vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Carole over Miami

One presumes Carole Lombard packed a few swimsuits when she went traveling in early 1935. Not that she used them in her first stop, New York, but she was planning to visit Cuba for a few days and probably would soak up some sun (and drink some rum) while in Havana.

But before that, she made another stop -- Miami. And while there, she was slated to combine work with pleasure.

According to the Miami News on Jan. 23, 1935, "Carole Lombard, noted young Paramount star, will make her first public appearance [after arriving in Miami] at the opening of the new Colony theater in Miami Beach Friday night [Jan. 25]. ... Recognized as one of the best-dressed women in Hollywood, Miss Lombard is bringing to Miami a specially designed wardrobe for resort wear, which was created for her during her stay in New York."

It just so happened that Lombard's upcoming film, "Rumba," was Caribbean-themed -- and was scheduled to have its world premiere at the nearby Olympia theater Jan. 31. Though Carole wouldn't be on hand for that, she at least was doing some drumbeating for it.

Architecturally, the Colony was every bit the Art Deco you would expect from 1930s Miami Beach. It seated 855 -- including 210 in the loge -- along with a state-of-the-art cooling system. No doubt Carole appreciated the venue, and if she stuck around for the movie, she saw "Clive Of India" with Ronald Colman and Loretta Young. (It's possible she didn't, because the News also reported she was to be part of a skit that night in the new revue at the Miami Biltmore.)

While "Rumba" had its gala premiere at the Olympia, several other films got the honor at the Colony, including the early three-strip Technicolor feature "The Trail Of The Lonesome Pine" in 1936 and "Arch Of Triumph" in 1948. The theater was closed briefly in the mid-fifties so it could be altered to show widescreen films. Like several of its contemporaries around the nation, it eventually found a new life as a performing arts venue, a function it still holds today, hosting concerts by everyone from Barbara Cook to Sandra Bernhard. Films are also occasionally shown.


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