My main research throughout this course has been about Salem, Oregon. More specifically, my research has been about the Wexford movie theater in this city. Because of helpful resources such as newspapers.com, I have been able to find plenty of information about the theater and its surrounding contexts from newspapers such as the Capital Journal. However, I wanted to dig deeper into the different aspects of film and exhibition in Salem, so I searched “Mexican Film” in the database and found some interesting information. One article I found when I searched these terms caught my eye with the headline “Mexican Beauty Regards Film Work as a Mission”. This is an article from the Oregon Statesman on October 18, 1925, page 12 that discusses a story from Hollywood, California which is something I found very interesting. I was not expecting to find a story about a Mexican actress in another state for a local newspaper in Salem, Oregon. As I read the article I learned about this Mexican woman, who went by the name of Dolores del Rio, and her goals as an actress. According to the Oregon Statesman (now called Statesman Journal) article, del Rio was a wealthy society woman who held her work to high standards in order to stand out from the rest and overcome the destructive preconceptions about Mexican actors. The article describes how producers would feature Mexicans and Spaniards as villains in their films, yet Dolores del Rio intended to break free from these prejudices and undertake an extensive range of different role types. I was pleasantly surprised to find information about Mexican actors in an Oregon newspaper, especially one that is a positive read about attempting to move away from discrimination and stereotyping non-white people. I am also glad that a story like this one was able to make its mark in cities such as Salem because this means that Mexican actors and their work traversed throughout the country, not just this Oregon city. Today there are multiple notable Latinx actors, filmmakers, and information about them can be easily found however this was most likely not the case back in 1925 US cinema history, therefore reading this article was gratifying. Through this conducted research I was able to find more information about Dolores del Rio, such as how she is regarded as the first major female Latin American star in Hollywood, and she starred in multiple films including one with Elvis Presley entitled Flaming Star. I would be very interested to learn more about other popular Latinx actors or filmmakers in the US during this time.
“18 Oct 1925, Page 12 - Statesman Journal at Newspapers.com.” Newspapers.com, universityoforegon.newspapers.com/image/79696534/.