Reader Bob House directed me to the website What Was There, which presents vintage photos of cities, lets you scroll over them for a larger view and also connects them with Google Street View so you can see what the same scene looks like today. Only a handful of Inland Empire photos are there so far, but one was a gem: this picture of the Pomona Fox Theater with “Gone With the Wind” on the marquee.
The photo, from the L.A. Public Library archives, is said to date to 1940, which would be the original run of the movie. “Continuous shows daily from 1 p.m.,” the marquee declares. At four hours, “GWTW” is so long there were likely only two more screenings per day, at 5 and 9.
Reader Bill Ruh (see the comments section) says the car looks like a 1950 Studebaker to him, meaning the photo is likelier from the 1954 theatrical re-release.
One reason this photo (which I’d never seen before) jumped out at me was that Ann Rutherford, who played Scarlett O’Hara’s younger sister Carreen, died Monday at age 94.
Two firsts for the movie occurred at other theaters in the Fox chain. Its first public screening took place on Sept. 9, 1939 at the Fox in Riverside, and it premiered on Dec. 15, 1939 at the Fox in Atlanta, Ga.
Incidentally, the adjacent business in the above photo appears to be Seaboard Finance Co., with “loans” the likely word in the window.