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Lombard on Long Island



Carole Lombard is shown with Frank Morgan in the 1930 comedy "Fast And Loose" -- her only film shot in New York (at the Paramount Astoria studios in Queens). Carole was a favorite of Big Apple audiences...and we're not referring solely to Manhattan. Here's plenty of proof.

Five mid-1930s theater programs from the Long Island borough of Queens and nearby Nassau County are up for auction at eBay. They're fascinating souvenirs of Lombard fare and other films of that era, as shown at what those in the business called "the nabes," neighborhood houses showing second-run movies after they made the rounds of the palaces in midtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn, followed by larger theaters in the outer boroughs.

Two of the programs are from February 1935 and promote Carole's comedy from late the previous year, the MGM release "The Gay Bride." First, this one from the Floral Theater in Floral Park:




"Clever Bride Foils Dumb Racketeers" -- love that headline.

The next, from the following week, lists it at the Franklin Theater on Hempstead Turnpike:




The previous April, as what we now call the pre-Code era was beginning to wind down, audiences could see Carole dance in her underwear, then fully clothed with George Raft, in the anachronistic dance film "Bolero." It ran at the Floral, although this program also lists the weekly card at the nearby Bellerose. (Both would show "It Happened One Night" at the beginning of May.)




In August 1936, Lombard's second film with Fred MacMurray, "The Princess Comes Across," had hit the nabes. "Princess" was part of a double bill with Shirley Temple's "Poor Little Rich Girl" at the Queens Theater in Queens Village:




Note the "Screeno" game ($50 in prizes!), one of the many promotions theaters used in the mid-thirties to woo audiences.

Carole's first film with Fred, "Hands Across the Table," was promoted in January 1936 for a chain of theaters across the city line in Nassau County. This was a larger publication than the above four-page program, but we only have the cover:



Bids on all of the above end at 4:17 p.m. (Eastern) Thursday. Bidding opens at $9.99 for the "Movi-Guide" (which measures 6" x 9"), $7.99 for the others (5.5" x 8").

To bid on the "Movi-Guide," visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/1936-Movi-Guide-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Carole-Lombard-Fred-MacMurray/253536658408?hash=item3b07f663e8:g:J0kAAOSwi4dasdIt.

For "The Gay Bride," visit https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Bert-Wheeler-Spanky-McFarland-Carole-Lombard/253536658388?hash=item3b07f663d4:g:a80AAOSwDqlasVAh (Floral) and https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Mynra-Loy-Carole-Lombard-Claude-Rains-Dunne/263583402953?hash=item3d5ecb8bc9:g:7XIAAOSwkXdasVDk (Franklin).

"Bolero" is at https://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-George-Raft-Carole-Lombard-Will-Rogers/253536658447?hash=item3b07f6640f:g:5F8AAOSwxJlasKkv.

See "The Princess Comes Across" by going to https://www.ebay.com/itm/1934-Movie-Theater-Showtimes-Guide-Grace-Moore-Shirley-Temple-Carole-Lombard/253536658362?hash=item3b07f663ba:g:lM4AAOSwaVRasIs~.

And to learn more about these theaters, visit an invaluable site for anyone who loves the history of movie houses: http://cinematreasures.org/.
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