15 Vintage Photos of Chicago’s First Hollywood Premiere in 1940

Rain did not prevent thousands of Chicagoans from gathering on State Street on the night of Oct. 24, 1940, to catch a glimpse of Hollywood movie stars as they arrived for the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s film, North West Mounted Police. It was Chicago’s first Hollywood premiere and was held at both the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater, one right across the street from the other.

Thousands of fans gather in the rain to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars attending the premiere of the film “North West Mounted Police” on Oct. 24, 1940. The Tribune reported, “Five hundred policeman…battled to hold back the waves of people.”
A woman is carried out by police as thousands of fans wait in the rain to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars attending the premiere of the film “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on State Street in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1940.
Hollywood star Paulette Goddard attends the premiere of the film “North West Mounted Police” on Oct. 24, 1940. Goddard played Louvette Corbeau in the film.
Thousands of fans gather to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars attending the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre, right, and the State-Lake Theater, left, on State Street on Oct. 24, 1940.
Thousands of rain-soaked fans wait for the Hollywood stars of the movie “North West Mounted Police”.
Hollywood movie stars and Chicago society mix at the premiere of the Cecil B. DeMille film “North West Mounted Police”, shown both at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on Oct. 24, 1940.
Cecil B. DeMille, center, is surrounded by the Hollywood actors starring in his film “North West Mounted Police” during the film’s premiere at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1940. Madeleine Carroll, second from left, and Gary Cooper, third from left, play the lead roles in the film. Paulette Goddard, third from right, and Robert Preston, second from right, co-star in the film. Actor Lynne Overman is on the far left.
Thousands wait in the rain on State Street to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars as they walked across the “Bridge of Stars.”
Hollywood star Paulette Goddard attends the premiere of the film “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on State Street in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1940. Goddard played Louvette Corbeau in the film by Cecil B. DeMille.
Chicago society attends the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre on Oct. 24, 1940.
Thousands of fans wait outside the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars attending the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” on Oct. 24, 1940.
Hollywood movie star Gary Cooper attends the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on State Street in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1940. Cooper played the lead role of Texas Ranger Dusty Rivers in the film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
A woman is carried out of the crowd by police as thousands of fans gather in the rain to catch a glimpse of the Hollywood movie stars attending the premiere of the film “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on State Street in Chicago on Oct. 24, 1940.
Hollywood star Madeleine Carroll attends the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” at the Chicago Theatre and the State-Lake Theater on Oct. 24, 1940. Carroll played the lead role of April Logan in the film directed by Cecil B. DeMille.
Hollywood actor Preston Foster, right, attends the premiere of “North West Mounted Police” on Oct. 24, 1940. Foster co-starred in the Cecil B. DeMille film.

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