Well here we are again: back to maps with stylized explosions to indicate where there was an actual, non-stylized explosion, and droning serious men with periodic breaks for psoriasis medication. But yet I am riveted.
You’ll have to content yourself with Friday Leavings below; it turned into a column night, even though I had one written. So it's off to conjure up some hardy-har while keeping one eye on the news.
BTW, sometimes the Bleat suffers because I am doing other work on the site. I'm prepping the 2017 Motel Postcards site, which involved transfering all the 2016 pages to the individual state folders and adding links to the main index; what a tedious job. Eighty-eight pages.
Anyway! Not your problem. Remember the annotation of an old NYC Times Square photo a few weeks back? I enjoyed it so much I did it again, and it's interesting how just 20 years later, the commercial archeology becomes almost entirely about movies. Back then, the restaurant was the big thing. By the 40s let's just say the area wasn't the home of high-hat fine dining.
Let's see what we can learn. There's lots. The tallest building in the back is the Paramount building. By "tallest" I mean in the New York sense; it's the 360th tallest in New York. At the time this picture was taken, the theater was still operating.
The building that says TIES on top was the location of the Chief Newspaper sign we saw a few weeks ago. We'll return to that in a bit.
What it looks like now.
I prefer the old Times Square. Not the awful 70s version, but the 20 - 50s version where space exists between the signs. Anyway: so very much right here, from the signage to the architecture to the commercial signs.
The Palace is still there. The movie? Well, sure, it's Days of Glory. But what's the movie behind it?
Focus. It's those red letters under the two characters. I'll leave some space so you can let it seep in.
Gary Cooper. Casanova Brown. Go back and take a look. See it now?
I think the poster is based on this, or a version where he's wearing a hat.
People pitched woo in peculiar ways in the old movies.
The plot for "Teen Age" has Jim Murray (Wheeler Oakman), former Boss Gangster of a high class gambling established, getting out of prison following a ten-year stretch. This Jim Murray is supposed to be the Jim Miller from "Gambling With Souls" but, via stock footage from "Slaves in Bondage" he is really Frank "Lucky" Wilder, but we're not supposed to know that and the reason the "Slaves in Bondage" footage is used is to show why the Jim Miller of "Gambling With Souls" has been away in prison for ten years, but since they also used footage from "Gambling With Souls" in which he is called Jim Miller by name, he is called Jim Murray in "Teen Age" because he is not called Frank Wilder by name in the footage used from "Slaves" footage.
Bathing Beauty is easy.
Imagine walking into a cool theater on a hot day to see that. Harry James! Xavier Cugat! Helen Forrest!
Lima Romay! For heaven's sake, Ethel Smith!
Who? Who? Also a new singing sensation you've probably never heard before, and GIRLS DAZZLING COLOR SPECTACLE GIRLS
I really need to see that.
Let's go back to the other side of the street:
Parisan Dancing, it says. In a few years the windows would have signs like this . . .
How do we know? Because a movie was made on the cheap in Times Square, and TCM used some clips for this intro. Specifically the ticket-taker, the woman in the dressing room, the dance scene, and I believe the cafe scene. Been a while since I've seen it.
It was directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Anyway. Back to the beginning:
The block with the TIES sign was 1535 Broadway, and had five theaters.
Hold that thought. Next time we do this feature, we're going waaaaay back.
As noted, I'm going through the entire Gildersleeve series this year - and there's a lot. We're still in the early days, when the show had found its footing.
For season 4, a new lavish touch to show how much money Kraft was throwing at this show: short full-orchestra 20 second music pieces at the end, before the last commercial.
We'll hear from the Great Gildersleeve in just a minute. Why?
Because it kept people listening.
He'd show up and thank everyone for listening, while remaining in character. It was a nice touch - but I'll play that down the road, when this is done.
Name that tune!
AD: From 1944. Holy Crow that's a lot of carbs.
It does sound like a bad infection you could get in a hospital.