The Metro

Virginia Flugrath aka Viola Dana, 1916
These old photos fascinate me.  I was visiting the library looking for that rare bit of information that hasn't made it "online" and, of course  another flip though the older photos that turned up yet another and older surprise.  

This is Virginia Flugrath - stage name Viola Dana - and some pumpkins in the silent movie era.  At about this time, Virginia was just about 19 and recently married. Girl from Brooklyn makes good in flicks should be the headline.  The movie in question and playing at the Metro Theater (of Metro Pictures), "The Flower of No Man's Land" was a steamy little drama about a woman eventually working, and after some trials and travails, in New York as a seamstress, and was released just before the 4th of July in 1916.  That's the movie listed on the billboard in the picture below and Viola's picture adorns the signs on the sidewalk. Virginia/Viola went through 3 husbands and lived in Southern California for another 70 years before dying at age 90. 

I dug around a bit to see if I could find another picture that would give me something of a "before and after".  The picture to the left is the Metro in 1916 featuring the aforementioned Viola.  The picture to the right is the Metro a couple years later (1922 - November to be exact).

Before and slightly thereafter
I liked the "bunting" on the theater in the picture on the left and the addition of the marquee (probably marquis at the time) in the later shot. There is an unidentified building to the left of the theater (in each shot) and that has caught my interest and I am exploring.  It has to have a story worth finding. The lot in question has gone through a number of uses in the 30 years we remember so there are records and they will be found.  Otherwise, just a few more years to the celebration of the 100th year of the Metro.  Can't wait.