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Sixteen Sweethearts: 1932

Sixteen Sweethearts: 1932

San Francisco, 1932. "Essex Super Six at El Capitan Theatre, in the Mission." Now playing: Jay Brower with Peggy O'Neill's Merrymakers Revue. Whether these ladies constitute five-sixteenths of the Sweethearts or some undetermined fraction of the Merrymakers, or both, we cannot say. 5x7 nitrate negative, formerly of the Wyland Stanley and Marilyn Blaisdell collections. View full size.


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Photo of Winifred and Audrey Chettle, 1931

I snipped this photo from the following website that shows Audrey Chettle and her sister Winifred in a costumed dancing pose in 1931. In the Shorpy photo I am thinking that if the girl on the hood of the Essex is Audrey, Winifred may be at the steering wheel. The web address I found is:

Car ID

The car on the left is a 1931 Chevrolet landau phaeton. This body style was a 1931-32 only offering.

Backstage Sweethearts

El Capitan's organist Mel Hertz met Sweethearts dancer Audrey Chettle during her engagement at the theater and they eventually ran off to get married in Reno, on June 13, 1933. Here is the wedding announcement posted by the bride's parents in their hometown paper, the Salt Lake City Tribune, on July 9, 1933. The announcement photo suggests that Audrey might have been the O'Neill dancer seated on the hood of the Essex.

Sweet Shop.

Maybe these girls are a new promotion for eye candy.

Curtains for Essex and the El Capitan

Essex made it until 1932, while the El Capitan was gutted and turned into a parking garage in 1964. The facade remains, but the starlets are long gone.

A review of the show

From the pages of "Inside Facts of Stage and Screen" (Jan 11, 1930)

El Capitan is still around.

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