Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard played an important role in the life of one of Carole Lombard's good friends, Myrna Loy. One of her first jobs in the entertainment industry was as one of Sid Grauman's dancers in the stage shows accompanying films after the Egyptian opened in 1922.
I mention this because Myrna's spirit must have inhabited me this morning...well, sort of. Let me explain.
As I planned my trip to Los Angeles too late to arrange for a pass or press credentials for the TCM Classic Film Festival, any events I attend will be on a stand-by basis -- and so it was for this morning's screening of "The Thin Man" at the Egyptian. Fortunately, seating was available, so I paid my $20 (cash only) and was able to enter. As it was nearing 9 a.m. (Pacific), I was hungry (hadn't yet eaten breakfast) and while in line at the lobby noticed a concession stand in the distance...and didn't see a downward step in front of me.
Just as Myrna did in "The Thin Man" when we first meet her Nora Charles character, I fell -- but unlike Nora, I wasn't carrying holiday presents, nor handling a terrier on a leash. And my fall certainly lacked a Loy-like grace.
I was helped up by ushers who walked me down to an aisle seat on the fourth row...where a TCM Julianne Moore profile of Loy (including the aforementioned stumbling scene) preceded the feature.
I've watched "The Thin Man" several times on TCM and other TV outlets, but seeing it on a big screen, with an audience savoring that one-of-a-kind chemistry between Myrna and William Powell, adds so much to the experience. I don't know whether either of my parents saw the movie in theaters, but if they did, they must have thrilled to it.
Oh, and to Johnny Depp: Don't even think about a remake, as has been rumored. Powell's shoes (or martini glasses) are too big for you to fill, and that would go likewise for whichever actress was cast as Nora.
My earlier tumble led the ushers to consider me a cripple, and I was gingerly helped up the stairwell as if I were 85 rather than 58. But once reaching the lobby, it was worth it, because there was the knowledgeable and lovely Kimberly of http://www.GlamAmor.com, a splendid site dedicated to classic Hollywood style. Great lady.
Returning to my hotel to soothe my feet, I stopped at Larry Edmunds Bookshop, a Hollywood institution since 1938 (Robert Matzen's "Fireball," about Lombard's ill-fated Flight 3, is available there), bought a few cinema-related books, and the gracious staff allowed me to leave some Carole & Co. business cards alongside a few of the other freebies.
Don't know if I'll attend any other festival events today, as my nephew and his family are coming from Riverside County to meet me for dinner. But I'll try to make up for it tomorrow.