Of all the nightclubs made famous in the Roaring Twenties, none were quite so famous as Harlem’s Cotton Club. Frequented by many celebrities, the club was a whites-only establishment even though it featured many of the most popular black entertainers of the day including Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.
So leave it to The New Yorker, and specifically its nightlife correspondent, Lois Long, to take a blasé view of the famed hot spot. Perhaps she was just tired, having already visited three other nightclubs that evening–the Montmartre, the Yacht Club, and Connie’s Inn–before seeking out the Cotton Club:
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“The Talk of the Town” noted the passing of rodeo star and sharp-shooter Annie Oakley. Next time you get a free ticket with a hole punched in it, you’ll know what to call it:
If nightclubs weren’t your thing, there were plenty of movie theatres screening the latest offerings from Tinseltown. The opening pages of the magazine featured this advertisement for the new 3,664-seat Paramount Theatre, located at 43rd Street and Broadway in the Times Square.
It’s a reminder that Paramount, a venerable old Hollywood studio (which these days is owned by Viacom) had its origins in New York as the Famous Players-Lasky Corporation. Founded in 1916, Famous Players-Lasky was primarily located at the Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens (after 1920). It would eventually become Paramount Pictures and relocate to Hollywood in 1932.
The Paramount Theatre was closed in 1964. Sadly, the interior was gutted and converted to office and retail use. Here are a couple of interior shots of the theatre’s Grand Hall as it appeared following its opening:
The theatre’s huge pipe organ, one of the largest and most admired theatre organs ever built by the Wurlitzer company, was removed and later installed in a convention hall in Wichita, Kansas.
Paramount would open theatres around the country (in the chain of Publix Theatres), and a number of them survive today. The original Paramount Building in New York is still there, but all that’s left of the theatre is the marquee.
The marquee in 1927:
Next Time: The Sporting Life…