In Albany, the ‘Devil’s’ in the details   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2013.08.17 at 09:25
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carole lombard up pops the devil 00a

“Up Pops The Devil” is among a slew of films Carole Lombard made for Paramount in the early months of 1931 and was released that May. Initially designed as a vehicle for studio stablemate Nancy Carroll, Lombard was assigned the lead (above, with leading man Norman Foster) after their joint success in “It Pays To Advertise” at the start of the year. While not a “lost” film, because of legal complications, “Devil” wasn’t part of a package of early Paramounts acquired by MCA/Universal for TV distribution in 1958 and thus has seldom been seen over the years.

Now that you know some of the background behind “Devil,” here’s word of a rare item from the film — a herald promoting it as among an array of upcoming movies at what was then a fairly new theater:

carole lombard up pops the devil madison theater albany ny 00a
carole lombard up pops the devil madison theater albany ny 01a

Note “Devil” had its play dates on Sept. 23 and 24, following the showing of “Bought,” the latest hit from box-office powerhouse Constance Bennett (the actress whose arrival at Pathe two years earlier is said to have led to Lombard’s dismissal from that studio before she ultimately resurfaced at Paramount). “Devil” was followed by one-day showings of “A Woman Of Experience” with Helen Twelvetrees and a vehicle (figuratively and literally!) for Fox neophyte Spencer Tracy, “6-Cylinder Love,” with petite Sidney Fox as his leading lady and comic support from Edward Everett Horton and El Brendel.

All of these played the Madison of Albany, N.Y., which had opened in 1929. Designed by noted theater architect Thomas Lamb and part of the Warners chain (although its fare was from virtually all of the Hollywood studios), it functioned as a “second-run” house, showing features that already had run in the big downtown palaces. But unlike its larger brethren, the Madison survives. Yes, it changed, remodeling in 1968, as a February feature from Boxoffice magazine (which features an image of its original marquee) makes evident:

boxoffice 021968aa
boxoffice 021968ba

It was later multiplexed, had a touch-and-go existence for a while (about a decade ago, it nearly was razed to expand a nearby pharmacy), but functions today as both a neighborhood house and as a Sunday home for a local church, Find out more at (Oh, and on Wednesdays, you can buy a big bag of popcorn for just $1!)

The four-page herald measures 5″ x 7.5″ and is in very good condition with minor creasing. Bidding begins at $5.99, with the auction closing at 5:36 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday. If interested in this obscure Lombard artifact, go to

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Posted August 17, 2013 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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