A Showman Speaking His Mind
"Our Dick" Gets Spanked
Back in fast and loose days of silent showmanship (in this instance, 1923), exhibs could put on their instructor hat and cite rules to both patronage and stars. Local ads gave stern reproof to either that stepped out of line, this a by-product of friend and neighbor status management had in days when a Bijou was second home to thrice (at least) per week attendees. A showman sensing dissatisfaction among his flock would not hesitate going public with it. Here it's Richard Barthelmess who's up for a dressing-down, dress being the very issue at hand. Dick had lately gone a frilly-sleeve route, and Apollo manager James Zanias wasn't having any: Many of you have seen Richard Barthelmess in some of his past attractions and doubtless you have been more or less disappointed as I have been. Zanias was right to extent that Barthelmess was lately laced and recklessly poofy in pics like The Bright Shawl and The Fighting Blade, his character in the latter named "Karl Van Kerstenbrook."
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