Los Angeles Times Archives Brings Real-Life Perspective to Universal Pictures' Upcoming Thriller "The Black Dahlia"

Los Angeles, Aug. 25, 2006 – To help promote the Sept. 15 release of "The Black Dahlia," the Los Angeles Times and Universal Pictures today launched the first integrated print, online and out-of-home campaign using actual news stories – pulled from the Los Angeles Times archives – about the notorious and still unsolved "Black Dahlia" murder that stunned Los Angeles in 1947.

The Los Angeles Times, which maintains the most extensive archive of stories about the case, re-opened its Black Dahlia archive almost 60 years after the murder of aspiring actress Betty Ann Short, A.K.A, The Black Dahlia.

On Sunday Aug. 27, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Newsday will wrap their respective movie sections with a special four-page advertising insert promoting "The Black Dahlia" microsite, which went live today at and which includes original Los Angeles Times stories about the case.

The three Tribune Publishing newspapers have a combined Sunday circulation of almost 2.7 million.

The microsite is a major component of the innovative month-long campaign and features:
  • more than 50 Los Angeles Times articles originally published in 1947 and pulled from the newspaper's extensive Black Dahlia archives. The collection also includes a 1951 retrospective about the murder.
  • the film's theatrical trailer, produced by Universal Studios, along with film stills.
  • author James Ellroy narrating "A Look Back," a history of the case, and discussing the upcoming film adaptation of his book, "The Black Dahlia."
  • a "Black Dahlia" downloadable map that guides visitors to the locations that played key roles in the murder investigation, from the original crime scene near Hollywood to City Hall to the Formosa Cafe.
Los Angeles Times/ Campaign

A robust advertising campaign, which also began today, targets high-traffic areas of the website, including entertainment news, and main news, and will provide the film with home page exclusivity the week of its release.

To support the online component, teaser ads will run in all print sections of the Los Angeles Times through Sept. 14. And, in the newspaper's five-county distribution area, 23,000 customized news rack cards and headers will support the promotional campaign at the single-copy point of sale.

"This is one of the most exciting pre-awareness promotions the Los Angeles Times has ever put together for a studio release," said Lynne Segall, Los Angeles Times vice president, entertainment advertising, "The credibility of The Times' extensive historical coverage, coupled with the ongoing fascination of this unsolved case, will help raise awareness of and interest in this film among moviegoers."

"The Black Dahlia story is a part of Los Angeles history that continues to captivate us today," stated Adam Fogelson, president of Marketing, Universal Pictures. "These archival pieces from the Los Angeles Times, like the film itself, provide an extraordinary opportunity for people to rediscover why the Dahlia case casts such a long spell."

About "The Black Dahlia"

Master storyteller Brian De Palma, known for such classic crime dramas as "The Untouchables," "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way," as well as his suspense thrillers "Carrie," "Dressed to Kill" and "Blow Out," directs this adaptation of the best-selling crime novel by James Ellroy ("L.A. Confidential," "American Tabloid").

"The Black Dahlia" weaves a fictionalized tale of obsession, love, corruption, greed and depravity around the brutal murder of ambitious silver-screen B-lister Betty Ann Short, A.K.A. "The Black Dahlia." The attack – so grisly that images of the killing were kept from the public – shocked and fascinated the nation in 1947, and remains unsolved today.

The film stars Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. The film is rated R for strong violence, some grisly images, sexual content and language.

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios ( Universal Studios is part of NBC Universal. NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

About the Los Angeles Times

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of nearly 2.2 million and about 3.3 million on Sunday. With its media businesses and affiliates – including,, Times Community Newspapers, Recycler Classifieds, Hoy, and California Community News – the Los Angeles Times reaches approximately 7.6 million or 58 percent of all adults in the Southern California marketplace every week.

The Los Angeles Times, which this year marks its 125th anniversary covering Southern California, is part of Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB), one of the country's leading media companies with businesses in publishing, the Internet and broadcasting. Additional information about the Los Angeles Times is available at

David Garcia
Los Angeles Times

Michael Moses
Universal Pictures