1942 Pride of the Yankees World Premier Theater Program

Sold For: $420

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1714

Item Year: 1942

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Rare theater program for the 1942 world premier of the iconic baseball film Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper in the role of Lou Gehrig. The cover of this fold-over program pictures the stars Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright (who played Eleanor Gehrig), as well as the partial text: "World Premier/Wednesday Evening, July 15th, 1942/RKO Proctor's/Newark." The interior pages feature a brief introduction by noted sportswriter Damon Runyon and the complete cast listing. It should be noted that the first showing of Pride of the Yankees actually took place one day earlier, on July 14th at the Astor Theatre in New York City. However, the film was also shown the next evening, for one night only, at forty neighborhood theaters, including the Proctor in Newark, New Jersey, from which this program originates. The one-night-only showing at the Proctor is expressly noted in print along the bottom of the first page, which reads "After tonight 'The Pride of the Yankees' will continue its run exclusively at the Astor Theatre, Times Square." Even so, this is still the only original "premier" theater program from Pride of the Yankees we have ever seen, making it a rare souvenir commemorating one of the most beloved baseball movies ever produced. The program (5.5 x 8.5 inches) displays both a horizontal and vertical fold, as well as a number of minor creases and a few tiny edge tears. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).

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