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Old Posted Today, 2:54 AM
HossC's Avatar
HossC HossC is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

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.
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Old Posted Today, 4:16 AM
Otis Criblecoblis's Avatar
Otis Criblecoblis Otis Criblecoblis is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Just to add a bit to HossC's masterful decoding of that poster, the venue was the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium, from what I can decipher.

Oh, and to bring this back to things noir, the film Fallen Angel, a noir starring Dana Andrews, Alice Faye and Linda Darnell, features a di Ghilini-type character, played by John Carradine, who conducts a "spirit seance" much as HossC describes.

Last edited by Otis Criblecoblis; Today at 4:27 AM. Reason: the opportunity plus I messed up the film title
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