Macy held its first Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, making it one of the oldest and longest-running parades around. It’s also been known in times past as the Macy’s Christmas Parade and later the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade, but the idea is the same. Balloons, balloons, and more balloons!
A big debut took place in 1934, when Mickey Mouse — who debuted in 1928 — appeared as a balloon for the first time. In a bit of cross-brand promotion, Mickey wore a Macy’s star on his chest. Here’s a photo from that 1934 parade, taken in the area of 46th Street and Broadway. Click for a larger version.
Lots of fantastic details besides the balloon here. The timeless Coca-Cola sign is there of course. On the left is the Orpheum Dance Palace, which was a place where you could pay for dances with fine ladies. By the time it closed in 1964 it had become considerably less reputable. Next to that is a Mary Scott Rowland Beauty Salon.
Now if my eyes and my Google-fu skills aren’t failing me, there’s a double feature playing at the Globe Theatre. There’s the W.C. Fields comedy Million Dollar Legs (1932), co-starring Jack Oakie and Andy Clyde, and Charlie Chan’s Greatest Case (1933), starring Warner Oland as the titular detective.
The Globe, which opened in 1910, was converted to a movie house in the ’30s. It was purchased, renovated, and re-opened in 1959 as the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
- Vintage Photo Wednesday, Vol. 18: Thanksgiving Maskers, 1911 (grayflannelsuit.net)