Just in case you're feeling depressed because your allergies are coming on strong and the weather isn't behaving like it should, here's a little cheesecake Halloween fun to brighten your day. Is it Halloween yet?
What's wonderful about this snapshot in time? The two men working on the huge sign (look right above the word "The"), the Chock full o'Nuts, the Lucky Strike "It's Toasted," the various businesses in the building on the right, the crowds in front of the theatre and in front of the Lucky Strike (hey, it's toasted!), and the fellow in the foreground, bottom right, holding a walking stick. The movie may be The Broadway Melody, but damn if this street scene isn't also "all talking, all singing, and all dancing" to the rhythm of the city. Glorious.
So times really haven't changed all that much. Sure, movie theaters may no longer dress as elaborate as this one for Mark of Zorror, but swap out that guy dressed up as Zorro, by the ticket booth, for a Darth Vader stationed in front of a modern theater today and you'd feel right at home.
Yes, it's true: Dracula always gets the girl. Frankie's left with his arms empty as usual. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the "continuous to 4 a.m. sign." Coffee not included I'm sure. The last time I was in a movie house past midnight was for a Three Stooges and Little Rascals marathon. I'm lucky I can stay up past 8pm these days. But if I had a bag of White Castles, and Nathan's fries, I'd make the attempt for sure.
I spotted this on eBay. I had thought theater standees were fairly modern in conception. Wrongo. But they certainly didn't carry around cell phones or pocket cameras back then, so I'm guessing this was used more as advertisement than a backdrop for selfies.