Originally Posted by ethereal_reality
There is a mysterious poster in the window of the building between McGehee Market and the Dutch Inn.
I've been trying to 'decipher' it. (it's a bit scary looking)
Do any of you noirishers
have any idea what this is advertising? -remember the year is 1935.
It looks like it was part of a 1930s/1940s craze for midnight ghost shows. They were basically spooky magic shows at theaters which included things like seances, spirit slate writing and ghostly apparitions. This poster appears to be for Dr U L di Ghilini, who was described as a Hollywood mystic on one site I found. I think the white word above his name is part of the phrase "in person". The text above the skeleton's head says "Do the dead return?". I can't decipher all the text at the top, but it looks like the venue was an unreadable auditorium, and the date was Sun Sept 15 (which is correct for 1935).
I found the quote below on www.redlandsdailyfacts.com
. It gives a description of the same show just three days earlier:
Sept. 12, 1935
The time for a seance with "spirits" is midnight, and tonight at the zero hour of 12 o'clock, a frolic with "spooks" will take place on the stage of the Fox Redlands theater, when Dr. U.L. di Ghilini, famous investigator of spiritualistic phenomena reproduces two entirely different types of seances. No attraction in months is causing the comment, and the discussion that surrounds the appearance of the celebrated Dr. di Ghilini in person, on this occasion. The "ghost" show follows the usual theater picture program, and after the exit of the regular show at 11:15 p.m., the doors will be closed for 15 minutes and then reopened.
Here's a poster for another of Dr di Ghilini's shows:
You can read more about this type of entertainment in an article called The Rise and Fall of the Midnight Ghost Shows