined and Thrill-Packed' Roadshow Attraction 'with a Whirly Girly Cast of 40,' 'Everybody’s Girl' commences with dutiful warbling by CHARLIE KRAFT and a bevy of beauties to start the hat-raisin’ action. There’s a snappy little number by a spicy little gal in sequinned bolero, and comedy routines (courtesy LEON DeVOE, HARRY ARNE, and BOBBY FAYE) with all the subtlety of a one-eyed bull in a China shop.

"Then there’s DIANE, 'The Glamour Girl of Burlesque.' No false advertising here... Wow! Just wait till you see this bountifully-built blonde beauty! Why, her casabas have more bounce in ’em than fresh tennis balls, her grinds cut a swatch wider than a roto tiller, and her bumps (originating somewhere in the earth’s molten center) pack wallops of volcanic proportions! And how ’bout LEONORA, our acrobatic dancer, with more r.p.m.’s than a crop dusters prop; ALBERTA, a compact little cutie; and MARY ANDES, who does a Turkish twist. (With a babe like this in your harem, one wife’s enough!)

"There’s SYLVIA, a tall, tantalizing teaser -- just how much can those strip nets hold? -- providing more monumental upheavals than pretty PAT O’CONNELL. (She’s not even mentioned!) And our star, 'Gorgeous, Curvaceous': GAY DAWN, a gal with so much vim and vinegar, she even does bumps and grinds standing on her head! Incredible!...If you don’t have high blood pressure already, you will after ogling this humdinger! From a 35mm 'Merry-Musical-Melange' print. -- David Cary, A Bit of Burlesque, A Brief History of Its Times and Stars."

On IMDb: "Everybody's Girl"

"A Night at the Follies"


"A Night at the Follies" (Excelsior Pictures Corp., 1947) is a filmed burlesque show from the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St. W. Merle Connell directed. It features the original Hubba-Hubba girl, Evelyn West. The illustration from a VHS release of the film appears on IMDb.

See the page about the Follies Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos as well as a history of the building. It opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was demolished in 1974.

The film is available from Something Weird Video. Their notes: "Classic burlesque filmed at the New Follies Theatre in Los Angeles and starring legendary striptease queen - classy EVELYN WEST! See Evelyn seductively unwrap herself from mink and maribou, exposing her $50,000 thousand dollar 'treasure chest' during two racy song and dance numbers! The fun and frolics continue with performances by some of the best in old time adult entertainment!"

On IMDb: "A Night at the Follies"

"Hollywood Revels"


"Hollywood Revels" (Roadshow Attractions, 1946) is a filmed burlesque show shot at the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St. Duke Goldstone directed. The Follies was at one time called the Folies (one "l") Bergere. It was in the mosaic tile entrance flooring in front of the boxoffice.



The cover of a VHS release of the film. Both images appear on IMDb. 

See the page about the Follies Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos as well as a history of the building. It opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was demolished in 1974.

The film is available from Something Weird Video. Their notes: 

"This classic, which may be the grand-daddy of all burley flicks, presents you with a complete show from L.A.’s famed Follies Theatre, with shot-from-the-audience camerawork. They’re all here, the chorines ('The Folliettes') and soubrettes, the comics and comediennes, the vocalists, plus an orchestra with music composed (with a little Tchaikovsky thrown in) and conducted by famed band leader BILLY ROSE. (Remember his hit 'The Stripper'?)

"But, of course, the gals are the show, starting with 'The Golden Girl of Burlesque,' MICKEY KIDWELL, doing some tepid torso twisting, followed by LOTUS WING, 'Sweetheart of the Orient,' whose hard looks don’t detract from her unique bump and-hula peel. There’s the 'statuesque beauty' of HILLARY DAWN, whose steamy style will melt your candy, while PEGGY BOND, 'The Peg O’ My Heart Girl,' and PATRICIA DORSEY, 'The Titian-Haired Charmer,' puts real pizazz (and plenty else!) into their routines.

"Naturally, there are also the wacky antics of comics like RAY PARSON and HARRY ARNE, plus the Folliettes doing everything from hoedowns (I don’t think they rehearsed this one!) to the can-can, as well as some crooning by DON LAMONT. Closing 'Hollywood Revels' is top-billed raven-haired beauty ALEENE DUPREE, 'The Sweetheart of the Follies Bergere,' doing some of the slinkiest, sultriest stuff you’ll ever see, in or out of Tinseltown! From a 16mm bump-and-grind print. -- David Cary, A Bit of Burlesque, A Brief History of Its Times and Stars."

On IMDb: "Hollywood Revels

"The Immoral Mr. Teas"


Russ Meyer's "The Immoral Mr. Teas" (Pad-Ram Enterprises, 1959) shot several scenes at the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St. In this shot we're along the south side of the building. That sign used to be on the storefront just south of the theatre's entrance. The film stars Bill Teas (in the eponymous role), Ann Peters and Marilyn Wesley.



A bit farther along the theatre's south exit passage, Mr. Teas encounters some company. Nathan Marsak, on his Noirish Los Angeles post # 39438, notes that the building straight ahead is the Strand Hotel. On the right it's a bit of the Hotel Westminster.



Heading back toward Main St. They're going up the fire escape into the theatre.



A shot toward the east side of the street. 



A look at the Follies marquee. 



Another shot in front of the Follies. 

Thanks to Sean Ault as well as Noirish Los Angeles contributor Ethereal Reality for the screenshots. See Noirish post # 39437

See the page about the Follies Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos as well as a history of the building. It opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was demolished in 1974.

On IMDb: "The Immoral Mr. Teas"