2
Oct
2010

Robert E. Howard and the Movies

Posted by Rob Roehm in Research   

 

While we wait for Tales of Weird Menace and Steve Harrison’s Casebook to appear, I’ve been working on a side project for the researchers. Many have wondered about the movies Robert E. Howard may have seen, with King Kong receiving quite a bit of attention. So, besides Howard’s scant mentions of movies he saw, how does one determine whether he saw something or not?

In my mind, the most important factor is opportunity; it’s hard to see a film that is not showing in your area. And, while it is well documented that Howard traveled fairly far afield in his later years to see various movies—to Cisco, etc.—in his younger years he was no doubt limited to what was available in his hometown. I have not had the opportunity to peruse the Cross Plains Review for its movie listings (if they even had listings), but I recently had the opportunity to dig through the Brownwood Bulletin.

Most Howard fans know that Howard and his mother lived in Brownwood during the 1922-23 school year so that Howard could complete his schooling at Brownwood High School. They rented rooms at 316 Wilson Street, just down the road from the school, but also fairly close to the Lyric Theatre. No one knows how many movies Howard, with his new friends Truett Vinson and Clyde Smith, may have seen, but the following list presents all of the options available during Howard’s time in Brownwood.

At various times, there were several theaters operating in Brownwood: American, Gem, Queen, etc. There were also several auditoriums that occasional showed feature films (Big Tent, Howard Payne, etc.); however, these auditoriums generally featured vaudeville shows or other live-action entertainment. In the Brownwood Bulletin, listings for the Lyric were typically shown on the last page. I did not spend a lot of time searching through the papers looking for other listings; however, there are a few non-Lyric shows. These are indicated with @. Newspaper Archive, an online service, helped fill in some of the gaps in the list that follows.

As other years are added (Howard’s Howard Payne years are in the works), the list will be available in our “Scholar Tools” area. Movies are listed with actors in parenthesis. Movies shown on Saturday are noted with (Sat.); the theater was closed on Sunday.

1922

Regular Prices             Special Events
Main Floor 30¢               40¢
Balcony      20¢                25¢
Children     10¢                10¢

(School started on September 11, 1922; graduation ceremonies were held on Friday, May 18, 1923.)

