Set your wayback machines to 1954, because for this Throwback Thursday post we are visiting the premiere party of the classic A Star Is Born. Director George Cukor‘s remake of the 1937 original is a musical tour-de-force starring Judy Garland in another unforgettable performance as an entertainer whose rise to success is contrasted by the decline of her former matinee idol-turned-alcoholic husband (James Mason, whose every moment in front of the camera is riveting). What follows is a song-filled (selections include “The Man That Got Away” and “Born in a Trunk”) exploration of the perils of fame that remains one of the greatest examinations of showbiz life ever captured on film.
Following the glitzy premiere of the film, a party was held at Los Angeles’ legendary Cocoanut Grove nightclub in the Ambassador Hotel. This regular Hollywood hangout was known for being the place where the elite went to meet and world-renowned performers entertained the enthralled guests. The above footage from this celebration features appearances from Garland and Warner Bros. studio head Jack Warner, and gives you an insider’s guide into the glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It is a compelling time capsule of people, places, and an era that now only exists through memory and cherished recordings like this one.
As a bonus, via British Pathé comes this vintage mini-documentary that chronicles the film’s UK premiere which was held at the Warner Theatre in London’s Leicester Square. Take a look:
This article originally ran back in 2018. We are reprinting it today for Throwback Thursday.