Originally I assumed this to be a promotional still from a play, given the very theatrical style of make-up and the venue for the production being the California Theatre. In Australia theatre is a word most often used for venues for live productions. However a bit of searching revealed that most of the venues of the same name, which still exist in California, are cinemas. One of these may be the one referred to on the back of the photo. I was unable to verify which it was, despite a long search to see if I could find the original newspaper article.

Once I had deciphered the hand writing, I discovered that this photo was used to promote the silent film Barbara Frietchie which starred Florence Vidor and Edmund Lowe, both of whom had interesting careers and love lives.

Where some might say this photo has been spoiled, I love the crop marks and masked areas, the notes and reference numbers. Shame about the huge splodgy finger prints but even those are part of the unique history and art of a press photo.

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