Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Red Salute

"True! Timely! Terrific! See the effect RED teachings have on the youth of today!"

The Circle Theater was located at Doan's Corners, the area at Euclid Avenue and 105th & 107th Streets. Originally the Hoffman Theatre, Loew's assumed management of this 2,000 space and converted it from a live theater to a movie house. Bought by Max Marmostein in 1935, he made it a space for live performances and film.

In 1936 there was a showing of The Red Salute, which attracted the kind of protests this movie also found in other large cities. Starring Barbara Stanwyck, this anti-Communist "screwball comedy" really pissed off left-leaning college students at Western Reserve University. An army brat (Stanwyck) is in love with a Commie agitator, so her father, a General, arranges to have her kidnapped (by an aunt) to Mexico where she falls in with an AWOL soldier (Robert Young) but after returning to the States she reunites with the Communist boyfriend. However, in the end the dopey dogface convinces her that a) Democracy rules in spite of b) comparing Democracy to Communism is like comparing Christianity to Vegetarianism.

This area that was Doan's Corners has, of course, been swallowed by the Cleveland Clinic. Interestingly, I once performed I Hate This at the W.O. Walker Rehabilitation Center, which stands in virtually the same location.

Red Scare Filmography
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

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