Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Valentino Memorial Clubs, Guilds & Associations

In the days before the internet with Facebook Groups, and Yahoo! groups, the only way to communicate with like-minded fans was to enlist membership within a given group.  In the case of Rudolph Valentino, there were many such clubs organized after his passing in 1926.

The most noted were located in Hollywood, California, Chicago, Illinois, and London England.
There were several more than sprang up and disappeared almost as quickly.

Here for you to enjoy is a collection of rare membership cards and business cards that were connected with these various Valentino clubs and guilds.  As of this date, all have disbanded.

Most famous Valentino Guild maintained by legendary Lady In Black, Ditra Flame. Her Valentino Guild was active from 1927 to her death in 1984

A later version of the Valentino Guild's membership card

Business card of Valentino Guild.

Membership of the Chicago Valentino Memorial Club.  This club had famed Valentino photographer Mabel Sykes (often credited as Valentino's favorite) as the club secretary.  Mabel Sykes often held the club meetings at her home. This club was most active in the late 20's thru the 1930's.

The 'Valentino Flappers' Club started after the 1951 release of 'Valentino' starring Anthony Dexter.  It's members were mostly teens who were not even born when Valentino was alive.   James Dean was about to burst upon the screen and teens of that era identified with him, rather than a star who died before they were born.  Thus, this club only existed a couple of years. 

This is the last known club for Valentino.  Called the 'Rodolfo Valentino Club' it was started by Estrellita Del Regil who claimed that her mother was the original Lady In Black, and became one herself at the annual Valentino Memorial Services to 'carry on' her mothers work - as she now called herself on the membership card "The Great Lady In Black'.  Her own sister denied any truth to the story.  I haven't found anyone who admitted to joining this club. 

In the early 1990's there were newsletters that were created and sent out.  Those will be covered in another post.

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