Thanks to a very generous friend, I recently came in the possession of seven issues of Screen Romances, ranging in publication date from April 1935 to January 1946.
While various issues of the magazine are regularly on sale via eBay, it has not, as far as I know, been digitised just yet, so the opportunity to look through such a range of issues is particularly exciting.
I did a little research on the publication, both online and using Anthony Slide’s excellent Inside the Hollywood Fan Magazine, and came up with some basic information. Apparently, the first issue was published in June 1929 and it was “extant as of March 1947” (Slide, 242). When exactly the magazine ceased existing does seem to be a bit of a thorny issue, although my own research online seems to indicate it was published until at least April 1948.
The magazine is interesting to me for a number of reasons, but I particularly enjoy the fact that it still focused primarily, even in the 1940s, on short stories based on films. This was a format initially embraced by magazines such as Motion Picture Story Magazine in the 1910s, but then abandoned in favour of a broader focus on stars and film culture. Since I – like many researchers – usually focus on article-based magazines such as Photoplay and Picture Play, I’m looking forward to reading through the stories and looking in further depth at the format of the magazine, as well as its potential evolution between 1935 and 1946.
It is interesting to note, for example, that the magazine cost 25 cents in 1935, then lowered its price to 10 cents in 1939, and cost 15 cents by 1943 – we often don’t really think about magazine prices, but such a relatively dramatic price change may well tell us something about movie magazine culture at the time.
At any rate, I will be looking further into my new acquisitions very soon. In the meantime, I’ve taken a few photographs for your perusal.