Definition of WHITE ELEPHANT :
Something not wanted……..a financial burden…….usually large and unwieldy . eg Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose.
A cinema in my neighbourhood was called The Elephant , but I discovered that it opened in 1927 as The White Elephant.
Seating 1900, it was 1934 before the owners shortened the name to The Elephant.
Apparently the unusual original name was the result of a competition. Maybe the current meaning of ‘white elephant’ was not known back then. But why would anyone want a cinema to have ‘ Elephant ‘ as its name.
I found a program from 1928.
The cinema management referred to “the alluring restfulness ,unlike any other cinema in the Kingdom.”
I can’t recall if the Elephant’s interior reflected its name. It closed in the 1960s.
Any other cinemas with unusual names?
- * * * * *
MOTION PICTURE HERALD, March 1943:
“The Fox Theatre, St. Louis offered a $25 War Bond to any woman who would sit alone in a darkened theatre at midnight to witness FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN.”
(Wish we knew if the War Bond was claimed.)
I love these historic photos of movie theatres in America.
* * * * *
“JOHNNY GUITAR” LOCATIONS
Joan Crawford’s JOHNNY GUITAR had 44 filming days just outside Sedona, Arizona from October,1953.
Sedona’s red sandstone was known as the ‘Red Rocks of Sedona’ .
Vienna’s saloon was built close to the south side of the NUNS FORMATION at Little Horse Park, 4 miles from the town.
That was some blaze when the saloon was set on fire by MERCEDES MCCAMBRIDGE.
The hidden waterfall entrance was in fact shot at a tunnel on Highway 89A, using water diverted from the Jordan Farm’s irrigation ditch on Oak Creek.
The hideout was built in West Sedona.
Republic ,who made the film , had already built a western town set for ANGEL AND THE BADMAN.
The Republic town set became the Sedona West residential development and has streets named after movies made there – Johnny Guitar street, Pony Soldier street, The Last Wagon street!
In October 2004, ERNEST BORGNINE and BEN COOPER were in Sedona for a ‘Hands Across History ‘event. Both stars had their imagery and signatures unveiled in granite plaques. I haven’t been able to find a photo of the event.
I must get hold of this book. A lot of westerns were made in Arizona.