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Article:

With Emphasis on Bonnets

by Thomas M. Pryor

The New York Times, October 12, 1941 page IX 5

Milady's hat has long been a source of vexation for the male animal who likes to see what's going on upon the screen, particularly when he's paying Broadway prices. Once frowned upon, a fellow hesitates somewhat before making a second request that the offending headgear be removed. Ladies, by and large, are touchy about this matter and a certain amount of testiness is understandable considering the effort expended in adjusting the coiffure to the mold of the hat. But common regard for one's neighbor is a cardinal rule of etiquette that should be observed in a crowded motion picture theatre, where one's acrobatic prowess is naturally limited.

Time was when the management used to lend a helping hand-- remember the "Ladies, Please Remove Your Hats" era? But nowadays the poor abused male has to shift for himself. And should a controversy develop over the offending hat, mere man is likely as not to be unceremoniously ushered out into the street by a couple of unsympathetic fugitives from a muscle show and threatened with arrest for disturbing the peace should he demand a refund.

Yes, moviegoing is becoming increasingly perilous for a male under 6 feet on Broadway. (Strangely the hazard is not so great in neighborhood cinemas, where the females are unaccountably different, almost diffident, in fact, in this respect.) So it was that this observer stood transfixed gazing into the window of a millinery shop in West Fourteenth Street the other day at an assortment of cellophane-brimmed hats. "Novelty Movie Hats" is what the sign called them, but it was the supplementary legend which had our eye-- "You do not have to remove this hat in a movie, because the person in back of you can see the picture through the brim." Naturally, we haven't the slightest notion how the fashion experts would regard such a creation, but no matter, it may have a certain unilateral value at that.

© 1941 The New York Times

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