[Culver City, California: Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, 1924]. First edition. 4to, 68pp unpaginated; pictorial endpapers; original paper-covered boards with printed label on front cover. Tips rubbed; hinges starting, some inconsequential marks and faint discoloration to boards, which have been expertly rebacked; an excellent copy of this delicate volume. Item #204852
Annual “Exhibitors Book” promoting the coming year’s releases to theatre owners. This edition followed immediately on the merger of Louis B. Mayer’s production company with Metro-Goldwyn forming MGM, an event that is here addressed in a full-page montage of news clippings. Most of the book consists of lavishly illustrated spreads advertising fifty new productions – including the original adaptation of Ben Hur, Buster Keaton’s “The Navigator” along with features by King Vidor, Eric von Stroheim, Frank Borzage and many others. The illustrations, using high-end color printing and multicolored papers, represent the classic art-deco style of Hollywood glamor. The last page is a fold-out poster depicting studio stars including such luminaries of the silent era as Buster Keaton, Norma Shearer, Laurette Taylor, Jackie Coogan, Lon Chaney, Jean Hersholt, Zasu Pitts, and many more. One of the rarer exhibitor’s books, with only three copies located in OCLC – oddly enough none in California – and just that we’ve been able to find at auction in the past twenty years of records.