With the third and concluding volume of the Brooklyn Theatre Index nearing its publication, we will be featuring during the month of September, borough performance spaces on our various web logs and sites.
Exhibitors Herald, October 16, 1920:
"From the side of the Strand Theatre, Brooklyn, N.Y., the huge electric sign that announces Strand attractions blazes the message of the day in letters that may be read for blocks. The effect is distinctly noticeable at the box office.
"Edward L. Hyman, managing director, gives evidence of his high regard for the power of that sign by the care he exercises in preparing the copy for each change.
"A few weeks ago Mr. Hyman, one of the last to experiment with the featured comedy idea, gave a short subject place in his sign for the first time.
"The results were reported gratifying and subsequent events have proved that they were, for short subjects have figured consistently in the Strand sign streamers ever since.
"The above illustration shows a case in point. Unfortunately, a portion of the sign was run in colored lights on this occasion and the full effect of its radiance is not conveyed by the photograph. Educational's 'Torchy Comes Through' is the short subject referred to.
"Every exhibitor has had experience with electric signs. Whether or not he uses that type of advertising, every exhibitor knows that a sign like that operated by the Strand represents a not inconsiderable outlay of funds both as to first cost and upkeep.
"Perhaps many will welcome the evidence of its paying qualities as an investment. And that those paying qualities are genuine has been convincingly demonstrated by the Strand.
"There may be a better place to put money than into advertising, but if such is the case it is not generally known. Not only exhibitors but the industrial world at large would be glad to have it pointed out to them.
"There may be a better form of advertising for the downtown house than flash advertising but that, too, if it exists, has not been disclosed up to the present time.
"The downtown house in any city that does not go in heavily for flash advertising is missing a golden opportunity."
Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.
He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014-15, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.