Sept 1 – Bob Hampton of Placer (James Kirkwood)
Sept 2 (Sat.) – Across the Continent (Wallace Reid)
Sept 4-5 – Bought and Paid For (Agnes Ayres)
Sept 7-8 – Fool’s Paradise (Dorothy Dalton)
Sept 9 (Sat.) – Our Leading Citizen (Thos. Meighan)
     with A Studio Rube (Al St. John)
Sept 11 – At the End of the World (Betty Compson)
Sept 12 – Watch Your Step (Cullen Landis)
Sept 14-15 – Love’s Redemption (Norma Talmadge & Harrison Ford)
Sept 16 (Sat.) – Yellow Men and Gold (Helene Chafwick & Richard Dix)
     with Home Made Movies (Ben Turpin)
Sept 18 – The Man Unconquerable (Jack Holt)
Sept 19 – Hush Money (Alice Brady)
Sept 21-22 – Beyond the Rocks (Gloria Swanson & Rudolph Valentino)
     with Love’s Boomerang (Ann Forrest)
Sept 23 (Sat.) – Travelin’ On (William S. Hart)
     with Treasure Bound (Lige Conley)
Sept 25 – North of the Rio Grande (Jack Holt & Bebe Daniels)
Sept 26 – A Poor Relation (Will Rogers)
Sept 28-29 – In the Name of the Law
Sept 30 (Sat.) – The Kick Back (Harry Carey)
     with The Frozen North (Buster Keaton)
Oct 2-3 – Forever (Wallace Reid)
Oct 5-6 – The Lotus Eater (John Barrymore)
Oct 7 (Sat.) – R.S.V.P. (Charles Ray)
     with Ma and Pa (Mack Sennett)
Oct 9 – Back Pay (Seena Owen)
     with “Rollin Comedy and Select News”
Oct 10 – Beyond (Ethel Clayton)
     with Torchy Steps Out (“A Torchy Comedy”)
Oct 11-13 – Orphans of the Storm (Lillian Gish)
Oct 14 (Sat.) – The Primitive Lover (Constance Talmadge)
     with Bucking Broadway (“Christi Comedy”)
Oct 16-17 – Nice People (Wallace & Reid)
Oct 18 – Enchantment (Marion Davis)
Oct 19-20 – Is Matrimony a Failure? (Troy Barnes)
Oct 21 (Sat.) – Over the Border (Betty Compson)
     with Golf (Larry Semon)
Oct 23 – The Crimson Challenge (Dorothy Dalton)
     with “Rollin Comedy and Select News”
Oct 24 – The Glorious Fool (Helene Chadwick)
Oct 26-27 – Her Husband’s Trademark (Gloria Swanson)
Oct 28 (Sat.) – Man from Hell’s River (“Rin-Tin, the Dog Hero”)
     with The Son of a Sheik
Oct 30-31 – If You Believe It, It’s So (Thomas Meighan)
Nov 1 – The Lane That Had No Turning (Agnes Ayres)
Nov 2-3 – Blood and Sand (Rudolph Valentino)
Nov 3-4 @ American Theatre – In the Days of Buffalo Bill (Art Acord)
Nov 4 (Sat.) – The Woman Who Walked Alone (Dorothy Dalton)
     with The Steeple (“a dandy Mermaid Comedy”)
Nov 6 – Golden Dreams (Claire Adams)
Nov 7 – The Man with Two Mothers (Mary Alden)
Nov 8 – Exit the Vamp (Ethel Clayton)
Nov 9-10 – My Boy (Jackie Coogan)
Nov 11 (Sat.) – My Old Kentucky Home
     with The Electric House (Buster Keaton)
Nov 13-14 – Just Around the Corner
     with “Rollin Comedy and News”
Nov 15 – The Ace of Hearts (Lon Chaney)
     with Circus Day (Christie Comedy)
Nov 16-18 (Sat.) – Remembrance (Rupert Hughes)
     with Aesop’s Fables and College Stuff (“A Sport Review”)
Nov 20 – My Dad (Johnie Walker)
     with Blazes (Mermaid Comedy)
Nov 21 – The Hands of Nara (Clara Kimball Young)
     with “Rollin Comedy and Select News”
Nov 22 – Come On Over (Colleen Moore)
     with Pardon My Glove (Christie Comedy)
Nov 23-24 – Tol’able David (Richard Barthelmess)
Nov 25 (Sat) – The Siren Call (Dorothy Dalton) and The Agent (Larry Semon)
Nov 27 – Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
Nov 28 – Find the Woman (Alma Rubens)
Nov 30-Dec. 1 – The Old Homestead (Theodore Roberts)
Dec 2 (Sat) – The $5 Baby (Viola Dana)
     with “A Christie Comedy”
Dec 4 – The Bonded Woman (Betty Compson)
     with “Rollin Comedy and Select News”
Dec 5 – Mr. Barnes of New York (Tom Moore)
     with A Clever Catch (Dan Mason, “A Plum Center Comedy”)
Dec 6 – “Complete motion pictures of the Texas vs. A&M Thanksgiving Day Football clash.” (also shown Dec 7)
     with The Beauty Shop (Raymond Hitchcock)
Dec 7-8 – The Valley of Silent Men (Alma Rubens)
Dec 9 (Sat.) – Pink Gods (Bebe Daniels)
     with The Speeder (Lloyd “Ham” Hamilton)
Dec 11-12 – Her Gilded Cage (Gloria Swanson)
     with The Chased Bride (Christie Comedy)
Dec 13 – Beauty’s Worth (Marion Davies)
     with “Pathe Comedy and Topics of the Day”
Dec 14-15 – Manslaughter (Thomas Meighan)
Dec 16 (Sat.) – The Midnight Bell (Charles Ray)
     with Bow Wow (Mack Sennett)
Dec 18 – Boderland (Agnes Ayres)
     with The Skipper’s Scheme (Toonerville Comedy)
Dec 19 – The Invisible Fear (Anita Stewart)
     with The Chicken Parade (Jimmy Aubrey)
Dec 20 – The Man from Home (James Kirkwood)
     with “Rollin Comedy and Topics of the Day”
Dec 21-22 – Broadway Rose (Mae Murray)
Dec 23 (Sat.) – The Dictator (Wallace Reed)
     with Look Out Below (Mermaid Comedy)
Dec 25-26 – The Prisoner of Zenda
Dec 27 – The Green Temptation (Betty Compson)
     with Entertaining the Boss (Carter De Haven)
Dec 28-29 – Grandma’s Boy (Harold Lloyd)
     with Man Vs. Beast (“Educational Special”)
Dec 30 (Sat) – The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (Thomas Meighan)
     with High Power (Mermaid Comedy)

