Fort Lee, NJ: Fox Film, 1916. Vintage bifold program for Los Angeles' Clune's Theatres' two day 1916 engagement of the 1916 silent film starring Theda Bara, now lost, with a striking four color exterior and interior composite of five black and white studio still images.
Clune's Theatre opened in 1909 and was located in Los Angeles at 107 W. 5th and 453 S. Main streets, seating 1000. The date of the theatre's demolition (to make way for the Rosslyn Hotel) is unclear, with some sources saying as early as 1915, others 1917. As this program features a 1916 film, the latter is apparently correct, making "Romeo and Juliet" one of its' last features.
In 1916 film studios were celebrating the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, and both Fox Film and Metro Pictures had each been vying to release their version of "Romeo and Juliet". Metro Picture's version, directed by John W. Noble and Francis X. Bushman, and starring Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Baye, was released just three days prior to the Fox Film version. Bushman would later claim when he saw Fox's version he was startled to see intertitles from his version used in the Fox version and that William Fox had spies working at Metro steal them.
Theda Bara, who played Juliet, was a popular silent film star whose femme fatale roles earned her the nickname "The Vamp" and made more than 40 films between 1914 and 1926, most of which were lost in the 1937 Fox vault fire. Director James Gordon Edwards was Fox Film's premiere director and would direct all of Fox Film's big budget spectacles, including all of Theda Bara's films between 1916 and 1919. All of Edward's films, barring a few low quality prints, were also lost in the tragic Fox vault fire.
Shot on location in Brighton Beach, New York.
5.5 x 8 inches. Bifold, Very Good plus, with a horizontal and a vertical crease and two small holes on upper spine.