DINNER FOR EIGHT (Promotional short - 1934)

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Richard P. May
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

DINNER FOR EIGHT (Promotional short - 1934)

Unread post by Richard P. May » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:33 pm

The Huntington Library in San Marino CA has received a National Film Preservation Foundation grant to preserve this 1934 Technicolor short, made for Southern California Edison.

The work has been completed, and the people at the Huntington are asking if anyone has any knowledge of the origins of this 10 minute subject. No copyright information has been found.

What we do know (from the credits), it was produced by Rodney Gilliam.
Cinematographer: Ray Rennahan,
Color Director: Natalie Kalmus (who else?),
Narrator: Gayne Whitman (over 200 citations on IMDB).

The Huntington received the 3-strip negatives along with a large film donation from Southern Californa Edison. The subject is Mrs. Mortimer Jones making dinner in her all-electric kitchen.

If anyone out there has any knowledge of this obviously promotional short, including if it was ever exhibited commercially, we'd appreciate your input.
Dick May

Jim Gettys
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Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Canadian Riviera

Unread post by Jim Gettys » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:46 pm

This earliest-known (to me, anyway) 3-strip TC short was shown at the Paramount Theater in LA starting May 3, 1934. It was on a bill with Ted Lewis (live) and Double Door (1934), starring Evelyn Venable and Mary Morris. It was called Mrs. Mortimer Jones Prepares Dinner for Eight and was described as "an oustanding novelty film" and "an amusing expose of what goes on in the modern kitchen while the master is away." (See LA Times, 2 May 1934, p10.)

There are other references in the LAT for 18 Oct 1934 (A5) and 23 Oct 1934 (A7).

--- Jim Gettys

Richard P. May
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:12 am
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Unread post by Richard P. May » Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:24 am

Jim,
Thanks for this quick reply. I thought this might be a fruitless search, but it's obvious that there is always somebody that knows where to look.
According to my Technicolor list, there were a few other subjects categorized as "Adv." earlier than DINNER FOR EIGHT:

Photographed in 1933-
Congoleum Playlets No. 1-6 488 ft.
G. Washington Coffee Playlets No. 1-3 345 ft.

Photographed in 1934-
Robinson's Fashions 2148 ft. (probably for Robinson's Dept. Store in L.A.)
Dinner for Eight 970 ft.

There were a few more in 1935 and 1936.

Also, I neglected to give credit for the restoration lab work to Film Technology Co. in Los Angeles. (Disclosure- I work there)
Dick May

Jim Gettys
Posts: 184
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: Canadian Riviera

Unread post by Jim Gettys » Thu Aug 20, 2009 12:31 pm

Were the earlier shorts all 3-strip?

--- Jim Gettys

ebaillargeon82
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Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:32 pm

Re:

Unread post by ebaillargeon82 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:11 pm

Jim Gettys wrote:Were the earlier shorts all 3-strip?

--- Jim Gettys
No. "Dinner for Eight" was the earliest 3-strip short (unless you count "World's Fair", but that film was made for the Plymouth Motor Corporation for private use. It was only publicly released after it was received favorably by audiences in New York and other large cities). "Dinner for Eight" was actually made for the Chicago World's Fair as an advertisement for the modern electric kitchen.

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