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Friday, July 03, 2020

Want Ads For Those Who Want Free Admission


Shea's Buffalo Invites Betty Clark To Invite Her Friends

You might on one hand call bally like this a forfeiture of privacy, or better put, Shea Buffalo management wresting privacy away from "guests" whose names will appear among want ads in the local newspaper. I'm guessing Betty Clark submitted ten names to the theatre and each got a pair of tickets provided they spotted their names in print. Question arises: What of those who don't enjoy seeing their names in print? It's an issue that is still relevant, for what is Facebook but a most epic invasion on privacy since Rome marched on Carthage? Betty's guests evidently had to drop by the Times' office to claim free ducats, and maybe get a hard sell to subscribe while there. There were always schemes at work between theatres and brother merchants. Any price for this program would have been a bargain, of course. Not only the feature, but "Hollywood's Own Monte Blue," a star by 1932 no longer a star, but who would remain Hollywood's Own to extent of small parts he'd have right up to the sixties, and his seventies. The town often did take care of its discarded, knowing an actor like Blue could rise to dramatic occasion even if no longer a celebrated lead man as in silents long past (he is fine, for instance, in 1948's Key Largo).

6 Comments:

Blogger Charles W Callahan said...

Holy smokes! Monty Blue? I love spotting this guy. ACCROSS THE PACIFIC, KEY LARGO, etc.
Thanks.

6:49 PM  
Blogger DBenson said...

I'm guessing Betty Clark won a previous contest which allowed her the privilege of picking ten names, so this was a two-stage promotion. The cynic in me assumes she was asked not to say who she picked, so everybody who knew Betty Clark -- ANY Betty Clark -- would read the want ads. And I'd be surprised if all the tickets were claimed. In the fine print of modern contests, there's usually something about a second-chance drawing for unclaimed prizes; back then it was probably a saving for the theater or a freebie for somebody at the newspaper.

Publishing the names of winners is a long-standing tradition. it was the heart of the Publisher's Clearinghouse campaigns. But yes, publishing names of people who might not have even entered is pushing it. Dialing for Dollars picked numbers at random from sliced-up phone books (talk about long odds), but the people they called weren't identified (or heard, as I remember) unless they actually won.

Recalling the old gag of a fellow going to make an embarrassing purchase and finding himself OUR TEN THOUSANDTH CUSTOMER with attendant press and ballyhoo.

Note that Annette's win-a-phone-call contest published kids' names and hometowns:
https://greenbriarpictureshows.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-era-of-annette-mouseketeers-used-to.html




7:37 PM  
Blogger Reg Hartt said...

My feeling is that many liked seeing their names in print. A fellow said, seeing the press I've gotten over the years for the quality of my work, "My name was in a newspaper too." Then he showed me an article about a bungled bank robbery he'd been in in which the getaway car was wrapped around a utility pole.

He was proud to see his name in print. I refrained from saying, "It's not quite the same."


9:15 AM  
Blogger John McElwee said...

Dan Mercer considers today's banner subject:


Your marquee features a drawing of fetching Julie Bishop, all five feet four inches and 110 pounds of her, who would be appearing in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "The Hard Way," or so the caption said. I first became acquainted with her as "Jacqueline Wells," her original professional name, when she gave a most effective performance in "The Black Cat," as a young newlywed caught in a game of life and death. Reportedly, Warner Bros. insisted that she change her name when she signed a contract with them, and the two pictures listed were to be products of that studio. They were made, of course, but while Julie Bishop has an uncredited role in "The Hard Way," she doesn't appear in "Yankee Doodle Dandy" at all. Was she ever intended for this one, or was the name more or less selected at random for the publicity heralding a new contract player?

6:49 PM  
Blogger William Ferry said...

Julie Bishop, aka Jacqueline Wells, also played the title role in the Laurel and Hardy version of THE BOHEMIAN GIRL! I also caught her recently as Bob Cummings' girlfriend in MY HERO (the first of Bob's many tv series) on one of the online tv/movie "channels". Her daughter is Pamela Shoop, one of the loveliest tv series/movie actresses of the 70s and 80s.

11:22 PM  
Blogger rnigma said...

I take it that the drawing of Julie Bishop is from Feg Murray's "Seein' Stars" comic? And whose legs are those at the bottom?

"Cabin in the Cotton" is remembered for Bette Davis' line "I'd like to kiss ya but I just washed my hair."

1:45 PM  

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