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carole lombard 06

A pass that leads to 'Virtue'

Posted by vp19 on 2013.07.06 at 12:30
Current mood: guiltyguilty
carole lombard virtue 19a

Critics had middling comments about "Virtue" when it hit theaters in the fall of 1932, but in recent years it's gained renown as perhaps Carole Lombard's best performance until she turned her career around some 18 months later with "Twentieth Century" (also filmed at Columbia).

A trinket from this pre-Code gem has surfaced on eBay...a pass for the film from a Boston theater:

carole lombard virtue pass park theatre boston 00a

This item may be from a reissue of "Virtue," as the photo of Lombard looks to be from somewhat later than 1932; the seller says it came from a box where everything else was marked from between 1934 and 1937.

The theater, at the intersection of Washington and Boylston streets, dated back to 1879, showing drama before switching to movies. Here's how it looked in the fall of 1914, when Boston was celebrating the unexpected success of the "miracle Braves" (mired in the National League cellar in mid-July, they rallied to win the pennant, then pulled another shocker by sweeping the heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series):

park theatre boston

In 1933, the Park switched from movies to burlesque, joining the Minsky's circuit and hosting the likes of Gypsy Rose Lee. Later in the decade, it returned to films; renamed the Trans-Lux in 1939 to carry newsreels, it began to run foreign films in the '50s. By 1960, it switched to soft-core "nudie" films and changed its name to the State, one of the theaters in Boston's infamous "combat zone" (note that "Virtue" was deemed for "adults only," though it's positively innocent compared to later fare). The theater was razed in 1985.

The seller notes "there is a small rip on top with a small crease," and the back has some discoloration on bottom right. If you're a theater buff or have ties to Boston, this might be a nice add to your collection.

At least one bid has been made, for $4.99; if you're interested in topping it, you have until 12:12 p.m. (Eastern) Friday to stake your claim. Visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/Carole-Lombard-Pat-OBrien-Park-Theatre-Virtue-Advertising-Pass-1930s-/161060407737?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item257ff2c9b9 to find out more.

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