1923

Jan 1-2 – The Storm (Louse Peters)
Jan 3 – After the Show (Jack Holt)
Jan 4-5 – What’s Wrong With the Woman
     with Christie Comedy and Aesop’s Fables
Jan 6 (Sat.) – June Madness (Viola Dana)
     with The Counter Jumper (Larry Semon)
Jan 8 – The Night Rose (Lon Chaney)
     with Meeting Trains (Toonerville Comedy)
Jan 9 – Beating the Game (Tom Moore)
Jan 10 – The Ordeal (Agnes Ayres)
     with The White Blacksmith (Pathe Comedy)
Jan 11-12 – The Sin Flood (Helene Chadwick)
     with The Enchanted City (“Educational Special”)
Jan 13 (Sat.) – The Ghost Breaker (Wallace Reed)
Jan 15 – The Face in the Fog (Seena Owen)
Jan 16 – Big Legion Minstrel (live show?)
Jan 17 – The Cradle Buster (Glenn Hunter)
     with Young Sherlocks (“Our Gang” Comedy)
Jan 18-19 – Shadows (Lon Chaney)
Jan 20 (Sat.) – While Satan Sleeps (Jack Holt)
Jan 22-23 – The Kentucky Derby (Reginald Denny)
     with In Dutch (Christie Comedy)
Jan 24 – The Marriage Chance (Alta Allen)
Jan 25-26 – Quincy Adams Sawyer (Blanche Sweet & Lon Chaney)
Jan 27 – On the High Seas (Dorothy Dalton)
     with Casey Jones, Jr. (Mermaid Comedy)
Jan 29-30 – Rich Men’s Wives (House Peters)
     with A Tough Winter (Snub Pollard)
Jan 31 – The Young Diana (Marion Davies)
Feb 1-2 – The Young Rajah (Rudolph Valentino)
Feb 3 (Sat.) – Timothy’s Quest
     with Day Dreams (Buster Keaton)
Feb 5-6 – The Impossible Mrs. Bellew (Gloria Swanson)
     with “Our Gang” Comedy
Feb 7 – Pilgrims of the Night (Lewis S. Stone)
Feb 8-9 – Clarence (Wallace Reid)
     with The New Leather Pushers (Reginald Denny)
Feb 10 (Sat.) – Love in the Dark (Viola Dane)
     with When Summer Comes (Mack Sennett)
Feb 12-13 – Slim Shoulders (Irene Castle)
Feb 14 – The Top of New York (May McAvoy)
     with Hazel from Hollywood (Christie Comedy)
Feb 15-16 – To Have and to Hold (Betty Compson)
     with It Thrills from Start to Finish (Bert Lytell)
Feb 17 (Sat.) – Back Home and Broke (Thomas Meighan)
     with The Educator (Lloyd “Ham” Hamilton)
Feb 19-20 – Ebb Tide (Lile Lee)
Feb 21 – Enter Madame (Clara Kimball Young)
Feb. 22-23 – When Knighthood Was in Flower (Marion Davies)
Feb 24 (Sat.) – Singed Wings (Bebe Daniels)
Feb 26-27 – The Pride of Palomar (Marjorie Daw)
     with A Quiet Street (“Our Gang” Comedy)
Feb 28 – The Cowboy and the Lady (Mary Miles Minter)
March 1 – Take it from Me (“Bewitching Beauties from Broadway”)
March 2-3 (Sat.) – Jazzmania (Mae Murray)
March 5-6 – Under Two Flags (Priscilla Dean)
March 7 – The Lovers of Pharaoh
March 8-9 – The Flirt
March 10 (Sat.) – Making a Man (Jack Holt)
     with No Wedding Bells (Larry Semon)
