Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Toonerville Trolley -- One of the Worst Accidents That Ever Occurred on the Line -- August 3, 2021

Perth Amboy Evening News, 01-August-1921

I love Fontaine Fox's The Toonerville Trolley That Meets All the Trains. The bottle of good stuff contained bootleg whiskey, which was illegal under Prohibition.

Moving Picture World, 23-July-1921

There was a popular series of live-action Toonerville Folks two reel movies. Dan Mason played The Skipper. 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Larry Semon -- Have a Good Hearty Laugh With Larry -- August 1, 2021

Americus Times-Recorder, 08-August-1921

100 years ago this month, Larry Semon appeared in a nice caricature in this detail of an ad. 

Americus Times-Recorder, 08-August-1921

Here is the rest of the full-page ad. Priscilla Dean, the star of the feature, was married to Wheeler Oakman. One day I'll have to tell you about Wheeler Oakman.

Moving Picture World, 13-August-1921

Larry "gives frequent exhibitions of his imitation of a rubber ball."

Moving Picture World, 13-August-1921

Larry's "The Rent Collector" ran for two days at the Erie Theater in Hugo, Oklahoma, with a different feature film each day. 

Moving Picture World, 27-August-1921

"The line forms on the right -- Larry Semon wants a new leading woman.

"'Comedy experience is not necessary,' the Vitagraph comedian-director writes us. 'You have to act but dramatic training's the thing for that. Never mind if you're custard-pie shy -- we don't use 'em any more. You only need to be the comedy ABC -- Apt, Beautiful and Cameraproof,' he wants us to tell aspirants.

"A cameraproof girl, explains Larry, is beautiful even filmed from unfavorable viewpoints, and does not require trick light or lens effects to bring out her charm. Such girls are hard to find. But Larry says the salary is limitless to the right ABC girl."

Perth Amboy Evening News, 18-August-1921

I like the caricature of Larry in this ad for "The Bakery."

Pueblo Chieftan, 09-August-1921

I don't know for sure what happened to Larry in "The Rent Collector," but I suspect he may have gotten beaten up while trying to collect the rent.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Lyman H Howe's Famous Ride on a Runaway Train -- July 31, 2021


Moving Picture World, 23-July-1921

Lyman H Howe was a showman and a former railroad worker. He produced many short films. His most famous was "Ride on a Runaway Train," which he released in 1921. A print of the film turned up in New Zealand the the US Library of Congress restored it and synced it with a soundtrack disk. I see bits of the Mount Lowe incline, the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway and the Mauch Chunk Switchback Railway.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Sheik -- July 29, 2021

Moving Picture Weekly, 09-July-1921

Paramount announced that Rudolph Valentino would play the lead in George Melford's The Sheik. "The part is considered absolutely ideal for Valentino, who is a dashing and colorful actor with unusually good looks and much ability."

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Barbara La Marr 125 -- July 28, 2021


Actress Barbara La Marr was born 125 years ago today, on 28-July-1896. She began her Hollywood career as a screenwriter, but she moved into acting. She had important roles in The Three Musketeers with Douglas Fairbanks and Rex Ingram's The Prisoner of Zenda. Drinking and partying damaged her health, and she died in 1926.

We need a biopic about Barbara La Marr. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Oscar Micheaux -- He Has Begun the Direction of Two New Pictures -- July 27, 2021


Dallas Express, 02-July-1921

Oscar Micheaux was a pioneer in producing what were known as race films. 100 years ago this month, he passed through Dallas on his way to New York, "where he has begun the direction of two new pictures. Mr. Micheaux will be East until September, and will go to London, England, where his corporation proposes to open a foreign office."

Monday, July 26, 2021

Vitascope Hall 125 -- July 26, 2021

Transactions of SMPE, September, 1925

Vitascope Hall, said to be the first permanent theater dedicated to showing movies, opened 125 years ago today, on 26-July-1896. The theater, at Canal and Exchange Streets in New Orleans, was founded by William (Pop) Rock and his partner, a man named Wainright. I don't know how often Vitascope Hall stayed in business, but a few years later, Pop Rock became president of the Vitagraph Company, a pioneer film production company. This is an excerpt from FH Richardson's "What Happened in the Beginning" from the September, 1925 issue of  Transaction of the Society of Motion Picture Engineers.

Vitascope Hall

I now present a photograph of "Vitascope Hall," opened by Messrs. Rock and Wainwright as a strictly motion picture theatre, in June 1896. Its location was the corner of Canal Street and Exchange Place, New Orleans, Louisiana. They showed, among other things, the "May Irwin Kiss," "Waves of Dover," also a lot of short scenic stuff. Admission was ten cents. For ten cents additional patrons were permitted to peek into the "projection room" and for another ten cents they were presented with one frame of old film. 

The projector used was the Armat Vitascope, then being produced by Thomas A. Edison, and, for business reasons, called the "Edison Vitascope." That last is on the authority of projectionist Reed, who had it direct from Mr. Rock, who himself purchased the projector.

The theatre was a store room fitted with a screen, wooden chairs, an enclosure for the projector, a ticket booth and a name -- Vitascope Hall. It seated about four hundred people. In the photograph you see its operators, Messrs. Rock and Wainright, standing in front, together with its projectionist, William Reed. Mr. Rock is at the extreme right, with Mr. Wainright next to him. Mr. Reed is at the extreme left. The names of the others are unknown. You will observe that "Li Hung Chang" was the bill on the day the photograph was taken.

Vitascope Hall Program

Here, gentlemen, is the printed program of that little theatre of far-off days. Doors open 10 to 3 and 6 to 10.

Moving Picture World, 13-August-1921

I used the version from Motion Picture World because it is reproduced more clearly than the version in the magazine.