Happy Halloween everyone!
While I was hoping very much to make a nice Nosferatu post for you all, sadly my schedule decided this was not to be. So I’ll simply save it for next year’s Halloween–because heck yes. (Besides, my head is so stuffed with German Expressionism right now that it’ll be tough to fit any more in.)
Instead, how about a fun collection of vintage Halloween-themed photos from old Hollywood?
Here’s some interesting tidbits about Halloween in the early 20th century: While Halloween–excuse me, Hallowe’en–costume parties and “balls” were popular with adults, for children Oct. 31st was more like National Vandal’s Day. Pranks ranging from the harmless (soaping shop windows) to destructive (throwing bricks through those shop windows) were common. Efforts were made as the years went by to calm down the holiday, and even the movie business put in a valiant effort by issuing free movie tickets to kids on Halloween night, hoping to keep them busy.
Handing out refreshments was a popular way to keep the youngsters occupied (there were already old customs of “begging” for treats in some places), and by the 1950s “trick-or-treating” was an integral part of Halloween. While some kids.still like to TP their teacher’s house the night has become more ubiquitous with candy and fun decorations than roving bands of tiny vandals.
Alright, without further ado:
If you went to the movies in the autumn of 1909 you may have considered seeing this one-reeler:
And you might’ve spent a few pennies to see this if you were a kid in 1910:
If you were lucky enough to live in Milwaukee, WI you could’ve gone to the Halloween celebration at the Alhambra theater accompanying the new Charles Ray picture, Peaceful Valley. Theaters used a variety of creative ways to promote their newest pictures back then, and the manager of the Alhambra went all out:
Including a festive stage show that ran before the picture!
In movie magazines it seemed to be more common to see pictures of actresses posing in Halloween costumes in the late ’20s (they’re always actresses). In early ’20s there seemed to be only a few, like this one of Mary Miles Minter:
And this cute one of Claire Windsor:
By the late ’20s actresses in adorable Halloween-themed photo shoots were all over the place. Here’s Joan Crawford:
And Ms. Clara and a giant pumpkin:
Here’s a spooky one of Alberta Vaughn:
Gwen Lee and Anita Page getting spooked:
And last but not least, here’s Clara one more time (she was a popular Halloween photo shoot subject) sitting on a pumpkin. Or rather, sitting on pumpkin.
A very merry Hallowe’en to you all, my friends, I hope you have a good time tonight! (But try not to soap any shop windows, please.)