March 12-13 – Human Hearts (House Peters)
March 14 – Above All Law
March 15-16 – Broken Chains (Colleen Moore)
     with Fresh Fish (Allen Herd Comedy) and Aesop’s Fables
March 17 (Sat.) – Rags to Riches (Wesley Barry)
March 19-20 – Burning Sands (Wanda Hawley)
March 21 – Alice Ascends (Alice Bawdy)
March 22-23 –Kick In (Betty Compson)
     with The Message of Emile Coue
March 24 (Sat.) – All the Brothers Were Valiant (Lon Chaney)
     with The Balloonatic (Buster Keaton)
March 26-27 – Sherlock Holmes (John Barrymore)
March 28 – The Outcast (Elsie Ferguson)
March 29-30 – Peg ‘o my Heart (Laurette Taylor)
March 31 – Crinoline and Romance (Viola Dana)
April 2-3 – The World’s Applause (Bebe Daniels)
April 4 – A Daughter of Luxury (Agnes Ayres)
April 5-6 – The Third Alarm (Ralph Lewis)
April 7 – Thirty Days (Wallace Reid)
April 9-10 – The Flame of Life (Priscilla Dean)
April 11 – David J. Bolduc and his Clown Band and Saxophone Orchestra
     with Missing Millions (Alice Brady)
April 12-13 – My American Wife (Gloria Swanson)
April 14 (Sat.) – Racing Hearts (Agnes Ayres)
     with Cold Chills (Mermaid Comedy)
April 16-17 – The Strangers’ Banquet (Clair Windsor)
April 18 – Dark Secrets (Gloria Swanson)
April 19-20 – The Man Who Played God (George Arliss)
April 21 (Sat.) – Nobody’s Money (Jack Holt)
     with The Barnyard (Larry Semon)
April 23-24 – Thelma (Jane Novak)
April 25 – The Forgotten Law (Milton Sills)
     with Hurry Up (Cameo Comedy)
April 26-27 – The Christian
April 28 (Sat.) – The White Flower (Betty Compson)
April 30-May 1 – Thorns and Orange Blossoms (Kenneth Harlan)
May 2 – Drums of Fate (Mary Miles Minter)
May 3-4 – Adam’s Rib (Milton Sills)
May 5 (Sat.) – The Super-Sex
     with The Love Nest (Buster Keaton)
May 7-8 – The Ne’er-Do-Well (Thomas Meighan)
May 9 – Hungry Hearts (Bryant Washburn)
May 10-11 – Heart’s Aflame (Anna Q. Nilsson)
May 12 (Sat.) – Hurricane’s Gal (Dorothy Phillips)
May 14-15 – Java Head (Leatrice Joy)
     with The Speed Demon (George Fawcett)
May 16 – The Darling of the Rich (Betty Blythe)
May 17-18 – Balla Donna (Pola Negri)
May 19 (Sat.) – A Noise in Newboro (Viola Dana)
May 21-22 – Brothers Under the Skin (Helene Chadwick)
May 23 – The Leopardess (Alice Brady)
May 24-25 – Grumpy (Theodore Roberts)
May 26 (Sat.) – Captain Fly-by-Night (Johnnie Walker)
     with The Midnight Cabaret (Larry Semon)
May 28-29 – A Blind Bargain (Lon Chaney)
May 30 – The Deuce of Spades (Charles Ray)
May 31-June 1 – Prodigal Daughters (Gloria Swanson)
June 2 (Sat.) – The Go-Getter (Seena Owen)


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