Saturday, March 25, 2006

More 'State Fair' with Great Uncle Leo

Another one of Leo Satterlee's photos from the "State Fair" premiere party he crashed in the summer of 1945, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines (itself a Lost Cinema location--the spot was once home to the Airdome, an open-air "walk-in" theater, from 1909 to 1913). Once again, he's showing off his crops to a Hollywood star. "I had no idea who she was", said Leo, and it is difficult to tell exactly who this is. She resembles the lead actress, Jeanne Crain, but Crain was not in town for the premiere, and this certainly doesn't appear to be blonde Carole Landis, child star Peggy Ann Garner (seen in my trailer, getting off from an amusement ride on Grand), nor cave-woman Jo-Carroll Dennison. If any readers can clue me in, please do!

Also not at the show, ironically, was "State Fair" actress Fay Bainter, who was a regular lead over at Elbert and Getchell's legit operation, The Princess, from 1914 to 1916.

Premiere day was jammed with activity all day and night--the street carnival began at 10am; live radio coverage with Ted Malone began at 10:45 live from 6th and Grand; lunch with the stars and Governor Blue at the hotel at noon; star appearances at the Vets hospital at 2; Peggy Ann Garner entertaining kids at the Sister Kenny cottage at 2:30; a WAC style show at the Younkers Tearoom with Carole Landis; a parade on Locust at 6; "Miss Des Moines" chosen at 7; stars' appearance at 6th and Grand at 8, followed by the premiere itself at both the Des Moines and Paramount theaters, with onstage appearances in both locations.

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