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Leaflet - 'Two Great Keystone Comedies', Anzac Hostel, Cairo, Jul 1916 Document Reg. No: HT 29201

Flyer printed on fragile brown paper, announcing the showing of 'Two Great Keystone Comedies': 'Fatty and Mabel's Washing Day' (the correct title is 'Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day') and 'Love and Gasoline'. They are to be shown in the Anzac Hostel, a 'club for soldiers in Cairo...providing all the conveniences of an up to date Hotel'. The shows are scheduled for 20-21 July 1916. The flyer also advertises a 'Grand Concert' by the Anzac Hostel Concert Party on 22 July.

'Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day' and 'Love and Gasoline' were short silent comedies produced by the Keystone Film Company. 'Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day', directed by Roscoe Arbuckle, was released in early 1915. Its cast comprised Mabel Normand (Mabel), Roscoe Arbuckle (Fatty), Harry McCoy (Mabel's husband), Alice Davenport (Fatty's wife), Joe Bordeaux (Joe Bordeau) and Luke the dog. It tells the story of a frienship between a wife and a neighbouring husband that begins on a wash day. A print of the film still exists.

'Love and Gasoline', known as 'The Skidding Joy Riders' in the USA, was directed by Mabel Normand, and was released in early 1914. Its cast comprised Mabel Normand, Mack Swain, Phyllis Allen and Alice Davenport. It is not known to survive.

The bottom of the flyer includes the logo of tobacco company Maspero Freres Ltd, which had been bought by Eastern Tobacco in 1907; its logo was apparently registered in or around 1912. Refer Alexander Kitroeff, The Greeks in Egypt, 1919-1937: Ethnicity and Class, for further information.

According to The Register (Adelaide), the Anzac Hostel had been recently established (by April 1916) to provide Australian and New Zealand soldiers with a place of recreation during 48-hour leave from their World War I service in the Suez Canal area. It included accommodation, an outdoor roof garden hosting 'a cinema show every night' - such as the 'two great Keystone comedies' - and a concert hall with domed ceiling located on the ground floor that could seat 800 (a further 400 if needed could be crowded in). By July 1916, the West Australian was described the Anzac Hostel in Cairo as 'now the rendezvous of all troops in the capital' (6 July 1916, p.7). The hostel was still operating in 1920.

The provenance of this particular flyer is unknown.
Single-page flyer, printed on thin mid-brown paper in blue with red highlights. Vertical edges bordered with linear stem pattern, extended to floral motifs at top and bottom. Extensive text broken mid-way by horizontal lines. Red motif at bottom centre featuring head with elaborate headdress and words 'MASPERO FRERES LTD. / CAIRE EGYPTE' and in banner beneath 'CIGARETTES EGYPTIENNES.'

Has been folded in four; now very fragile.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Michael Reason, 2011
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 307 mm (Height), 203 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: films, world war i 1914-1918, comedy, performing arts, cairo
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Service
Tertiary Classification: recreation & tourism
Inscriptions: Printed: 'SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT. / THE ANZAC HOSTEL / A Club for Soldiers In Cairo, / Providing all the conveniences of an up to date Hotel / (Between A.I.F. Headquarters and Savoy Hotel) / THURSDAY & FRIDAY 20th. & 21st. JULY 1916 AT 7.15 p.m. / Two Great Keystone Comedies / Fatty and Mabel's Washing Day / Love and Gasoline / Dont forget the Date. / Thursday and Friday 20th, 21st, at 7.15 p.m. / GRAND CONCERT / BY THE / Anzac Hostel Concert Party / SATURDAY 22nd JULY AT 7.15 p.m. / Admission N.C. O's & Men Free / Reserved Chairs 5 P.T. / PLAN AT HOSTEL PHONE 19-57.'

Place & Date Used: Cairo, Egypt, Jul 1916
References: Chaplin at Keystone web site http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/M/MabelandFattysWashDay1915.html and http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/L/LoveandGasoline1914.html, accessed 6/7/2011.

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