Knute Rockne All-American Premiere

The stars were out in South Bend on the night of October 4, 1940, when Hollywood’s elite gathered for the world premiere of “Knute Rockne All-American.” In this photo the cast of the film are shown. Standing from left to right are Peggy Diggins, Ricardo Cortez, Irene Rich, Gail Patrick, Anita Louise, Mrs. Knute Rockne, Gail Page, Rosemary Lane and Rudy Vallee and crouching from left to right are Charles Ruggles, Owen Davis, Jr., Bob Hope, Jimmy Fidler, Donald Crisp, Pat O’Brien and Ronald Reagan. In the film, Pat O’Brien played Knute Rockne and a young Ronald Reagan was cast as George Gipp. Parts of the movie were shot in South Bend and many residents, including Rockne’s children, were cast as extras. Over 100 Hollywood stars, journalists, celebrities and political officials took special trains from Los Angeles and New York to attend the premier. Advertised as a four-theater premier, the film played simultaneously in South Bends most iconic theaters. The Hollywood stars walked between the Colfax Theater on West Colfax Street to the State Theater, Palace Theater and Granada Theater on Michigan Streets while crowds gathered on the sideline. Over 24,000 people stood outside the Palace Theater to get a glimpse of the glamorous event. Donated by Jim Sullivan.

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