Monthly Archives: November 2006

The Studio Auction

auction-sign.jpgThe Hal Roach Studios closed its doors for good in February 1963, and soon afterward those very doors were auctioned off to the highest bidder. A four-day public auction was held on the studio lot in early August of that year. Following the auction the studios were to be demolished, so everything had to go.

While you might expect such an auction to appeal to curious fans and collectors hoping for rare movie props and file cabinets full of still photos, it’s clear from the auction catalog that professionals from the film industry were the ones being targeted. Items included all types of filmmaking equipment. Obvious items such as cameras, lights, and sound equipment were listed alongside office furniture, and equipment from the machine shop, the special effects department, and the studio cafeteria. Since all of the buildings were to be town down, even the doors, windows, and light fixtures were up for auction. The hand hewed wooden beams from Mr. Roach’s office were highlighted in one photo. (more…)

Submissions to “The Wheel” – May 1932

img768.jpgThere’s no question that producer Hal Roach knew how to make a buck. The comedians of his studios were extremely popular with the public and Roach knew that there was a great deal of advertising value in them. Of course, taking advantage of his performers’ popularity doesn’t begin to approach the use and over-use of celebrities of the current age¬†when it comes to advertising and merchandising…but you knew that.

What you may not know is that Hal Roach would periodically take photos of his stars¬†endorsing products of the day and then submit them to their various companies to see if there was any advertising value in them. (more…)