Tuesday, December 21, 2010
73rd Anniversary: Snow White Premiere at The Carthay Circle Theater
Sure Hollywood Premieres are still a big deal, but back in the day...WOW! They were truly newsworthy events! One of the most popular movie theaters in Hollywood was known as The Carthay Circle. Located at 6316 San Vicente Boulevard, it opened in 1926 and was named after the Carthay residential district in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles, California. The Carthay Circle was part of the Fox Theaters empire.
On December 21, 1937, The Carthay Circle was host to the gala premiere for Walt Disney’s “Snow White.” Here are some rare photos from that evening featuring The Dwarfs, Donald Duck, and Mickey & Minnie Mouse.
Here, the #1 star in Hollywood at the time, Shirley Temple, is shown with the Dwarfs. Her parents stand in the background, smiling.
Here's the caption that accompanied this photo:
SHIRLEY TEMPLE SEES "SNOW WHITE" PREMIERE. HOLLYWOOD, CALIF.: (Above) Shirley Temple, juvenile screen star, is greeted by two of the "Seven Dwarfs" as she appeared to attend the premiere showing of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs." The affair drew many of filmdon's leading celebrities. 12-21-37
Shirley was also the one who presented Walt Disney with his Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremony in 1938. When she first saw the award featuring what appeared to be 8 male figures, this is what she hypothesized:
“I thought Snow White was overlooked. I thought it was an early sexist problem where they left her out. I thought that the big statue was for Walt and that the Seven Dwarfs were the little ones going down the side and that Snow White herself hadn't gotten anything, and I was worried about Snow White at the time that she hadn't gotten an Oscar. The big one is the one usually presented to who the person is. I mean Snow White wasn't there, not Snow White, and I know that there was a person that they copied, and that Marge Champion actually did all the dancing, and the moves. I went to the ‘Snow White’ premiere and participated in all of the fun and knew Walt Disney, and when I presented this to him it just seemed to me that he was getting the big award and that the 7 dwarfs were getting an award and that Snow White herself had been left out. But that's because I was 11 and what did I know anyway?”
Sadly, the Carthay was demolished in 1969, replaced by two low-rise office buildings and a city park. The final film that played there was “The Shoes of the Fisherman,” starring Anthony Quinn. Although the original Carthay no longer exists you can see a replica of it at The Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando:
The Carthay is also being recreated for Disney California Adventure; here is the rendering on display at the Blue Sky Preview Center:
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