Their first time together as leads(?)…in Leeds   Leave a comment

Posted by vp19 on 2014.04.19 at 20:14
Current mood: nostalgicnostalgic

carole lombard now and forever 05d

For Carole Lombard fans, “Now And Forever” is probably best remembered today as her lone film with Shirley Temple, on loan to Paramount shortly before her meteoric rise to fame at Fox (which hadn’t yet merged with Darryl F. Zanuck’s Twentieth Century Pictures at the time this was made in the summer of 1934). But when it arrived in Great Britain the following March, the local theater took a different angle to promote it…and got it all wrong.

The theater in question is the Paramount Theatre in Leeds:

carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 00a
carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 01a

Read the paragraph below:

carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 01b

That “new starring romantic team” was Cooper and Lombard, according to this program, which added, “the picture marks the first time that these two popular players have appeared together as leads.”

Say what?

carole lombard i take this woman 49b

Weren’t they aware of a film issued a few years earlier named “I Take This Woman”?, where Carole and Coop definitely were the leads? (That movie probably played Leeds.)

Whatever; let’s ignore that error and look at the rest of this program. Also coming to the Paramount was a Zane Grey western starring two fellow Lombard cast members, Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick, playing not “the other woman,” but the leading lady…

carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 02a

…Joan Bennett (whose first film, “Power,” was a silent with Lombard) and Francis Lederer in “The Pursuit Of Happiness”…

carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 03a

…and Sylvia Sidney opposite former (and future) Carole co-star Gene Raymond in “Behold My Wife”:

carole lombard now and forever paramount leeds 04a

The Paramount opened in early 1932 with the Ernst Lubitsch gem “The Smiling Lieutenant.” Here’s the exterior, not long after it opened, with “This Is The Night” on the marquee:

paramount odeon leeds 00a

Renamed the Odeon in 1940, the theater later was host to concerts featuring acts such as Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey, the Beach Boys and several appearances by the Beatles (including two shows with Roy Orbison in June 1963). Here’s the stage where they performed:

paramount odeon leeds 01a

The Odeon was “twinned” in 1968 and eventually became a five-screen multiplex. But suburbanization affected UK theaters too, and the last films were shown there in late 2001. While the interior was razed and converted into retail space, the exterior was preserved.

The eight-page program measures 8.5″ x 5″ and is in good condition with some light ageing. The opening bid in this auction is $9.99, with bidding scheduled to end at 5:36 p.m. (Eastern) on Friday. Interested in adding this to your collection of Lombardiana? Then visit http://www.ebay.com/itm/SHIRLEY-TEMPLE-CAROLE-LOMBARD-GARY-COOPER-Paramount-Theatre-Leeds-UK-Prog-1935-/310936150474?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item48653d21ca. Just remember that it wasn’t Gary and Carole’s first cinematic go-round.

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Posted April 19, 2014 by vp19 in Uncategorized

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