There are two or three crickets talking tonight, and they are talking slow.

Did some errands today. Ladies and gentlemen, the Target Cheese section:

Sigh. Move along to Traders Joe. I got some pico duh guy-lo, and noted that the expiration date was just five dahs away. I’d like another day, if I could. I was pawing around in the back, checking dates, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. A lady with long grey hair was holding a small container.

“What’s this for?” She said.

I looked at it. “It appears to be a dip,” I said, noting the word DIP on the lid. She showed me a picture of it on her Traders Joe app. “What would use it with?”

“I . . . I don’t know. Chips?”

“What kind though.”

“It’s really up to you.”

She nodded and walked off.

Then I got it. I tracked her down and said “remember me? I don’t actually work here.”

She burst out laughing and apologized. “You looked like you did, you were squatting down and going through things, they’re always sweating down and doing stuff.”

“I thought the basket of goods and the lack of a uniform would prevent that,” I said. “Anyway I didn’t want you to think that you spoke to someone who worked here and he wasn’t helpful or useful at all.”

We parted in good spirits. Honest mistake, I suppose. I really was mystified why she was asking.

I mean, it’s dip.

Trade magazines provide history lessons you won't find in papers or after-the-fact scholarly books, and give o yu an idea how the people in the industries saw things. So: A full-color series of ads for movies in 1930, from Film Daily. Anything interesting?

Aside from the fact that we’re talking Technicolor in 1930? And here we thought it was first used in the Wizard of Oz! I don’t know why we thought that, but we did.

The Vagabond King is the movie.

The story takes place in medieval France. Poet-rogue Francois Villon, sentenced to hang by King Louis XI for writing derogatory verses about him, is offered a temporary reprieve. His hanging will be postponed for 24 hours, and in that time he must defeat the invading Burgundians and win the love of the beautiful Katherine

I’m guessing the king did not require that second objective.

Also released as a silent, in case the theaters hadn’t been fitted yet. It was also shown in b&W, I’m guessing, as two-strip Process 3 Technicolor required a particular projector.

It was a Monster Smash (a monster smash)

Yes, it’s an ad about ads. Since this is Film Daily, these are for exhibitors, bookers, theaters, and the like.

Don’t worry! Everyone knows about Technicolor!

I went looking for some of these on YouTube, and . . .


Then there’s the competition: Colorcraft.

A beautiful ad with lovely typography, and just for that 1930 touch, you can send your cables to the Chanin Building.

Well well, look who:

Nat Cordesh’s Imdb page lists a YOB of 1889, but no date of death, so he must be alive somewhere. Henry Mayer was the producer of “The Great Gabbo,” and Cordesh the exec-prod. Neither did much after that.

Love this.

Tiltedness means modernity and excitement! As for Harold Franklin, he was indeed a movie-house guy, but produced one film, “And the Villain Still Pursued Her.” It was a parody of the old melodramas, with cloaked bad guys in top hats twirling their facial hair. The title has a long history - and I mean, long. It goes back to the 19th century. But it had been a cliche at a time when we think these sorts of melodramas were earnest.

I recommend this essay at moviessilently, which does a marvelous job of researching the origins of the term.

Strength! Pay no attention to the deepening Depression.

That is the Paramount building, of course.

H. I. Brock of The New York Times wrote that the Paramount Building was "the most extraordinary pile in New York”. Conversely, Lewis Mumford said "the posters describe it as the greatest palace that shadows have built", a phrase that had been created by film industry promoters, "but it is in fact the greatest shadow that shadows have built”

Okay, Lewis.

While Mumford characterized the exterior as something that nobody could see, he called the interior "the reminiscence of a grandiose nightmare that might follow a rather arduous day of sightseeing in Paris”.

Okay, Lewis.

George Shepard Chappell, writing in The New Yorker under the pseudonym "T-Square", wrote that he could not "conscientiously give the building anything except size"; in Chappell's view, this fit with the "concentrated tawdriness" of Times Square.

T-Square was always hard to please.

That’s pretty generic.

Radio-Keith-Orpheum went teats-up in 1959. Howard Hughes had bought it in ’48, and joinked it around to the point where it was suffering flops and bad morale. General Tire bought it, because of the natural fit between their core business and movie production distribution companies.

In a way, it’s still around.

Hey, I know this guy.

Lee DeForest patented his sound-on-film tech in 1919 and 1920.

The Phonofilm system, which recorded synchronized sound directly onto film, was used to record vaudeville acts, musical numbers, political speeches, and opera singers. The quality of Phonofilm was poor at first, improved somewhat in later years, but was never able to match the fidelity of sound-on-disc systems such as Vitaphone, or later sound-on-film systems such as RCA Photophone or Fox Movietone.

Finally: the smaller players.

And by “Smaller,” I mean nothing in the Wikipedia at all.











Our second look at Missoula. I begin with no idea what’s next, since I snipped these and set them aside a while ago.

Verrrry interesting.

This has all the hallmarks of something from the late 40s, I think. Or somewhere around there. The beige hue, the shape of the metal cladding, something about this says 1947 or 1951.

KGVO. Still broadcasting. Talk / news format. Call sign meaning, says Wikipedia: Key to Golden Values and Opportunities.


Age has revealed the old bones.



The sadness of bygone modernism.


Proof of a proud and prosperous time:

The midblock addition looks prosperous, and also hews to a simpler style: the rusticated stone replaced by brick, with an ornate cupola to assure you they weren’t skimping on anything. No expense spared!

From the slather-and-smother era of downtown rehabs:

How many Higgins do we have? Twenty six?

It’s the address.


What a strange and beautiful apparition. It’s as if a piece of Miami suddenly appeared on the streets of a Montana town.

Offices and retail:

I wonder if there was a time when the locals thought this wasn't stylish. Or if there were some who never liked it at all. Or, more likely, if most people had no particular opinion about it one way or the other.



Its bio:

The Wilma was built in 1921 by William "Billy" Simons and dedicated to his wife, light opera artist Edna Wilma. Designed by Norwegian architect Ole Bakke and his assistant H. E. Kirkemo, the steel-framed highrise features hallmarks of Sullivanesque architecture.[2] Wilma is part of an eight-story complex that was the first steel-framed high-rise building in Missoula, and includes the main 1400-seat hall, a lounge, three banquet rooms, a restaurant, apartments and offices. The theater interior is decorated with Louis XIV Style gilt trim.

As originally built, the basement housed a swimming pool, the "Crystal Plunge". Condensation proved incompatible with the structure, and the pool closed within ten years. It now serves as additional storage space.

I’d like to know more about that; wouldn’t you?

Then there’s the Chapel of the Dove.

Long may it glow.


Two brothers:

The structure on the left has some design elements that set it apart from its neighbor:

Zig-Zag Moderne Indian. You don't see a lot of that.

Finally: gummint.

A remarkable city, and from the looks of things, one that pushes on with some amount of spirit and success. I'm sure its subreddit is full of young men in IT or retail who hate it but can't quite seem to muster the initiative to leave.




That'll do See you tomorrow.



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