Pearl Theatre Company and the LES Handprints of Fame

St. Mark’s Place (aka, 8th Street between 3rd Avenue and Avenue A) has some of the most interesting places in the Lower East Side.  I really enjoy it down there.

Recently, I was walking past a place I’ve seen a number of times, Pearl Theatre, and looked down and saw that they’ve got a sort of Mann’s Chinese Theater handprints and footprints thing going on.

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Below are Dom DeLuise and Joan Crawford.  Now, that’s a strange twosome.

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Next are Hildegard(?) and Myrna Loy.

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Next are Gloria Swanson and Lillian Roth.

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The next hold the prints for Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell.

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Next, Kitty Carlisle Hart (who recently died and was a NYC theater/opera/philanthropic legend).

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Next Allan Jones (an actor and the father of singer Jack Jones).

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I just can’t read the next one.

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There are two names on the next, but the only one I can read, sort of, is “Wimi Shawn” or “Shaw” or “Shaun”.  It almost certainly is not “William Shawn” as he was the famed editor of the New Yorker and it is hard to believe he’d put his handprints alongside people he may have covered.  It could be “Wallace Shawn” (son of William Shawn) as he has some association with the Pearl Theatre, but it sure looks like there’s an “i” or two in the name.

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Of course, it is likely there’s only one name (the Shaw/Shawn/Shaun one) and a mysterious message.  Well, what’s life without some mystery?  (EDITED TO ADD:  thanks to reader “Brian”, it appears to be Winifred “Wini” Shaw.)

Under any circumstances, they haven’t taken great care with these names and prints. Too bad.

-H

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Explore posts in the same categories: Celebrity Points, LES, Wanderings

13 Comments on “Pearl Theatre Company and the LES Handprints of Fame”

  1. Brian Says:

    Winifred “Wini” Shaw

  2. Robbie Says:

    I’ve got a photo of Wini Shaw the day she placed her handprint into this cement! Wini was a wonderful singer.

  3. Famous Ankles Says:

    Robbie,

    If you wish, send me an electronic copy to famousankles at gmail dot com (don’t put a space between famous and ankles, though) and I’ll attach it to the post.

    -H

  4. Winston Says:

    Hildegarde: 1906-2005

    Blond, and known by only her first name,she was a celebrated cabaret singer and supper-club artist.
    Columnist Walter Winchell gave her the title, “The Incomparable Hildegarde,” by which she was known for 70 years.

  5. Winston Says:

    A bit of background on the Ruby Keeler / Joan Blondell footprints, which I’ve just learned from reading the bio, “Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes” (by Matthew Kennedy).

    Blondell had opened 27 September 1971 in the initial staging(off-Broadway)of “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds.”

    In this same period, Blondell’s old friend from their Warner Bros. days together, Ruby Keeler, was riding the nostalgia wave starring in the Broadway revival of “No, No, Nanette.” The pair of veteran actresses were brought together at St, Mark’s Place to add their autographs and footprints to the cement on 19 October 1971.
    Blondell said later that the event triggered a nostalgic memory of 10 February 1937, when she and then-husband Dick Powell had placed their footprints together in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in the era when she, Powell and Keeler were bright young stars at WB, starring in musicals together.

  6. Chris Fields Says:

    Alexis Smith is one of the names in the 7th frame and I believe another in that square is Rosemary Murphy.

    I love this landmark. It used to be a movie theater that ran old classics in double features.

    • Camille Says:

      Oscar: I hadn’t noticed the dual auorths. It is the sort of concept that requires the efforts of two dedicated minds.MrIndie Day: “I don’t know if this is supposed to induce arousal or vomit.” I think a subtle combination of the two is the correct response.Matthew: They should commission you to write cover blurbs for all of theuir books in the form of lewd limericks. And the thing is, I don’t know that it would actually make them any weirder.Tulkinghorn: It’s surprising how stylish and normal some of those covers made Keeler’s work look. Quite what his publishers made of him I do not know.Stuart: Just iamgine what a classy job they would have made of a book with a title like ‘The Nigger Factory’.

  7. Dcspowell Says:

    I just found this entry last night. I am running over today to St. Marks Place today to see it. I am so excited.

  8. Silvio Says:

    Oscar: I hadn’t noticed the dual arothus. It is the sort of concept that requires the efforts of two dedicated minds.MrIndie Day: “I don’t know if this is supposed to induce arousal or vomit.” I think a subtle combination of the two is the correct response.Matthew: They should commission you to write cover blurbs for all of theuir books in the form of lewd limericks. And the thing is, I don’t know that it would actually make them any weirder.Tulkinghorn: It’s surprising how stylish and normal some of those covers made Keeler’s work look. Quite what his publishers made of him I do not know.Stuart: Just iamgine what a classy job they would have made of a book with a title like ‘The Nigger Factory’.

  9. francescaapichella Says:

    Saw Myrna Loy’s autograph quite unexpectedly while strolling along the pavement a year or so ago. What a fine actress she was, and thanks for clarifying when the prints were made, For Loy never was a stage actress, and I was confused as to when she would have done this.Here is a good article about the pavement in question:

    http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/13/nyregion/walk-fame-s-melodramatic-turn-inspection-st-marks-place-imperils-hollywood-style.html

    Michael


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