An EBay Mystery – Earl Carroll’s Inner Circle


One of the more intriguing mysteries I’ve come across in years of delving through EBay surfaced the other day, but the auction ended before I could write about it (so many stories, only one Larry Harnisch).

The item was a collection of Harold Lloyd papers from 1938 dealing with the Inner Circle of Earl Carroll’s Theater.  According to The Times’ clips, the Inner Circle Corp. owned the Earl Carroll Theater in Hollywood and one of the letters refers to stock participation.

All well and good.

What really stopped me in my tracks was a list of the board of governors:

Board of Governors

Darryl Zanuck? OK

Walt Disney? OK

Cecil B. De Mille? OK

Leo Carrillo (who seems to have been everywhere – I don’t know how the man ever made any films)? OK

and… Norman Chandler?

(In case you don’t recognize all the names, Dr.  A.H. Giannini (d. 1943) was head of the Bank of America and William Goetz (d. 1969) was Louis B. Mayer’s son-in-law and at the time of this correspondence, a vice president at Twentieth Century-Fox).

Curiously enough, Chandler doesn’t appear on any other lists of the proposed board – just this one. But if he was a board member, he presumably owned stock in Earl Carroll’s Theater.  Maybe Norman Chandler wasn’t as dull and bland as I had assumed.

How very curious.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Film, Found on EBay, Hollywood, Nightclubs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to An EBay Mystery – Earl Carroll’s Inner Circle

  1. And the not okay names are Jewish.


  2. Mary Mallory says:

    Let me do some checking at the library tomorrow.


  3. dewey webb says:

    . . .Bing Crosby and Leo Carrillo were Jewish ?


  4. I should have stated that all the Jewish names were “not okay.” Sorry for the confusion. Bing was Catholic, and Leo Carillo was probably Catholic, and there was bigotry against Catholics back then.


  5. Clearly, there is a Los Angeles underbelly story here. I wonder if you’ve opened another Pandora’s box. Send in Ralph Meeker. He’ll help find the bodies.


  6. mary mallory says:

    I think this is for the Board of Directors for Earl Carroll’s Theatre on Sunet. I found a 10/16/38 LAT story talking about the club, which says, “The board of governors includes Darryl Zanuck, bing Crosby, William Goetz, Harold Lloyd, and Walter Wanger.”


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