Movies were 11 cents, says Forrest Fenn

arcadia theatre On Forrest’s blog, Mirror on My Bathroom Wall, he says, “One of my earliest dreams was to be a great movie star like Errol Flynn because he was handsome and made a lot of money”.  My question to Forrest is: Were you able to go to the movies often when you were growing up? Or did you know the movie stars from reading a magazine like Photoplay? And the second part of my question is: Who was the first movie star you sold artwork to in your gallery, and were you “nervous’ when dealing with said movie star? ~ Cynthia

Thanks for the question Cynthia.  Movies were 11 cents when I was a kid so I didn’t go a lot. We had radio, but TV wasn’t invented yet. I had a friend who took tickets at the Arcadia Theater and usually he could be talked into letting me slip in. I was careful to not abuse his generosity. I certainly didn’t know any movie stars then and we didn’t subscribe to any magazines if my memory serves me.

I don’t remember who the first celebrity we sold to was, but there were a lot of them. The biggest sale probably was Steven Spielberg who purchased an expensive Charlie Russell bronze. Others were Cher, Jonathan Winters, David Rockefeller, Michael Douglas, Ethyl Kennedy, Lee Marvin, Robert Redford, Sam Shepard, Donald Rumsfeld, Rock Hudson, Shirley MacLean, Suzanne Somers, Steve Martin, Calvin Kline, Karen Allen, Ralph Lauren, Jackie Kennedy, John Connelly and Roger Miller. I always enjoyed schmoozing with them.


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14 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Such an interesting crowd! They, like ourselves, are fortunate to have made your acquaintance as well! It is clear from the stories being shared on Dal’s blog, your friendships were meaningful and many! Thanks for sharing.

  2. JCM says:

    Great answer! At the end of the day, people are people; some have just done more interesting things than others (and made more money in the process!). I think Forrest knew this. He just found an interesting way to get their attention and was thus able to develop many great relationships (even if there was some schmoozing going on). The more I learn about Forrest, the deeper my understanding and appreciation of the many different facets of human nature and of life expands. Thanks Forrest for giving me an opportunity to get to know you so personally, even if I never have (or perhaps, ever will) meet you.

  3. Geydelkon says:

    Hello Forrest,

    What kind of art did Jackie Kennedy like? Was the purchase for herself? Thanks

  4. Old Shadows says:

    I wonder if Mr. Fenns experience was similar to my Chicago experience. Dad and I went every week; me for the movies, him for the 16mm newsreel ‘Shorts’ of WWII. After the movie and ‘Shorts’, the house lights would come up and a speaker would get on stage & urge people to buy war bond stamps. People from the audience would come to the stage to buy little blue stamps for a dime each and paste them in their War Bond Booklets. The booklet would be cashed-in some time after the war. On Sundays, there was a drawing of movie ticket stubs, someone would win a set of colored glass dishes. I don’t remember popcorn or sodas until the 1950’s.

  5. E* says:

    I wonder if this is the Charles M. Russell bronze Steven Spielberg purchased? It was descibed as follows by Forrest:

    Steven Spielberg bought a large Charles Russell bronze sculpture–“Indians on horseback shooting buffaloes with arrows,” Fenn says.

    If so,…that was Charles M. Russell’s first bronze.

    • Mark J says:

      My parent had a painting that was similar to the painting showing the buffalo hunt. I assume the painter used it as an inspiration as there is no way they could afford an original. My brother has it now.

  6. E* says:

    Actually,…if it was a “large Charles Russell bronze sculpture”,…then it is probably the one called, “Meat for Wild Men”,…shown a bit lower down on the link. That one is much bigger.

  7. Mark J says:

    I wonder what Jonathan Winters was like. I always liked him.

  8. jj says:

    What an amazing repertoire of friends you’ve been privy to . Ill too, would be careful to not abuse his generosity. Thank you for yet another wonderful story!

  9. Thomas D says:

    That really was a great question Cynthia and Forrest’s response was interesting to say the least.

  10. The Thrill says:

    Steve Martin would be my favorite. I enjoyed his movies as a kid growing up and still do today!

  11. Jdiggins says:

    Ah to just be able to dream of your life is a treasure forrest! Thank you so much for inviting us all in!
    I see the stars, and they shall guide me…

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