THIS N’ THAT 6

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.

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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.

 

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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?

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Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr.

Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr.

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.)

The Fox Theatre,St.Louis

The Fox Theatre,St.Louis

I love these historic photos of movie theatres in America.

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“JOHNNY GUITAR”  LOCATIONS

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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.

 

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That was some blaze when the saloon was set on fire by MERCEDES MCCAMBRIDGE.

 

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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.

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Vienna and Johnny going through the waterfall to the hideout.

 

The hideout was built in West Sedona.

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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!

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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.

Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper.

Ernest Borgnine, Ben Cooper.

 

 

Sterling Hayden (Johnny), Joan Crawford (Vienna)

Sterling Hayden (Johnny), Joan Crawford (Vienna)

 

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I must get hold of this book. A lot of westerns were made in Arizona.

 

 

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