Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Windows to the Past: A Four-Leaf Clover from 1939

This particular Window to the Past features a timely tie-in to the upcoming Saint Patrick's Day holiday.  The above photograph dates from 1939 and showcases the 800 block of Hill Street in Los Angeles.  Our interest in the image is due to the billboard for Standard Gasoline that prominently features Mickey Mouse.  Mickey is proudly holding a four-leaf clover while the advertisement copy proclaims, "Good Picking!"

The billboard was part of an ad campaign by Standard Oil that featured Disney characters.  Walt Disney produced a commercial short entitled The Standard Parade that was shown to station operators to highlight components of the campaign.  We have previously featured a number of the campaign's Travel Tykes newspaper ads here at 2719 Hyperion.

The photograph more prominently features the RKO Hillstreet Theatre.  That venue opened as a vaudeville house in 1922 as part of the Orpheum circuit and was originally called the Hillstreet Theatre.  It became the RKO Theatre in 1929 and was eventually renamed the RKO Hillstreet.  No doubt many Disney cartoons graced its screen as RKO was the Disney Studio's distributor from 1937 to 1956.  The theatre was demolished in 1965 and replaced with a parking garage.

The image is part of the USC Digital Archive and credited to the Dick Whittington Studio.