Saturday, January 29, 2022

Big Colored Picture! -- January 29, 2022

Dallas Express, 28-January-1922

I admire John Harris, owner and manager of the Grand Central Theater in Dallas. His ads were always interesting and always featured a photo of himself. I like to see a man who was proud of his work. In this ad, he mentioned that he was bringing By Right of Birth back by popular demand. We saw an ad for the previous showing in September:

The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, founded in Omaha in 1916 by brothers Noble and George Johnson, is often called the first company to make "race films," independent production with all- or almost-all-African American casts. In 1918, the company moved to Los Angeles, where it remained until it folded in 1922. The Johnsons left the company in about 1920. By Right of Birth, starring Clarence Brooks, was the company's fifth and last production. Actor Clarence Brooks went on to appear in many race films and some mainstream films during his career.

Dallas Express, 14-January-1922

This program consisted of movies not produced by African Americans, but one short comedy, "The Custard Nine," featured black performers. It was based on a story by a white guy, Harris Dickson.

Dallas Express, 28-January-1922

The Dallas Express was African-American owned. 

Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette, 21-January-1922

The bill at the Star Theater in Annapolis included a vaudeville program and a 1916 Biograph comedy, "A Natural Born Gambler." It starred Bahamian-American comedian Bert Williams. Williams appeared in vaudeville and the Ziegfeld Follies. He died tragically young in 1922.

The ad promised a real race film, The Sport of the Gods, based on the novel by poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Robert Levy, a Jewish immigrant from Britain, made it through his company, Reol Productions. 

Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette, 23-January-1922

This ad is hard to read, but I thought it was worth including. 

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