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Critical Moments

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United Artists were very smart in their handling of “The House of Rothschild,” the smash picture hit that ran as a “two-a-day” feature at the Astor for nearly four months. After exhausting its possibilities as a special program picture, the company instead of immediately booking it into one of the regular Broadway houses, withheld the film from a popular price run for a month and only now announce that starting next Wednesday, July 18, the film in which George Arliss scored a triumph will reopen the Rivoli Theatre which has been closed for some weeks. It will play that house at the usual prices for a few weeks and then move out into the neighborhood circuit.


Another United Artist picture for which great things are promised is “Nell Gwyn,” the British and Dominions production which Herbert Wilcox, its director, recently brought to America. Although it is not scheduled to open until some time in September a special invitation performance was given at the Astor Theatre last Tuesday night to an audience consisting of “prominent” people. A “prominent” person in the eyes of a picture company press department is anyone who can write his name.

As the title indicates “Nell Gwyn” is an historical period picture which depicts with some regard for the facts, the relationship of King Charles II of England and his lady friend Nell Gwyn, the actress. Most of the film is based on incidents culled from Samuel Pepy’s classic diary.


Moving picture companies seem to have discovered all at once that the novels of Somerset Maugham can be made into films. RKO only recently did the Englishman’s “Of Human Bondage” and now Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announces that Great Garbo’s next picture will be the same gent’s “The Painted Veil.” Herbert Marshall will play the male lead and Richard Boleslavsky who is a writer in his own right and, by the grace of Grace Woodward, will be the director.


The American Children’s Theatre, the first of its kind in America, has finally found a permanent home. Recently a long term lease was taken on the old Cosmopolitan Theatre in Columbus Circle and in that house a cast of adult professional players have assembled to commence work. The first offering, which is set for October 1, will be “The Chinese Nightingale” based on a story Ly Hans Christian Andersen. Five other plays are on the schedule and in addition there will be Sunday concerts, vaudeville and pictures, the last mentioned will be selected by a committee of parents, teachers and educators. Prices will range from twenty-five cents upwards to one dollar.

Among the sponsors of the American Children’s Theatre movement are Mayor LaGuardia, Aldermanic President Bernard S. Deutsch, Dr. Albert Einstein, Dr. Elias Lieberman, Mrs. Sam A. Lewisohn, Mrs. Herbert R. Limburg, and Mrs. Siegfried Wachsmann.


Miss Katherine Cornell’s tour of the cities of America was so successful that it has given road companies a new hope and a feeling that the people of the United States will still pay good money to see good shows. “Ziegfeld Follies” with a cast of 150 persons including Fannie Brice, Willie and Eugene Howard, June and Cherry

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