Apr 1923 – Valentino Charm Wins Elmira New York Fans

Advertising a beauty clay, rather than the latest kind of Vaseline Rudolph Valentino “The Perfect Lover” charmed a goodly crowd of his feminine admirers at the Armory Thursday evening.  Charmed is the word for the youthful Sheik of the movies, sleep and well-mannered, radiant with the fire of youth handsome in the extreme, and attired in the costume in which he first came into fame was a real Prince Charming as he danced with the beautiful Winifred Hudnut, now Mrs. Valentino No.2 on the raised platform in the center of the Armory Floor.  Rudy’s following is feminine there is no denying that, for how else would he acquire the title “The Perfect Lover” and is that not sufficient to line up the menfolk as his mortal enemies? It is safe to say that many of the male gender present Thursday night under protest maybe and who went to scoff were won to the ranks of Valentino fans. For Rudy certainly made a good impression though rather stingy in his dancing act.  “It was a long wait for the advent of the Sheik, but the womenfolk thought it worthwhile, and loudly and convincingly did they voice their welcome when Rudolph and his wife made their appearance at 9:30 pm.  Preceded by their own Argentine Orchestra, the noted pair, attired in the costume so well remembered in “The Four Horsemen” danced the Argentine Tango, a replica of the scene from the famous Ingram picture. With Sombrero, sash, velvet and gold boots and spurs, Valentino appeared as he did in his first big picture, and the scene in the darkened Armory with the spotlight playing on the raised platform, was unique and delightful. Valentino began as a tango dancer and Thursday nights exhibition showed he lost none of his nimbleness.  So appealing was the applause that Valentino and his wife consented to an encore, after which the hero of the screen proved his versatility by making a speech.  Perfectly at ease, with an Italian accent Valentino took the occasion to denounce what he termed the “picture trust” which he declared was responsible for the fact he was not now appearing in movies.  “It was not a case salary with me but rather one of self-respect for I was not willing to appear in the sort of pictures, which the trust insisted I should make.  Pictures such as the “Sheik, Young Rajah, and others of this caliber are not the sort in which I care to appear.  Valentino himself, he was voted every bit as handsome off the screen as on, and even the men declared him a ‘regular fellow’. Showing evidence of education and culture minus the egoism attributed to him, the former tango dancer, who rose to the exalted position of “worlds most romantic figure” as the program termed him, the young lothario bids fair to hold his present popularity. For whom else would the women fold wait for two hours. Because of the crowd in front of the Armory Valentinos party entered by a side door only to be met with shrieks of delight as he stepped out into the hall.  He certainly gave em a big thrill.  Running Valentino to a close second for honors was the orchestra which he brought with him and Mrs. Valentino a chilly third.  Billed as an Argentines orchestra and attired in gypsy costume, they made a picturesque appearance. Their music proved a delight, especially when they played for the local dancers and they were roundly applauded.  The hall was decorated in American and Italian flags.  The crowd, no so large as anticipated appeared to have enjoyed its evening.

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