A Hollywood Mystery for Halloween Week - NBC Southern California

A Hollywood Mystery for Halloween Week

Was that a time traveler walking the boulevard?

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    A Hollywood Mystery for Halloween Week
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    Was there a time traveler back at the Chinese Theatre in 1928?

    We take it back. The big-animals-gnawing-pumpkins phenom might not be the hottest video meme of the week.

    If you check in with any film sites or any paranormal sites, you've likely seen references to a video clip that a filmmaker based in Belfast found on a Charlie Chaplin DVD. The clip came from an extra, showing scenes of the premiere of Chaplin's "The Circus" back in 1928.

    Location? The Chinese Theatre and general Hollywood Boulevard area.

    The hubbub over the clip is over a woman walking by who seems to be talking on a cell phone. In 1928. Some people are shouting "time traveler!" Others are opting for the vintage hearing-aid route. Others are opting not to know and let the mystery be.

    Whatever side of the mystery you land on, here are the things to like about this sepia-toned meme: More people will be watching Charlie Chaplin films. More people will come to know the spooky and lovely side of Hollywood that ripples through the town most days of the year, not just in October. More tours will be mentioning the video to tourists, and it will now enter general Tinseltown lore. And more people will watch DVD extras with a keener eye.

    Certainly some wisecracker has to be working on a comedy bit right now about what apps were available in 1928, if you do believe that's a real cell phone. We hope there was one tracking trolley times, or best deals at the citrus groves in the Valley. Maybe the hottest clubs to boop-boop-bi-doo at along the Boulevard.

    Oh we could go on, but go watch the video now.