Sunday, August 03, 2008

The Mystery of the Cinderella Award

While recently doing research on a Disney-related project, I stumbled upon a curious set of archived photographs. The pictures were from the morgue of the long defunct Los Angeles Examiner and related to a beauty pageant held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on April 3, 1951. A very brief annotation identified the affair as "the Cinderella award."

The photographs show ten contestants in matching gowns that are clearly derived from the gown Cinderella wears in the Walt Disney adaptation. In one photo, the contest winner is being presented with a check that appears to be from Walt Disney Productions. Another photo has the MC and contest winner posing with an older woman--a guest of honor or Cinderella-related celebrity?

It is interesting to note that five days earlier on March 29, 1951, the 23rd Academy Awards Ceremony was held at the same Pantages Theatre. Walt Disney's production of Cinderella was nominated for three Oscars that year.

Unfortunately, the actual story archives for the Los Angeles Examiner are inaccessible online, at least from where I sit here in North Carolina. If anyone has any further information about the Cinderella award, the identities of the individuals pictured, or access to the original Examiner story from April of 1951, please contact us via email or the comments section.