1944: Arsenic and Old Lace

Bat Head 2

Arsenic and Old Lace

January 29, 1944

Shrine Auditorium, Oaklahoma City, Oklahoma

The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, January 29, 1944

SISSIES SHOULD BOLT THEIR DOORS;

MOVIES’ DRACULA IS IN TOWN

by Ray Parr

Your old horror fan dusted off his best scream and shiver, filed a new edge on the teeth, and went up to see Dracula Friday.

He thought it would be nice to pick up a little lesson in biting.

I never wanted to sing like Frank Sinatra, or make love like Clark Gable, but man, oh man, if I could only bite like that boy, Dracula, my wall flower days would be over.

I never could do parlor tricks or answer riddles at social gatherings, but no longer would I blush with shame when folks tittered at my shortcomings. I would simply saunter over and bite the hostess on the neck in a Dracula manner.

If you don’t think I would immediately become the life of the party—certainly a card, as the saying goes—then you never saw Dracula. Or, on the other hand, you never saw me bite a hostess.

Not only that, but what with the sirloin shortage what it is, anything new along this line that don’t take ration points might come in right handy before the winter is over.

As I tiptoed into the Biltmore, I expected to find beautiful blondes scattered all over the corridor. Well, you can just imagine how I felt when I burst in his room and found that strange, half-human, half-bloodsucking vampire lying there on the bed with his evil eye fixed on a lovely delicate little—postage stamp.

Yes sir, the terrible Dracula turned out to be a stamp collector. Also, he was wearing red suspenders, his eyes were a mild, kindly blue, and his long smooth-brushed hair was streaked with a middle-aged gray. He could have been somebody’s father.

Dracula, who also is known as Bela Lugosi, collects stamps everywhere he goes. When he isn’t doing that, he is reading and hiking. Strange relaxations for him, it would seem, until one realizes that a man who makes his living working as Dracula year after year wouldn’t get a whale of a kick out of playing post office on his nights off.

When he’s home, his big fun comes from playing with his 6-year-old son.

“You wouldn’t believe it, but he is already imitating me,” Lugosi beamed, acting just like a father.

No Nicotine in Cigars

Lugosi also smokes cigars that have had the nicotine taken out of them. He likes, he says, green salads, raw fruit, no sweets, orange juice and milk.

It’s pretty nice being a horror specialist, in lots of ways.

“I’ve been getting along with everybody just fine since I became a horror man,” he said. “Everybody expects something so terrible they are surprised to find me a human.”

“Now when I was playing romantic leads, folks expected me to be a nice charming person at any hour of the day, and I had an awful time.”

Lugosi, veteran Hungarian actor, played romantic leads and character roles for 20 years in Europe and in America until 1927 he created Dracula. It brought him international fame.

Now folks no longer want to see him as a great lover. They want to scream.

But There’s Cash In It

It would all be pretty sad and his and his professional heart would be heavy, except there is pretty good dough in making folks scream.

From a discussion of art and culture, things moved on to the subject of dinner.

“I sure would like a good rare steak,” he said, forgetting all about the green salad and raw fruit, the Dracula apparently coming out in him.

“And would you like to come by my room first?” he continued, forgetting about all the milk and orange juice.

(P.S. Lugosi is the star of Arsenic & Old Lace at the Shrine Saturday afternoon and night. There are plenty of tickets left for the afternoon performance, according to Jim Boyle. We promised Jim we would try to work in something about his show if he would dig up Dracula for us.)

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January 30, 1944

Convention Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma

The Dallas Morning News, January 31, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Dallas Morning News, January 31, 1944*

February 1, 1944

Robinson Auditorium

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February 2, 1944

The Auditorium, Memphis, Tennesse

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February 3, 1944

Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee

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February 5, 1944

The Temple, Birmingham, Alabama

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Omaha World Herald, February 6, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Omaha World Herald, February 6, 1944*

February 7-8, 1944

Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bela Lugosi’s reaction to seeing Boris Karloff’s face on this poster must have been interesting

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The Times-Picayune, January 23, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, January 23, 1944…..

The Times-Picayune, February 1, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 1, 1944…..

The Times-Picayune, February 6, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 6, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 6, 1944 2…..

The Times-Picayune, February 7, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 7, 1944…..

The Times-Picayune, February 8, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 8, 1944…..

The Times-Picayune, February 9, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 9, 1944

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February 10, 1944

Lanier Auditorium, Montgomery, Alabama

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February 11-12, 1944

The Erlanger Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia

Arsenic and Old Lace The Erlanger, Atlanta, Georgia, February 11-12, 1944*

February 14-15, 1944

The Municipal Auditorium, Savannah, Georgia

Arsenic and old lace, Municipal Auditorium

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February 16, 1944

 City Auditorium, Augusta

The Augusta Chronicle, January 30, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Augusta Chronicle, January 30, 1944…..

The Augusta Chronicle, February 6, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Auguata Chronicle, February 6, 1944…..

The Times-Picayune, February 10, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Times-Picayune, February 10, 1944…..

The Augusta Chronicle, February 13, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Auguata Chronicle, February 13, 1944…..

The Augusta Chronicle, February 16, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Auguata Chronicle, February 16, 1944…..

