Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mae West: Chickadee in Lakeland

Central Florida welcomes MAE WEST this month for one entire laugh-loaded weekend.
• • Gently priced tickets will be sold at the Polk box office for fans of "My Little Chickadee," starring Mae West and W.C. Fields.
• • This screen comedy was first released in the USA on 15 March 1940.
• • What the heck is a little chickadee anyway? The Black-capped Chickadee is a small, common songbird — — a passerine bird in the tit family. ["Tit" family, eh? Sounds like a big family.]
• • The Polk Theatre was built in 1928, one year before the great Wall Street fizzle. A temporary construction sizzler in central Florida had ended, however, the local businessmen forged ahead in great faith when they built a showy vaudeville — movie palace in Lakeland, which opened during December 1928. That year, the population hovered at merely 15,000 individuals and it was still very much a rural community dotted with citrus groves and farmhouses.
• • An Italian immigrant was hired to be the architect. Not unnaturally, J.E. Casale recreated a Mediterranean village in the heart of an orange growers Eden. Flanked by Italianate walls glorified with cunning niches and expensive sconces along with fake windows and balconies, it was a wondrous interior. Ticket-holders could behold a grand mezzanine lobby featuring cunningly twisted columns, fastidious moldings, delicate cornices, and brass banded terrazzo flooring as they ascended ornately tiled staircases.
• • The theatre's web site boasts: "The two most impressive technological features of the Polk were the theatre’s 100 ton air wash system to chill the air, and its Vitaphone sound on reel film system. The air conditioning system was such a drain on the city’s power supply that during its early years of operation it caused lights to dim all across town when turned on. ..."
• • Surrounded by this Jazz Era atmosphere, you will enjoy this rollicking motion picture classic as it was meant to be seen.
• • WHEN: on July 24th — 25th at 7:30 p.m.; on July 26th at 2 p.m.
• • WHERE: Polk Theatre: 139 South Florida Avenue, Lakeland, Florida 33801 — — T. 863-682-7553.

• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1940 with actress Anne Nagel • •
• • Feed — —
Mae West.

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