Old Hollywood: 2023 Prom Theme Explained


Jeanelle Wu

Don’t forget to keep the prom theme “Old Hollywood” in mind when getting ready for YLHS prom 2023!

Jeanelle Wu, Editor

Lights, camera, action – prom 2023 take one! Put on your finest clothes and jewelry and get ready to walk the red carpet, time-traveling straight back to Old Hollywood in the 1920s-1960s. But Old Hollywood is more than just classy outfits, flashing lights, and aesthetic black-and-white film. There is a woven history behind this concept and intricate fashion trends that make Old Hollywood a memorable time in the entertainment industry.


There has been much debate about when Old Hollywood (also known as the studio era or Golden Age of Hollywood) began: some argue that it began with the silent movie era while others say it started at the end of the silent movie era. During the silent era (1910-1927), there was minimal editing and a lack of reality, yet it was still the beginning of film being a way of storytelling. After sound-film production, however, the narrative and visual style were improved and reached new heights. Many Westerns, musicals, romantic dramas, horror films, and documentaries were produced, capturing the interest of society and farthing Hollywood’s reputation. Even during the economic hardships of the Great Depression, around 80 million Americans went to the movies every week, showing the dominance of the movie industry (history.com). 


The films produced during the Golden Age of Hollywood were big hits; although, most of the films have key elements that are expected. The classic Hollywood narrative during that time had psychologically defined characters, a struggle to solve a problem or reach a goal, a conflict with other characters, and there is a decisive victory or defeat (nofilmschool.com). The narrative is commonly set into motion by the main character’s desires, which develop as the plot and characters develop. 


There are many well-known movies that are a product of Old Hollywood. For example, The Jazz Singer is credited by many as the film that started the era. Also, Citizen Kane is often regarded as one of the greatest films in history. Other familiar favorites include The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Stagecoach, and Wuthering Heights.


So now that you have a better understanding of the history and the behind-the-scenes of Old Hollywood film, how can students dress the part for this night to remember? Well, the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Old Hollywood fashion is “glamorous”. The style was bold and dramatic while simultaneously being luxurious and classy. For starters, glitter equals glam: this can mean sequins, beads, jewels, and pearls. However, although fashion drama is good, there is a point where too much might be considered tacky. But, you can never go wrong with fabrics such as satin or silk that give a sleek and elegant effect. Speaking of fabrics, adding soft yet bold fabrics such as furs, velvet, and feathers can enhance the Old Hollywood look. As for colors, any bold color would meet the mark, but black, white, red, gold, and silver are some colors that just scream classic Hollywood glam. Lastly, a common signature look for actresses at the time that could complete any Old Hollywood prom look was a bold lip; often a bright, prominent red or a darker shade of maroon. 


The Junior Officers wanted our prom theme to be versatile. We wanted to go with a classic and timeless theme that didn’t feel overwhelming.”

— Tatum Steward

Tatum Steward (11), YLHS Junior Class President, states that “the Junior Officers wanted our prom theme to be versatile. We wanted to go with a classic and timeless theme that didn’t feel overwhelming.” She continues on to describe the process of how ASB “discussed several different themes before presenting our top 4 choices to the class. In the end, the class nearly unanimously voted for Old Hollywood as the theme.” Make sure to join everyone on Saturday, May 20th, 2023 from 7pm-11pm to experience a night of fame in Old Hollywood. Walk the red carpet at prom located at Anaheim Colony House. Can’t wait to see you there!