A Look Back at the Star-Studded World Premiere of ‘A Star Is Born’

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For a film that costed more than $5 million dollars for the making, its world premiere – the first-ever to be nationally broadcasted – was also created as a night to remember, with every movie star in town receiving telegrams in the weeks leading up to September 29th, 1954. The chief of Warner Bros., Jack Warner, felt himself determined to set up a celebrity-studded event to attract attention, which might be able to help him recoup his investment in Judy Garland, who had a three-year hiatus after leaving her longtime studio MGM in 1950, and the film, which was the second-most expensive movie ever made in Hollywood at that time.

The premiere was held at the RKO Pantage Theatre in Los Angeles, with 20,000 fans crammed outside. Attending the event were the renowned stars including Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper and Doris Day. Of Garland’s return, Dorothy Lamour proclaimed, “Tonight, a star is reborn.” A post-premiere party was later thrown at the Cocoanut Grove.

Below are the photos that capture the star-studded premiere night:

The Hollywood premiere takes place at the RKO Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Loomis Dean.

The Hollywood premiere takes place at the RKO Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California.

Judy Garland at the premiere for her film ‘A Star Is Born.’ Photo by Jay Scott.

Judy Garland, Jack Carson and George Jesel. Photo by Jay Scott.

Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Lauren Bacall. Photo by Dennis Stock.

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