The first glance at this unique elevated cab aerodynamic coach based on a White truck chassis brings to mind just how unusual looking it is. The second thought was that this may have been designed and constructed by one of the commercial body builders in the Los Angeles area we learned about in Michael Lamm’s earlier article covering the work of Wellington Everett Miller.
The July 1931 “Modern Mechanics” magazine contains a short article that describes a number of the details of the “traveling talkie theater.” At the rear of the body (below) behind a pair of doors are the movie screen and a sound system that could be viewed and heard by as many as 2,000 people. In front of it, is an enclosed projection room and both are powered by an on-board generator.
In the middle of the 34-foot long black and silver traveling entertainment center are two “Pullman Cars,” pictured below; one is complete with hot and cold running water, a kitchen and a refrigerator; the other room was equipped with a “shower bath” and a comfortable couch and chair arrangement and a sleeping berth.
At the top front of this conveyance was the driver’s “pilot house” that pre-dated the GM 1941 “Futurliners” cab by ten years and was accessible via a stairway from the lower level. A crew of six was scheduled to make a trip with it all around the Country to promote “talking pictures.” The targeted audience lived in smaller communities that were without a movie theater and presumably, would want one after viewing this presentation.
One unanswered question remains, which Southern California film company had this rig constructed, or was it sponsored by the film industry? The answer appears to be shown in the fine print on the side of the cab and the crest on the side door.