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Carol(e) comes east



"Fast And Loose," shown above at the fabled Paramount Theater in Times Square after its release in November 1930, was the only film Carole Lombard made at Paramount Pictures' East Coast studios in Astoria, Queens.



We've previously discussed what New York was like in mid-1930, when Lombard visited the city for the first time (https://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/444609.html), but now that I'm part of Newspapers.com, I thought I'd investigate how the local press, specifically the New York Daily News, covered her journey east.

The Daily News -- which celebrates its centennial next year -- was the major journalistic success of the 1920s. A tabloid-sized publication, thus making convenient reading for riders of mass transit, the News also had a breezy, urban attitude that complemented its clientele. It inspired two notable competitors, Hearst's New York Mirror and magazine publisher Bernarr Macfadden's racy, relatively short-lived New York Graphic.



Here's the famous front page of the News on Jan. 13, 1928, when photographer Tom Howard, posing as a reporter, used a small camera attached to his ankle to picture Ruth Snyder the very second she was electrocuted at Sing Sing for the murder of her husband. (Photographers were barred from executions, but neither Howard nor the News was prosecuted.)

Nearly 2 1/2 years later, June 18, 1930, the New York press learned Lombard was coming to Queens to appear in "The Best People" (the original title for "Fast And Loose"). Here's how the News and film reporter Irene Thirer covered it (we even see a leggy Lombard image somehow unnoticed for 88 years):



We'll take a side trip that day to Brooklyn and the Daily Eagle (where my grandfather was a reporter in 1930), to see how it covered Carole's forthcoming arrival. (It's at the bottom of the first column and the top of the second.)



Both the News and Eagle note that Lombard's work in that spring's "Safety In Numbers" led Paramount to bring her back; a full contract would soon follow.

One week later, on June 25, Thirer's column had a bit more Lombard news:



"She's a true California maiden. This is her first trip to New York. And she's crazy about our skyline and our men."

Over the next decade-plus, New York filmgoers would return the favor.

Carole again is mentioned in the July 11 News...



...as well as on July 20, when Lombard and other Paramount notables traveled to New Jersey to inaugurate the new Paramount theater in Asbury Park:



Here's an ad to promote the event:



The good news is that the Paramount, on the fabled Asbury Park boardwalk, still stands as a popular concert venue (and yes, Bruce Springsteen has performed there):





Lombard's mentioned at the end of an Aug. 24 column, an aside from some notes on castmate Ilka Chase:



Of Carole, the writer says:

"If a prettier blonde ever was in pictures, we've yet to see her. Miss Lombard has a glorious figure, wide blue eyes, acquiline nose and even white teeth."

The News had one more item relating to Lombard before she returned west. It ran on Sept. 19:



Note this was the second joint appearance for her with Ginger Rogers, then also in the early stages of her film career (albeit with some Broadway stardom). Ginger soon would go west for good after Paramount closed its Astoria studio; by decade's end, Carole would again be a stablemate with Rogers, this time at RKO.

Her stay in New York done, Lombard returned to California, where she soon would recapture the "e" on her first name for good.
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