Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Footlight Parade"

Well, it's fuzzy footage to begin with and it goes by pretty fast.  The film is set in New York but we get a brief glimpse of the flashing marquee of the Million Dollar Theatre, 307 S. Broadway, in "Footlight Parade" with Jimmy Cagney and Joan Blondell (Warner Bros., 1933). We're speeding by on the bus to put on a Chester Kent prologue in some unnamed New York City theatre.

See the pages about the Million Dollar Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of Sid Grauman's first Los Angeles theatre.

Our bus trip also gives us a glimpse of another theatre on the other side of the block, the Central Theatre at 314 S. Broadway.  See our listing for the Central Theatre on our Broadway Theatres page for more about that now-vanished venue.  What's on the marquee? Difficult to tell.

When Sid Grauman had both the Million Dollar and Rialto (five blocks farther down Broadway) he did elaborate prologues at both. Hillsman Wright, of the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, comments: "Press accounts of the period report that up to 40 performers at a time were on the Rialto stage after Grauman took it over. There's virtually no room understage or elsewhere in the building for dressing rooms. Here's the theory: Grauman bused chorus girls from the Million Dollar to the Rialto and back again. If this is not the case, I'd love to find out how/where the large casts were accommodated at the Rialto."

On IMDb: "Footlight Parade"

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