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On September 24, 1929 Winston Churchill was in Los Angeles in the middle of his three month tour of Canada and the United States. Accompanied by his son Randolph, brother Jack, and nephew Johnny, Churchill had already crossed Canada by train and journeyed down the Pacific coast. Having met Charlie Chaplin at a party a few days before, the British travelers were hosted that afternoon at his studio at Sunset Boulevard and La Brea Avenue. Chaplin took them on a tour of the studio where he was at work on his silent classic “City Lights” and then gave them a private screening of his 1918 film “Shoulder Arms,” as well as the chance to view rushes from his current work. On the evening of September 24th the Churchills and Charlie Chaplin joined the party of the actress Marion Davies at the premiere of Cock-Eyed World at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Randolph Churchill thought the premiere was “terrific,” with searchlights, a huge crowd of film fans, and an array of movie stars. The film, however, was a disappointment for Randolph who loudly denounced it as the worst he had ever seen. After the film Marion Davies brought them to an opening night party for the premiere at the Roosevelt Hotel. Beginning about midnight, the party had two orchestras as well as sherry and champagne being served despite prohibition. More information about the Churchills visit to Los Angeles can be found in my book Churchill in North America: A Three Month Tour of Canada and the United States, 1929.

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