The Billboard, February, 19, 1944

Augusta Bizmen Want Shows

AUGUSTA, Ga., Feb. 12. – Local businessmen have formed a new enterprise. Auditorium Attractions, to present roadshows, name bands and concert artists at City Auditorium. Arsenic and Old Lace, with Bela Lugosi, comes in February 16, to be followed by Junior Miss, Tobacco Road and Abie’s Irish Rose. Arsenic will be the first roadshow to stop here in three years. Eddie T. Lewis, well-known showman, is head of the new company.

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February 17, 1944

The Auditorium, Columbia, South Carolina

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February 18, 1944

The Carolina Theatre, Greenville, South Carolina

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February 19, 1944

The Auditorium, Asheville, North Carolina

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February 21, 1944

The Carolina Theatre, Greenville, South Carolina

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February 22, 1944

The National Theatre, Greensboro, North Carolina

The Greensboro Daily News, February 10, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Greensboro Daily News, February 10, 1944…..

The Greensboro Daily News, February 11, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Greensboro Daily News, February 11, 1944

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The Greensboro Daily News, February 13, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Greensboro Daily News, February 13, 1944…..

The Greensboro Daily News, February 20, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Greensboro Daily News, February 20, 1944

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February 24, 1944

The Carolina Theatre, Durham, North Carolina

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February 25, 1944

The State Theatre, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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February 26, 1944

Academy of Music, Roanoke, Virginia

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February 27-March 3, 1944

Ford’s Theatre, Baltimore, Maryland

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The Baltimore News-Post, February 29, 1944

Arsenic and old lace ad

The Billboard, March 11, 1944

BALTIMORE, March 4. – Return engagement of Arsenic and Old Lace at Ford’s Theater, second of season, grossed a fine $14,000, which compares with the $17,000 grossed the season’s opening in September.

Bela Lugosi headed the cast. Last September Boris Karloff held the stellar role.

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March 7, 1944

The Lyric Theatre, Allentown, Pennsylvania

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March 8, 1944

The War Memorial Auditotium, Trenton, New Jersey

Trenton Evening Times, February 28, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Trenton Evening Times, February 28, 1944…..

Trenton Evening Times, March 2, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Trenton Evening Times, March 2, 1944…..

Trenton Evening Times, March 5, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Trenton Evening Times, March 5, 1944 2

Arsenic and Old Lace, Trenton Evening Times, March 5, 1944…..

 Trenton Evening Times, March 6, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Trenton Evening Times, March 6, 1944*

March 9-11, 1944

The Playhouse, Willington, Delaware

The publicity department still haven’t got the poster right

Bela Lugosi’s face finally replaces Boris Karloff’s on the poster

The Playhouse Delaware

Arsenic & Old Lace, The Playhouse, Willington, Delaware, March 9-11 a

Arsenic & Old Lace, The Playhouse, Willington, Delaware, March 9-11 b*

March 16, 1944

The High School Auditorium, Pittsfield, Massachussetts

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March 17, 1944

Memorial Auditorium, Worcester, Massachussetts

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March 18, 1944

Bushnell Auditorium, Hartford, Connecticut

The Springfield Sunday Union And Republican, March 12, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Springfield Sunday Union And Republican, March 12, 1944 2

Arsenic and Old Lace, The Springfield Sunday Union And Republican, March 12, 1944*

March 20-April 2, 1944

The Colonial Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts

Arsenic and Old Lace Programme…..

Boston Herald, March 12, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 12, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 12,1944

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Boston Herald, March 15, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 15, 1944…..

Boston Herald, March 20, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 20, 1944…..

Boston Herald, March 21, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 21, 1944…..

Boston College Heights, March 24, 1944

Second Balcony

“Arsenic and Old Lace” the play concerning two old ladies who commit murder with childlike innocence, is back in town for the fourth time. On this occasion Bela Lugosi is the star, having taken over the part formerly played by Boris Karloff. If you didn’t see “Arsenic and Old Lace” on any of its previous runs here, try and get tickets for it next week. Of course you could see a couple of movies for the price of this show, but money spent on this one is a fool proof investment. There are very few present day comedies that equal it.

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Boston Herald, March 25, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 25, 1944…..

Boston Herald, March 29, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, March 29, 1944…..

Boston Herald, April 1, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Boston Herald, April 1, 1944

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April 9-22, 1944

The Locust Theatre, Philadelphia 

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April 24-29, 1944

Mosque Theatre, Newark, New Jersey

Arsenic and Old Lace Mosque Theatre

The Westfield Leader, April 13, 1944

“Arsenic and Old Lace” Coming to Mosque Theatre

Starring the famous Bela Lugosi in person, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” the hair raising comedy hailed by New York’s critics as a play no one would ever forget, is due at the Mosque Theatre, Newark, April 24, for one week’s engagement, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday.

Written by Joseph Kesselring, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is the first production by the Messrs. Howard Lindsley and Russel Crouse, two gentlemen not altogether unknown to the theatre, for it was this team who wrote “Life With Father,” and numerous others.

Bela Lugosi will bring the cast that has shared honors in the play’s success for the past three seasons. Jean Adair, Jack Whiting, Ruth McDevitt, Donald Macdonald and Malcolm Beggs are featured. 

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Pitsburgh Post-Gazette, April 26, 1944

Arsenic and Old Lace, Pitsburgh Post-Gazette, April 26, 1944

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May 24-27, 1944

The Civic Theatre, Syracuse, New York

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May 30-31, 1944

The Kalaruh Temple, Binghamptom, New York

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June 2-3, 1944

The Erie Theatre, Schenectady, New York

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