×

From the Variety Archives: The Summer Beer Saved Showbiz

Lush rebirth for the entertainment industry

Eighty years ago this summer, the five-column headline on page one of Variety touted an unlikely savior to the nation’s out-of-work actors struggling to find employment during the dark days of the Depression. “BEER WILL USE 1,000 ACTS” boomed the paper, with the accompanying story explaining how the relaxation of Prohibition rules allowing “suds” were leading to happy days again.

Variety was positively ebullient at the prospect that unemployed vaudevillians would soon “go to work in beer gardens and other cafes opening for the specific purpose of selling suds.” In addition to a summer boom for the greasepaint set, Variety projected that “1,500 musicians will be used in the brewspots.”Editions even pinpointed the date of the thirst-quenching onslaught: “Indications are that the beer garden rush will commence about June l.”

But Variety also saw an upside for the film biz in the new beer boom, noting elsewhere on the front page that “the picture business, which doesn’t want to be the beer brewers’ enemy, will come through with a campaign that’s being worked out by Paramount in Song of the Eagle. Variety described this long-lost epic (formerly titled the more colorful Beer Baron) as “a history of beer up to legalization of the suds again” and reported promo plans for the film included for it to be “screened for the leading brewery heads.”

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content