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Varieties & Novelties: A Trip Through the Short Subjects from the Paramount Archives (2023)

From the 1920s through the late ‘50s, the typical moviegoing experience involved more than just the one feature film you paid to see. A full program could include a newsreel, a cartoon, a travelogue, and a musical number—all to provide a varied and full night at the theater. Paramount produced shorts that looked into bizarre future technology (like “television”), gave gossip columnist Hedda Hopper her own series on Hollywood, provided audiences with musical acts that would have only been available at nightclubs—and of course, some landmark cartoons. 

“Varieties and Novelties” was the name of one of the series of shorts Paramount produced, and this special presentation by Paramount Archives Senior Vice President Andrea Kalas will be full of both. We’ll take a peek into a Harlem nightclub from 1935 and look who’s watching the show (Milton Berle!), watch Gary Cooper and Ernest Hemingway show Hedda Hopper their version of the great outdoors, and follow Rube Goldberg—the man, not the myth—on his entertaining travels through New York City. 

d. Various, 60 minutes, DCP

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures