Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Director's Cousin's Visit Overshadows Film Debut

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Director's Cousin's Visit Overshadows Film Debut

Article excerpt

The first week in February 1933 in Jacksonville belonged to Franklin D. Roosevelt, and to his lesser-known cousin, Andre.

Franklin Roosevelt came to town as president-elect, a man of the people, about to embark on a 10-day fishing trip on the palatial yacht Nourmahal, owned by Vincent Astor, also a distant Roosevelt relative.

Among his entourage were Kermit Roosevelt and George St. George, cousins as well.

Untold thousands lined the streets as the Roosevelt motorcade passed through Riverside the morning of Feb. 3.

Down Park Street the stately procession moved, Roosevelt flanked by Florida Gov. Dave Scholtz and Jacksonville Mayor John Alsop, his campaign hat raised in greeting, in salute, in triumph. . .

Along the lined thoroughfare to Edgewood Avenue, Edgewood to St. Johns Avenue, King Street to Riverside and back downtown to Hemming Park where fully 25,000 gathered to hear him speak, by actual count, 135 words.

Then the Man of the Hour was aboard the gleaming Astor yacht, bound for his the last private getaway before his inauguration on March 4.

As the splendid Nourmahal and its famous passenger slipped from the pier at Commodore's Point, Andre Roosevelt's moment in the Jacksonville sunshine was just beginning.

Andre Roosevelt, as a film buff somewhere probably could tell you, was a motion picture director, and opening at the Imperial Theater that week, at no increase in popular prices, was the Andre Roosevelt film classic, Goona-Goona.

The film set off a Goona-Goona fever in these parts, although it certainly was not the only show in town. In addition to the president-elect, Jacksonville hosted Rudy Valee that week, and Dale Carnegie, and trained monkeys were riding greyhounds at the dog track, and there was a marathon dance contest going on, and an open house at the Penney Farms milking parlor. . .

Goona-Goona, however, was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Said so right in the movie ads.

It was "a drama of weird and grotesque customs . . . Witchcraft, sorcery and the sensuous charms of savage sirens . . . Love's revels on the Island of Bali, last paradise on Earth! …

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