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Earl Carroll Theater History and Photographs

     ** Click Here To View Photos **

EARL CARROLL THEATER

One of New York's most popular shows was Earl Carroll's 'Vanities' revue. The production, which ran from 1923 to 1936 was, in actuality, a refined burlesque show and was continuously raided by the police. Closing and reopening began to take its financial toll. with his fortune ebbing because of high court and production costs, Earl Carroll left New York.

After arriving in Hollywood in 1956 and finding sufficient financial backing, he opened the Earl Carroll Theater at Sunset Boulevard and Argyle Street on December 26, 1938. Opening nightwas one of the most dazzling events Hollywood had ever seen. Countless celebrities and professional leaders attended the colorful premiere, while hundreds of spectators stood outside the theater to watch their favorite stars drive up to the entrance.

The star-studded pageant included such personalities as Marlene Dietrich, Delores Del Rio, Richard Bartholemew, Tyrone Power, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Edgar Bergin, Robert Taylor, Errol Flynn, Franchot Tone, Claudette Colbert, and many others. The production, which emphasized the beauty of the partially-clad female form, boasted of a cast of 60 showgirls. Carroll, who meticulously selected each of the cast members, adopted the slogan ‘through these doors pass the most beautiful girls in the world'. This motto later became inscribed in neon lights on the outside of the theater. The show, headed by Beryl Wallace, be- came an immediate success and later developed such personalities as Yvonne DeCarlo, Jean Wallace, Sheree North, Lucille Ball and  Marie MacDonald. Carroll's colossal theater, which could accommodate  1,160 customers, was lit by 10,000 neon tubes which were suspended from a patent-leather ceiling. with an elevated revolving stage, there was not a bad seat in the house. For $2.50, and ‘later $3.50, the customer received a tine dinner, danced, and witnessed one of the most spectacular and lavish revues in show business history.

Slightly less than a decade after it was started, the production came  to a tragic end when Earl Carroll and Beryl Wallace were killed in an  airplane accident in Pennsylvania on June l7, 1948.

The theater was sold following the 1948 deaths of Earl Carroll and Beryl Wallace.The theater continued to operate, but in the 1950s fell on hard times. Beginning in 1953, for a while it operated as a under the name, the 'Moulin Rouge' by Las Vegas showman Frank Sennes. During part of its run (1956–1964), the popular TV game show Queen for a Day was broadcast from this venue.[1]  After changing hands it eventually became the 'Hullabaloo' Rock and Roll club, capitalizing on the popularity of the television variety show Hullabaloo. It then became the 'Aquarius Theater' in the late 1960s and was used as a venue for the long running musical Hair and made famous as the place where The Doors performed on July 21, 1969

PHOTOGRAPHS

The largest collection of Earl Carroll Theater photographs is hollywoodphotographs.com.  There are over 6000 photos of historic Hollywood and scores of images of the Earl Carroll Theater and it's performers. All photographs are available for purchase. Simply go to hollywoodphotographs.com and view all the great photographs

 

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