This final page covers a few Shemp Howard appearances (further below) and the earliest exteriors to appear in Hey Pop, filmed in Bay Ridge, at 3rd Ave and 80th St several miles west of the studio. Remember to click each image for a larger view.
Early in Hey Pop, Roscoe and Bill are desperate for food. Roscoe devises a scheme to throw things at the food market across the street from his apartment. As planned, the market owners retaliate by throwing food back at Roscoe through his open window, enough for a feast. The flurry on the street turns into an all-out food fight. Roscoe and Bill eat their fill, but when the orphanage authorities (a couple of thugs) arrive to send Bill away, Roscoe and Bill flee for safety.
I solved this location by first noticing the matching word “FRUIT” in both scenes above. I suspect the Esposito food fight market might have been another vacant store dressed for the movie, as the filming makes quite a mess.
Next, I noticed the Bay Ridge Laundry truck at back, and that the truck logo matched part of a logo in the store window to the left. The Brooklyn Public Library has a collection of vintage telephone directories online. I could not locate an entry for an Esposito market, as certain microfilm pages were indecipherable or missing. But I did find the Bay Ridge Laundry at 8010 3rd Ave in Brooklyn, and Google Street View confirmed the spot.
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Harold Lloyd filmed many scenes from his New York-based comedy Speedy (1928) at Coney Island, and in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn (see example below). You can access a tour of these Brooklyn locations here. Harold Lloyd – Brooklyn Speedy Tour.
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Another standout of the Vitaphone Comedy Collection: Volume One DVD are the many early appearances of comedian Shemp Howard, Moe and Curly’s brother. Shemp, Moe, and Larry Fine were the original Three Stooges during the 1920s, with Curly (Jerome) taking over Shemp’s role when Shemp began his solo film career in 1932. Shemp would rejoin the Stooges in 1946 when Curly became to ill to perform.
I discuss the Three Stooges’ 1930 debut film appearance Soup to Nuts (featuring Shemp, not Curly) in a post HERE, as it was filmed in downtown Los Angeles where Buster Keaton had filmed in 1920.
Shemp appears in thirteen Vitaphone shorts on the disc, including two of Roscoe’s films. For completeness, here are a few corresponding locations shots (8) and (9) from the Jack Haley Vitaphone comedy Salt Water Daffy (1933), co-starring Shemp. The aerial map appears again below. Jack is best remembered for playing the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz (1939).
At left above, the Admiral admires his prize pocket watch – at right Jack Haley and Shemp Howard flee after Shemp palms the watch from the Admiral. Both views look east along Ave M towards the corner of E 14th (8).
Shemp steals the Admiral’s watch when he and Jack bump into him at the corner of E 14th and Ave M (7). Jack discusses Shemp’s uncontrollable kleptomania as they walk east along Ave M from the corner of E 13th (9). Most of the movie takes place after Jack and Shemp enlist in the Navy in order to hide from the police. The Brooklyn Navy Yard west of DUMBO is the likely setting.
Movies are time machines, transporting viewers back to the time and place of their creation. The Vitaphone Studio is but a memory, and now the building has been brought down, but through its films we can still experience brief and vivid glimpses of a bygone era. We all owe a debt of gratitude to the many collectors and archivists who rescued these films and made them available for us all to enjoy.
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Movie frames (C) 2012 Turner Entertainment Co. All color images (C) 2017 Google except for Ron Hutchinson at page 1 and Beth Goff at page 7.
Below – Roscoe’s Bay Ridge setting – south down 3rd Ave at 80th St in Brooklyn.