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A couple of weeks ago I saw Russell Brand perform. He was hilarious. And brilliant. Equally impressive was the magnificent theatre I was sitting in: the Wiltern Theatre located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue in Los Angeles. The 80 yearold theatre is art deco at its best. It’s stunning. I wish I had taken photos of the interior but it was dark and I was flashless. At one point during the show I remember thinking to myself, “Wonder if Carole came here?” (This is my litmus for historical Hollywood locations these days).
Well I did some sleuthing and found a video of the star-studded grand opening of the theatre then known as the Warner Brothers Western Theatre. On October 7, 1931 Hollywood’s finest came out to support the theatre and see the premiere of Alexander Hamilton. Wilshire was spanned by a bridge which the audiences for the opening crossed over to enter the theatre. Some of the stars included James Cagney, Loretta Young, Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. You’ll also see Mr. and Mrs. Clark Gable- back when it referred to Ria. Finally, there’s Carole. She’s accompanying her husband at the time William Powell. William Powell conducted the dedication as the master of ceremonies. Both are escorted by Moe Silver, General Manager of Warner Brothers. You’ll notice that her name is spelled “Carol.” Old habits die hard. Enjoy!
Uploaded by: mrpitv
Schallert, Edwin. Western Theater Opened,Los Angeles Times, October 9, 1931, pg.A9.
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