See Your Favorite Star in ___________!
July 26, 2010
Closely related to slides used to promote individual screen personalities are those that generically advertise an upcoming film starring a specific performer. These slides advertised that a film featuring the star was coming soon, but it was up to the exhibitor to fill in the title.
Presumably these slides were effective only for the biggest stars who would draw an audience regardless of the vehicle. Perhaps this format also provided flexibility to exhibitors who may not have had an advertising slide on hand for a specific title.
The examples here are for Mary Pickford appearing in Paramount Pictures produced by Famous Players, and Buster Keaton in Joe Schenck productions distributed by Metro Pictures. By looking at when Keaton and Pickford released films with these associations, it is possible to assign time frames of 1921-26 to the Keaton slide and 1913-16 to Pickford.
In attempting to further narrow these time frames I tracked down the original photos on which the slides were based. The Keaton image is a publicity shot from General Photographic Agency dated August 6, 1921. Unfortunately this was of little help in narrowing the time frame for the slide. The Pickford image however originates from a 1915 portrait which, meaning that the slide could only have been produced and relevant in the years 1915 and 1916.