vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,
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'Dressing' in Cleveland

carole lombard we're not dressing 10a

"We're Not Dressing" is a goofy little musical, a comedic reworking of "The Admirable Crichton," where a sailor puts a haughty heiress in her place after they are among a group stranded on an island. Carole Lombard provides glamour, Bing Crosby the music (including future standards such as "Love Thy Neighbor" and "May I"), while a stellar supporting crew -- Ethel Merman, Leon Errol, George Burns and Gracie Allen -- adds to the fun. (Even a young Ray Milland has a small role.) When it came out in the spring of 1934, it was recognized as the cinematic equivalent of a White Castle hamburger...not all that fancy or nutritious, but easy to enjoy.

Carole, an avid fan of Crosby's music, had a fun time working on this production, though she was still mired as a second-tier star. That would change soon, albeit not through this film. A stellar example of how Paramount marketed this movie is now available through eBay:

carole lombard we're not dressing ad cleveland plain dealer 00a

I don't have a specific date for this ad from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but since a similar ad from the Providence Journal ran in early May 1934, I will presume it's from roughly the same period. And look what else is on the bill -- that beloved classic Disney short "The Three Little Pigs" (advertised through its hit song, "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf")...

the three little pigs 00a

...as well as a Thelma Todd-Patsy Kelly short, "Soup And Fish":

thelma todd patsy kelly 04

The theater is Loew's State, which as you might guess normally ran MGM fare but occasionally showed other studios' films, too. The State, on Euclid Avenue, seated 3,500 (it was initially a vaudeville house that converted to full-time movie use in the 1930s) and was designed by film palace master Thomas W. Lamb, also the architect for its next-door neighbor, the Ohio Theatre.

Both the State and Ohio closed in early 1969, and for a while it appeared both were to be razed for downtown parking. Thankfully, sanity prevailed and both were preserved as part of the now-thriving Playhouse Square complex. (Learn about the man who sparked the sanity and helped revive downtown Cleveland at http://www.cleveland.com/onstage/index.ssf/2010/02/40_years_ago_a_spark_helps_cle.html)

Here are exterior shots of the State, first from January 1931, then from 2009:

cleveland 013031 loew's state 00acleveland loew's state 2009ea

Now, let's look inside:

cleveland loew's state 2009da
cleveland loew's state 2009ba
cleveland loew's state 2009aa

An impressive restoration. Tom Hanks, who honed his skills as an actor in Cleveland, probably spent some time on the State's stage.

Now that you know the story behind the ad, some more info on the ad itself: The clipping measures 10" x 12", and, as the seller says, "highly displayable." The starting bid is a mere 99 cents, and the deadline for bidding is 7:59 p.m. (Eastern) next Tuesday. Think you're interested? Then go check out http://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-WERE-NOT-DRESSING-MOVIE-AD-Clipped-NEWSPAPER-BING-CROSBY-CAROLE-LOMBARD-/150840967764?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item231ed28254.
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