Hollywood in Richmond

Dublin Core


Hollywood in Richmond


Hollywood in Richmond? Movie Stars on Main Street? Yes, indeed. It really happened, back in 1937.

From the Richmond Daily Register: "All the fanfare, the brilliance and the realness of a veritable Hollywood Premiere will be reproduced in all its regal splendor Tuesday night at the Madison Theatre here in Richmond.

"The Hollywood Premiere will be presented in true Hollywood style with special floodlights illuminating both the front of the theatre and the stars.

"Tuesday night 30 of Richmond's smart young set including representatives from Eastern's campus will impersonate such stars as Myrna Loy, Laurel and Hardy, Mae West, Clark Bable, Shirley Temple, Jane Withers, Robert Taylor, Gingers Rogers, Joe Penner, Alice Faye, Carol Lombard and many others, will arrive in swanky cars, surrounded by clinking cameras, autograph hounds, reporters and photographers.

"The "Stars" will speak a word over the mike on the outside of the theater, and then sweep into the theater for the 50-minute stage and style show. There will be dancing, singing, and comedy interspersed with actual introduction of the stars.

"Miss Josephine James has been brought to the Madison Theater by the Schine's management to take charge of the rehearsals and the stage show.

"This grand entertainment is made possible thru the cooperation of Richmond's leading merchants, and if you know of anyone who resembles a screen star or who is talented, please leave their names at the box office of the Madison Theater, and help to make this the outstanding event of the year in Richmond."

And the September 29 1937 issue of the Daily Register tells of the success of the "Hollywood Premiere":

"Policemen had difficulty keeping the crowds away from the entrance of Madison Theater last night as the Schine's Theater management presented a 'Hollywood Premiere.'

"The spectacle, a Rob Gage presentation staged by Josephine James drew autograph seekers, celebrity hunters and others who came to get a glimpse of their favorite movie star.

"Inside the theater was a crowd equal to the one outside.

"As the stars arrived last night with a motorcycle escort they were greeted by a master of ceremonies at the entrance and were asked to say a few words to the public. Inside they danced, sang and presented a style show.

"With Charles Jett as master of ceremonies and music by Junior Muncy and his orchestra, the stage presentation got under way as soon as such stars as Rochelle Hudson, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo and others made their appearances.

"Those who took part were Fred Park as George Raft, Norbert Rechtin as Allen Jones, Elizabeth Ann Blake as Shirley Temple, Betsy Ann Cropper as acrobatic dancer, Mary Thomas Phelps as Rochelle Hudson, Allen Tribble as Bing Crosby, Rose Eleanor Moody as Simone Simone, Mary More Oldham as Belle Davis, Roger Frances as Leslie Howard, John Lee Jones as Tony Marlin, Pauline McIlvaine as Sylvia Sidney;

"Margaret Steele Zaring as Eleanor Powell, Virginia McKinney as Janet Gaynor, Allen Zaring as James Stewart, Bettie Lou Terrill as Sybill Jason, Eleanor McCord as Jane Withers; Junior Hisle, Hattie Marie Teater, Thelma Jeannine Teater, Ralph Moores and King (the dog) as Our Gang Comedy, Ivel Black as Spencer Tracey, Skippy Culton as Una Merkel, Marjorie Estridge as Madge Evans, George Evans as Nelson Eddy, Norma Jackson as Greta Garbo;

"Rose Flanagan as Martha Rave, Hilly Bright as Joe E. Brown, Howard Parker as Fred McMurray, Eileen Floyd as Kay Francis, Dorothy Cropper as Dixie Dunbar, Hiram Brock as Kenny Baker, Mary Ann Collins as Dolores Del Rio. H. D. Rayburn as Jimmy Durante and Ed Wayman as Nino Martini.”


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Hollywood in Richmond,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 19, 2024, https://madisonsheritage.eku.edu/items/show/823.