Hubert Gregg and Joan Rice

Above is a very rare picture of Hubert Gregg (Prince John) and Joan Rice (Maid Marian) at the charity film premiere of Walt Disney’s Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men at the Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 13th March 1952. It was a very prestigious occasion, attended by many stars and celebrities of the time and the money raised went to ‘The National Advertising Benevolent Fund.’

It was announced from the stage (seen above) that the advertising in the programme alone, had produced over £13,000. Also appearing on the stage that Thursday night was Elton Hayes, dressed in his Alan-a-Dale costume, who delighted the audience with one of the songs from the film, which was adapted for the occasion (even with a playful dig at the films critics). The premier was ended with a ‘finely staged observance’ of the National Anthem with trumpeters beneath the Royal Coat of Arms and illuminated letters ‘ER’.

To read more about the premiere of the film click here.


Clement of the Glen said...

"Hubert Gregg and Joan Rice"

Charity film premiere of Walt Disney’s 'Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men' at the Leicester Square Theatre on Thursday 13th March 1952.

Neil said...

What a brilliant find Clement. The photograph is one I have never seen anywhere before and also the detail you have on the Premiere. Interesting to note that the film was launched in England over three months before the US Premiere. I could imagine Elton Hayes performing on stage at this event -he would have been very good. It certainly was a big occasion and obviously very well presented. I am sure we would all agree, it would have been wonderful to have attended this occasion - even though most of the readers would not even have been around at that time and even those of us who were would have been far too young. I wish there was a Newsreel or similar featuring the night.

Neil said...

Forgot to comment on the staggering figure of £13,000 raised just in the programme advertising. That would represent a very large amount of money in today's terms. All this goes to underline the focus and publicity on this film both during the making and during and after release. Then of course the film came out overseas durimg the next few years.

Clement of the Glen said...

Many thanks Neil. I am still trying to find out how much the film made at the box office on its release. Just as soon as I find out I will post the figures.