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Twenty Cent Movie
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Twenty Cent Movie by Reginald Marsh is proof that Grandpa Simpson isn’t just senile when he rambles on about the glory days.

While it’s hard to imagine a time when movie date-night in a major city didn’t cost a full day’s wages there was a point when it really was one of the cheapest forms of entertainment.

As usual Reginald Marsh, a high-class man with low-class interests, focuses on the grimier aspects of his beloved New York City. In its original state until 1996 when it was combined with the Apollo, the Lyric Theatre was an actual theatre in Times Square. Like Marsh, it wasn’t meant for the lowly entertainment it was exposed to, having been designed in 1903 as the home of composer Reginald DeKoven’s American School of Opera. When the school went bankrupt before it was completed, DeKoven sold the theatre to the Schubert Brothers, the men who I’d like to sincerely thank for developing the Broadway district (without you road trips and showers would be much more boring for me, though probably more peaceful for my boyfriend). In its heyday the Lyric showcased stars like Cole Porter, Fred Astaire and the Marx Brothers but its success was no match for the Depression and in 1934 it was forced to convert to a movie house.

While I’d love to regale you with plots of the movies posted in the marquee, the steamy sounding silver screen sensations Stripped Bare and Songs of the Flesh seem to be made-up for sex appeal. We Live Again starring Frederic March is however a real 1934 film about a Russian nobleman who seduces a young woman leading her to ruin and eventually a criminal trial where he stands as a juror (men, amiright?). Marsh including this real film amongst apparent fakes leads me to believe that perhaps the saucier titles aren’t fake and actually refer to the types of film not listed on IMDB (porn, I’m talking about porn).