On this Day… On this Day… Dillinger gets blown away!
Yes, it was on this day back in 1934 that John Dillinger was gunned down shortly after having seen (and apparently enjoyed) Manhattan Melodrama at the Biograph movie theatre in Chicago.
It had been a withering, incapacitatingly hot day in the city. If you look at the photo of the cinema, you’ll see that the air conditioning is advertised in huge letters – much larger than the name of the film. Just about everyone who could was desperate to get into an air conditioned building that night. FBI agent Melvin Purvis and his team had apparently staked out both air conditioned movie theatres in central Chicago that night, but since the Biograph was showing a crime drama starring Clark Gable, and the other one was showing a Shirley Temple movie – the Biograph was the hot (or cool) favourite.
Manhattan Melodrama incidentally, begins with the General Slocum disaster of 1904 –…
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