Hello! Attended a sale yesterday in which books and playbills from two estates were featured. The playbills spanned several decades - most were from the 80's to present day but there were some going as far back as the 1930's. At 50c apiece, I could afford the two I picked up, both from the 1950's.
I could have cared less about the play featured in the playbill - The Most Happy Fella (although on the back cover, someone had written "Nov. 17, 1956 Stupendous". I'm glad the theater goer enjoyed the play, but I'm glad there were some great ads within. The graphics are fun, and ads from older publications, I've found, are a wonderful window into How Things Used To Be.
The ad shown below is a prime example:
The ad clearly is promoting what we now call a "red-eye flight", but I've never known it to be like this! An after-theatre nightcap and snack for passengers, a club-lounge, and breakfast before arrival (the latter made me wonder just how long it took for that DC-7 to fly across the country!), and, of course, the red carpet rolled out to greet the boarding passengers. Quite the service!
What would one get during a red-eye flight now? I believe that at least one airline had stated they were going to start charging for offering pillows to its passengers - sheesh. I suppose the nightcap would still be offered, though not in a club lounge!
Then again, I wondered who would have had the energy to eat and drink in the club lounge so late at night after a night out at the theater? I think I would have just wanted to close my eyes and start going to sleep! Still, I could imagine a Rat Pack-type crowd carousing it up on the flight back to Hollywood, or a movie director and his assistants on board discussing whether the play they had just seen could be adapted to the big screen. Might have been a fun time!
Airline travel still can't be beat, time-wise, for traveling long distances, but it sure has changed since that ad was run!
(In an aside, I was surprised at the preponderance of ads in the same playbill for women's girdles and bras - thought that seemed odd. But perhaps that just shows that I know nothing about playbill advertising!)