vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Catching up with Carole in concrete

After a historic day in America, one many of us never thought we'd live to see (and regardless of your thoughts about Barack Obama's politics, I would hope you at least appreciate the significance of the moment), let's get back to Carole Lombard. Today, we have new information on two entries -- one about a week old, the other written some months ago. And both cover roughly the same territory, of a sort.

The recent one first. Last week, we did an entry (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/173491.html) on what apparently is the only instance of Lombard's hand and footprints in cement (at least as a celebrity; hey, it's possible that somewhere in Fort Wayne or Los Angeles, the young Jane Peters found a concrete sidewalk that hadn't yet dried and, like many kids, decided to leave her mark). This instance was at the Rhodes Theater on the South Side of Chicago, which opened in 1937 with prints from about 20 stars of the day.

Carole didn't go to Chi-Town to do the honors; rather, she and the other stars did the imprints on their home turf, and the blocks were shipped eastward. The Aug. 14, 1937 issue of Boxoffice, a trade publication, did a page about it:

Want to see a close-up of Carole "impressing," both with a lovely leg and a footprint? I figured you would:

For the record, among the other stars getting similar honors were Dick Powell, Joan Blondell, Leslie Howard, Humphrey Bogart, Henry Fonda, Hugh Herbert, June Travis, Olivia de Havilland, Wayne Morris, Pat O'Brien, George Brent, Gary Cooper, Ida Lupino, John Boles, Joe Penner, Fredric March, Fay Wray, Anita Louise, Frank McHugh, Richard Arlen, Shirley Temple, Mischa Auer, Nan Grey and Francis Lederer. Of these, I believe only de Havilland and Temple are still with us. (As it was a Warners theater, many of the stars hailed from that studio.)

As March was also photographed leaving a footprint, one presumes he and Carole did this at the Selznick International studios while filming "Nothing Sacred."

Unfortunately, this still doesn't answer whatever happened to all those impressions, as the Rhodes closed in the 1980s and was razed in 1990. Someone at the Sun-Times or Tribune should investigate what happened to these Chicago treasures.

Another place where Carole made her mark with concrete was at the Earl Carroll Theater on Sunset Boulevard, where she was among a number of stars who left outsized autographs on large slabs, which were hung on the side of the theater. We did an entry on this last June (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/112620.html). It just so happens that a snapshot of the star-studded wall is now available at eBay...and Lombard's signature is clearly recognizable:

Judging from both the outfit of the woman and the man in uniform, this photo was probably taken during World War II, which likely means this was done after Lombard's death. As is the case with the Chicago theater, whether her slab (and others) still survive is a mystery.

The photo can be found at http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260348470565&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123. Bidding begins at 99 cents (one bid has already been made) and closes at about 1:55 p.m. (Eastern) on Saturday. (Many thanks to the fine Los Angeles Times historical blog "The Daily Mirror," http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/, for letting us know about this artifact.)

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