Welcome to the Vintage Powder Room Cinema!  Today’s feature is THE LEMON DROP KID starring Bob Hope, Marilyn Maxwell, Lloyd Nolan. It’s a different sort of holiday tale.

Enjoy the movie!

The New York Times said:

The Screen in Review: Bob Hope as Hapless Racetrack Tout in ‘The Lemon Drop Kid’ Opening at Paramount

By Bosley Crowther

Published: March 22, 1951

 Damon Runyon’s old story, “The Lemon Drop Kid,” which, was about a race track tipster who leaped from the frying-pan into the fire, has been given a pretty thorough shakedown under the capable hands of Bob Hope in the slapstick farce of the same title that came to the Paramount yesterday. The consequent entertainment, populated throughout by Mr. Hope, may be a far cry from Mr. Runyon’s story, but it’s a close howl to good, fast, gag-packed fun.


Having lived in Southern California for most of my life I have a soft spot for the car culture that is woven into the strands of the area’s DNA. I had a classic fire engine red 1965 Mustang that was totaled in an accident years ago and I still mourn the loss. When I discovered this Mi-Lady Hair Net package in an online auction recently, I knew I had to have it; the little roadster is irresistible.

The automobile has had a profound effect on L.A.. While these days we have a tendency to focus on the negative impact of cars on the city–traffic, traffic, and more traffic–during the 1920s and 1930s, cars inspired a trend in architecture that would have made what Alice saw down the rabbit hole seem mundane.

Programmatic, mimetic, and novelty are terms that describe the whimsical style of architecture that was at its peak during the 1920s and 1930s. Structures were built to resemble the products or services they offered, the buildings were designed specifically to attract the attention of people as they passed by in their automobiles.

Even though the 1920s era auto depicted on the Mi-Lady envelope is a European model with right hand drive, I envision the couple tooling around Los Angeles in it. They could be newlyweds on a daylong excursion of dining and shopping in various novelty buildings.

Let’s tag along:


The pair begins their day by grabbing a cup o’ Joe and a pastry in a building shaped like a giant coffee pot. Later in the morning they find themselves craving freshly squeezed orange juice, so they pull into a café shaped like, what else, a giant orange!

The newlyweds long to find a sweet California bungalow to call home; so they are ecstatic when the salesmen at the Sphinx Realty Company, located in a replica of the Egyptian icon, help them track down their dream house.


After making a down payment on a cozy cottage, the couple decides to purchase a piano—just the thing for evening sing-a-longs with family and friends. With a colossal piano marking the entrance to the showroom, the California Piano Supply Company is the ideal place to shop for a baby grand. 00068648_tamale

Following bowls of chili at The Tamale in East L.A., the couple fire up their little sports car and speed off into the warm Los Angeles night.

Photographs courtesy the Los Angeles Public Library