Friday, September 15, 2023

Old Hollywood Glamour at the Star Studded Premiere of... "All This and Heaven Too


Tom Lyle Williams, Jane Allen, Emery Shaver, Annette Williams, Arnold Anderson, 1940 at the Villa Valentino.

Wednesday June 13, 1940

Excerpt from Jane Allen's diary while visiting her uncle at the Villa Valentino. 

This has been one grand day. Annette and I were up at a quarter of ten for an appointment at the hair dressers.

Emery picked us up in time for breakfast at one. At 4:14 we went to Max Factors for make-up. Glamour girls no less.

The big affair of attending the world premier of “All This and Heaven Too,” started about eight o'clock

when a limousine picked up Annette, Arnold, Emery, Tom Lyle and me, and drove over to get Emery's friend, Lona Woolsey.

The whole party were certainly dressed up, all the boys in tuxedos and the girls in formals.

The premiere was at Carthay Circle. The crowds simply jammed the streets as we arrived. The police, both on foot and mounted, were trying to hold the people back, but each person was trying to get a glimpse of the Stars.

The limousine stopped to let us out amid hundreds of lights and lots of cameramen. An announcer with a microphone was in front to announce the different stars as they arrive. They stared at us too, but we fooled them. We were just ordinary people. The long pass way from the front to the entrance of the theater seemed miles, with thousands of people staring, hoping each would be a Star. The walkway was lined with large gorgeous bouquets of flowers. These I didn't see as I walked in because I was so excited and nervous. 

After we were inside the theater, we stood around to see as many stars as possible. We saw Jimmy Stewart with Olivia de Haviland,

Jeffry Lynn,

Andrea Leeds,

Ann Miller,

Preston Foster,

Stewart Erwin,

and Don Ameche.

After walking around for a while we went into the Theater. Carthay Circle Theater is not very large but very beautiful. Furnished without consideration for cost. Carpet was beautiful red velvet and gold curtains.

At intermission we were in the lobby again.

 Edgar Bergen,

Charles Boyer,

and more that I just can't remember now. The picture was very good. Was over about Twelve midnight. We had our long walk from the entrance to the driveway again, with lots of spectators looking for stars.

On our way out, we saw Gene Lockhart, 

Elsa Maxwell

and Hedda Hopper.

The announcer gave us a thrill calling Mr. TL Williams' car waiting. We were just like the big shots.

From Carthay Circle we drove to Ciros, the swankiest nightclub in Hollywood. Certainly couldn't have gotten into the place without reservations, as the club was jammed. Ciros is a beautiful place, very modern and very colorful.

Just as we entered we saw Robert Taylor,

Barbara Stanwick,

Jack Benny, Mary Livingston,

Edward Arnold and his wife,

Andrea Leeds and her husband,

Bette Davis and her party sat right next to our table. In fact her chair was bumped right up next to my chair.

Constance Bennett and her party was a table on the other side next to our table.

William Powell and his wife Diana Lewis, had a table behind us.

Across the way was Norma Shearer and her party.

Also saw Geraldine Fitzgerald,

George Jessel with his sixteen year old bride, Lois Andrew,

and Louise Fazenda.

 Most of the stars we saw at the Premiere were also at Circos. Never in my life have I ever seen, heard of or expected to attend such a gala affair It was the height of formality and considered the social occasion of the season in Hollywood. After several drinks, frosted daiquiris, we had something to eat and got home about 3:30 am. Believe our party was the last to leave Ciros. Don't think I ever enjoyed any activity so much in my life. The memory will be something to go over again and again.

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