Monday, May 2, 2022

"The Greatest Attraction of the Year..."

In 1925, Norma Niblock was hired to tour upstate New York in a promotion of the film, "Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties." The short run tour was organized as fashion shows with a sort of vaudeville flare which would take place before the showing of the film before a full feature movie. 

Two years after her win in New York City, Norma was still a household name and would headline the show. The fact was the tour was produced to promote the new Crystal Beach Park Ballroom on Lake Erie. The owners of the new ballroom were eager to launch their own tradition of beauty pageantry and what better way than to associate with Valentino and his 88 beauties.  

 https://www.waybacktimes.com/history/remembering-crystal-beach-park/

While the tour fell apart within a few weeks, the ballroom survived the years. I wonder if anyone visiting the ballroom knew of its connection to Rudolph Valentino. 

This ad (see below) announces the showing which took place in Dunkirk, New York at The Safe Store. 



6 comments:

  1. How fascinating! Even two years after the Madison Square Garden event, its popularity and that of Norma - not to mention Valentino! - could be used to promote a ballroom opening and department store fashion shows. Was this still associated with Mineralava or was it entirely under the auspices of the 88 Beauties producers?

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    1. There was no affiliation with Mineralava and the shows were sponsored by the national and local distributors of the film. I cover it in more detail in the book but I found it an intriguing chapter in the saga.

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    2. There was never a time in her life or a day when Norma was not working hard. She had a tremendous drive and conviction for everything she did. So apparent.

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  2. What really stands out to me in Ms. Zumaya's book is that Norm never let anything get her down too long. Until the final days of her life, Norma would pick herself up after a distressing event or a tragedy and do her best to move on. From the time Norma was a young girl to the end, she possessed strength of character, moxie, and determination. I admire this woman completely.

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    1. I do too. And she was always innovating. No matter what she was doing she brought an element of creativity to it.

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  3. I have never seen this ad before. Thanks for posting!

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