Monday, April 30, 2012

Howard Hawks' A Girl in Every Port plays at Stanford

As part of their Howard Hawks festival (through June 24th), the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, California is set to screens Hawks' 1928 silent film, A Girl in Every Port, on Wednesday May 2th at 7:30 pm. A Girl in Every Port will be screened as part of a double bill with another seldom screened Hawks' silent, Fig Leaves (1926). Dennis James will accompany at the organ. 

A vintage film poster
not from a California theater
Apparently, this is the first time A Girl in Every Port will be screened at the historic Standford, which opened in 1925 and has served for decades as Palo Alto's premier movie house. 

According to my records, most every one of Brooks' American silent films played at the Stanford, except for Love Em and Leave Em (1926) and A Girl in Every Port. When the film did play in Palo Alto (a lively college town adjoining Stanford University), it played at the nearby Varsity theater. Why it did so is hard to say, but it may have been because of the booking practices of the day. Most all of Brooks' American silent films were made for Paramount, except for A Girl in Every Port, which was made for Fox. Then, local theaters generally only showed films from particular studios.

The film, which stars Victor McLaglen, Robert Armstrong and Louise Brooks, proved popular pretty much where ever it showed.

Here is a record of where the film played in northern California during the 1920s. I put together this record by scouring dozens of local newspapers in nearly as many libraries. Many of these these theaters still stand. My favorite theater name among them is the "Reel Joy" in King City.

Alhambra in Sacramento (Mar. 16-19, 1928); Pantages in San Francisco (Mar. 17-23, 1928); Liberty in St. Helena (Mar. 29-30, 1928); California in Petaluma (Apr. 4-5, 1928); Grand Lake in Oakland (Apr. 14-20, 1928); Oroville Theatre in Oroville (Apr. 20-21, 1928); California in San Jose (Apr. 21-23, 1928); California in Berkeley (Apr. 25-28, 1928); Royal in South San Francisco (Apr. 30, 1928); Modesto Theater in Modesto (May 6, 1928); California in Sacramento (May 12, 1928); North Sacramento Theater in Sacramento (May 13, 1928); National in Woodland (May 14-15, 1928); Majestic in Benicia (May 24, 1928); Varsity in Palo Alto (May 25-26, 1928); California in Pittsburg (May 27-28, 1928); Hippodrome in Napa (May 29-30, 1928); Lorin in Berkeley (May 30-31, 1928); Golden State in Monterey (June 3, 1928); Opal in Hollister (June 11-12, 1928); California in Richmond (June 15-16, 1928); Oaks in Berkeley (June 17-18, 1928); Princess in Sausalito (June 19, 1928); Sequoia in Sacramento (June 20-21, 1928); Casa Grande in Santa Clara (June 24, 1928); Fairfax in Oakland (July 1, 1928 with Three’s a Crowd); Lincoln in Oakland (July 1, 1928 with Spoilers of the West); Strand in Gilroy (July 1, 1928); New Fillmore in San Francisco (July 3-5, 1928); New Mission in San Francisco (July 3-5, 1928); Rivoli in Berkeley (July 8, 1928 with The Red Raiders); Alexandria in San Francisco (July 20-21, 1928); Senator in Oakland (July 21, 1928); New Balboa in San Francisco (July 29, 1928 with When the Wife’s Away); Haight in San Francisco (Aug. 2-3, 1928); Merced Theatre in Merced (Aug. 4, 1928); New Roseville Theatre in Roseville (Aug. 8-9, 1929); Hester in San Jose (Aug. 9-10, 1928); Palace in San Leandro (Aug. 12, 1928); California in Salinas (Aug. 15, 1928); Allendale Theater in Oakland (Aug. 16-17, 1928); New Lyceum in San Francisco (Aug. 21-22, 1928); Reel Joy in King City (Aug. 23-24, 1928); Excelsior in San Francisco (Aug. 31, 1928); New State in San Francisco (Aug. 31, 1928); Fern in Oakland (Sept. 10-11, 1928); State in Ukiah (Sept. 16, 1928); Appleton in Watsonville (Sept. 26, 1928); Fortuna Theater in Fortuna (Oct. 4, 1928); Hayward Theatre in Hayward (Oct. 12, 1928); New San Mateo Theater in San Mateo (Oct. 13, 1928); Roosevelt in San Francisco (Oct. 29-30, 1928); Majestic in San Francisco (Nov. 10, 1928); Washington in San Francisco (Nov. 17, 1928); Century in Oakland (Dec. 13, 1928 with The Whip Woman).

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