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The 1925 "Ben-Hur" Back Downtown June 26

The 1925 Fred Niblo film "Ben-Hur" with Ramon Navarro was an MGM production but it didn't play MGM's showplace Loew's State. The initial two-a-day engagement was at the Biltmore, normally a legit theatre.

Sometimes legit houses would get a run of an important film, occasionally on a reserved seat basis. Here it possibly played the Biltmore because two of its producers were A.L. Erlanger (who operated the Biltmore) and Flo Ziegfeld, in cahoots with Erlanger for supplying product to the Erlanger theatres all around the country.

The illustration here is from a Mason Theatre program in the collection of Danni Bayles-Yeager. Erlanger was also running the Mason at the time.  Head to Danni's Performing Arts Archive for the full Mason program.

 Also see our page on the Biltmore Theatre. Sadly, demolished in 1964 after decades as a major legit venue.

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