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December 22, 2014

Hilarious Portraits of Moviegoers Through a Trick 'Two-way' Mirror in 1946

In 1946, from the darkened interior of a stuffy booth in the lobby of Loew's Criterion cinema in Times Square, LIFE photographer Yale Joel stole portraits of unguarded moviegoers through a transparent or 'two-way' mirror.

Here are some of hilarious and surprising portraits...

Woman smoothing her eyebrow

Woman moistening her lips, while others are checking out their own profiles

Man cleaning his glasses

Man adjusting his overcoat and grimacing

Man adjusting his pants

Nose-blower watching himself

Woman checking her eyelid

Man tugging at shirt collar

Woman adjusting flowered hat

Woman adjusting her skirt

Man checking his molars

Woman applying lipstick

Man checking a spot on his face

Man setting his hat in place

Man looking closely at the side of his nose

(Photos by Yale Joel/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images, via Retronaut and Shooting Film)


  1. These photos are very creative but they might also be seen as a mockery to veterans who fought for their country.. I am curious if there was any controversy on these photos?

  2. Why replace the American Flag for a flower? A flower has not liberated one person where forces under the American Flag has freed millions.




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