This film is part of Free

Cinema Ball

A real treasure for aficionados of 1930s cinema, who can try to guess the characters in the film fancy dress competition, with future Police Commissioner Gordon among the judges.

Non-Fiction 1936 5 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


Hollywood comes to Leeds Town Hall in 1936, as these revellers compete in a fancy dress ball as famous, and not so famous, characters from films of the time, among them an impressive Groucho Marx. It was a time when dance bandleaders were badgered for autographs, in this case Roy Fox, and among the judges is real life Hollywood star Neil Hamilton, playing up to the camera.

This is one of a collection of films made by Alec Baron, born in Leeds in 1913 from a family of Russian refugees from the C19 pogroms. Baron was a founding member of Leeds Film Group, the first cinema club outside of London, and of the Dramatic and Arts Club, the Proscenium Players, the Unity Theatre Company and also the first Administrator for Leeds Playhouse. He wrote and directed plays, many with Jewish themes, for the Jewish community. Bandleader Roy Fox’s fame was boosted by appearing in small films in the mid-1930s, while Neil Hamilton was a leading Hollywood star who was brilliant as the strait-laced Police Commissioner Gordon in the 1960s camped up Batman TV series.