March 3rd, 2012

carole lombard 06
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Programs far and near




Programs from two vastly different Carole Lombard films -- and two vastly different places -- are being auctioned at eBay (from the same seller).

First, we'll journey far...to Egypt. It's April 1940, and in the capital city of Cairo, Cine Studio Misr is showing "Vigil In The Night," about two months after its premiere in the States:




As you can tell, the theater served a multicultural clientele, as its program was printed in English, French and Arabic. With World War II on, the program notes the arrival of the latest March of Time.



The theater, a sumptuous venue popular with visiting British soldiers, closed some years ago.

Now back even further in time, and back on U.S. soil, where "Bolero" is on the schedule:




Checking the calendar shows it's 1934, when "Bolero" came out (the "Ever Since Eve" film listed is a Fox drama from '34, unrelated to the Marion Davies comedy of three years later), and it looks to be from Illinois -- there's a reference to Northern Illinois Teachers Training College (now Northern Illinois University). Is the Catlow in De Kalb, and should the "is" be a "was"? Wrong on both counts. The Catlow's location is Barrington, in the far northwest suburbs of Chicago, and not only is it still with us, it's essentially what it was then -- a single-screen house that's undergone only slight renovations from that time, as these then-and-now photos confirm:




Inside, the place has a similarly classic atmosphere:




A check of the theater's website (http://www.thecatlow.com -- it was the first theater in Illinois to go online) explains its history (Sally Rand appeared on stage at the Catlow in 1933, the year before "Bolero" was released), honors (it's on the National Register of Historic Places and was named among the 10 best theaters in the U.S. by American Way magazine) and schedule -- it's currently showing "The Artist," and you can see the newly-named Best Picture winner in a venue where one of the fictional George Valentin's movies could have run on first release, and for all of $5 to boot. Adjusted for the current cost of living, that's not much higher than...



...as a vintage sign now decorating the Catlow men's room indicates.

Oh, and regarding the programs:

The "Vigil In The Night" program measures 7.5" x 5.5" and is in good condition. The opening bid is $3.99, and bidding concludes at 5:33 p.m. (Eastern) on Thursday. If interested, go to http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-CAROLE-LOMBARD-Vigil-In-The-Night-Egyptian-1940-Prog-/310383850906?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item484451b59a.

The "Bolero" program measures 11" x 6" unfolded; there is light aging and wear, with a light stain, but otherwise in good condition. Bids begin at $4.99, with bids closing at 5:04 p.m. (Eastern). Find out more, or place a bid, at http://www.ebay.com/itm/CAROLE-LOMBARD-BUSTER-CRABBE-GEORGE-RAFT-Movie-Theatre-Programme-1930s-/310383602508?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48444deb4c.

Seeing these old programs makes one feel like dancing, even stripping down to underwear...

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