It is almost that time when one of the all time classic Christmas films “Miracle on 34th Street” gets dusted down for another showing. Featuring Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, Maureen O’Hara and a very young Natalie Wood, it covers the story of Kris Kringle having to prove himself to be the real Father Christmas. All with a backdrop of Macy’s Department store and a real Christmas feel (despite the film originally being released in May 1947 as studio head Darryl F Zanuck thought most people went to the cinema in the summer!).
My tenuous link here is that Reynard Collectables have two items featuring Edmund Gwenn (who won a best supporting actor Oscar for his performance in the film). I have his autograph amongst the lovely collection of autograph/poetry/sketch albums shown in my previous posting. He also features among a group of old theatre magazines and programmes in a 1912 issue of “Playgoer and Society” magazine. In this there is a long feature with pictures of Edmund Gwenn and Hilda Trevelyan in the play “Little Miss Llewelyn” for which this magazine is a souvenir issue. As well as this there are other articles and many fine period adverts. One of the articles features Miss Trevelyan and is entitled “Personal Attractiveness How Obtained”!
In another slightly later issue of 1914 (now titled “The Play”) there is a similar feature titled “The Freckle Fiend” seemingly sponsored by Helena Rubinstein, the company who seem to be promoting some creams and powders to remove freckles.
Also shown below is the cover of a 1928 Arts and Society newpaper/magazine called “London Calling” with a great graphic to the cover and inside a serial by PG Wodehouse, Edgar Wallace with some horses to watch (!?) and an article “Boats for Flappers”! Great stuff. Just to mention also a scarce issue of the WWII 1942 Llandudno Circular with adverts for artistes appearing at the Pier Pavillion, the Halle Orchestra and inside George Formby.
Another theatrical item listed which gave me some interesting research material was an 1880s Alhambra Theatre programme. This theatre which was sited in Leicester Square in London (demolished in 1936 to make way for the Odeon) and was originally opened in 1854 as The Royal Panopticon of Science and Arts. In its early life it featured a circus ring, but went through several different guises. This ornate programme shown below is for a Ballet “Antiope” by E.Casati and I believe dates from 1888. The actual programme of events has the ballet as just one party of a variety bill with a well know name of the later years Vesta Tilley (“The LondonIdol”) also appearing, along with Rezene & Robini, Signor Cinquevalli & his troupe of acrobats, Madamoiselle Vanoni the burlesque artist amongsts other acts.
Lovely scarce piece of theatrical ephemera and all these items are in Reynard Collectables ebay shop.