Donna at Rock Springs, Wyoming on November 23, 1919 at the Grand Theater

Donna at Rock Springs, Wyoming on November 23, 1919 at the Grand Theater.

Rock Springs Miner
21 November 1919
Thanks to the
Wyoming Newspaper Project
I almost missed that Chin Chin played at the Grand Theater in Rock Springs Wyoming. But thanks to the Wyoming Newspaper Project’s indexing of the Rock Springs Miner, I was able to learn about that venue. 
The Rock Springs Miner apparently was a weekly paper, so information about the show was limited to only two editions. The newspaper on November 14th, included an ad for the show, a brief article about the shows coming, and another photo of “The Four French Dancing Dolls.”  The quality of this photo’s image is much better than the one which was in the Colorado Springs Gazette. Uncle Russell, Donna’s son, and I are fairly sure that the woman on the left is Donna. 
It appears that Donna is on the left.
Rock Springs Miner – 14 November 1919
Thanks to the Wyoming Newspaper Project
The newspaper on November 21st also included the photo of “The Four French Dancing Dolls” along with an ad and a short write up article.  The article also mentions, “There is no leading lady in this organization.  Although a number of beautiful women, principals and otherwise, who is to enjoy the place of honor as first favorite is left to the choice of the public.”
The article goes on to say that, “It is estimated that 250,000 people from all points more than one hundred miles from New York have already seen ‘Chin Chin” while it was presented at the Globe Theatre in New York, and now Mr. Dillingham is actually bringing this his only company in its entirety to the Grand Thearte [sic].”

The Grand Theater

The Grand Theater Today
Larger View

When I first saw the Google Maps photo of the Grand Theater today I was astounded.  I couldn’t imagine what the company thought when they came to the Grand Theater.  It appeared small, very small.  By a quick Google Map view of the theater it appeared to be about 60 feet by 80 feet.  It was difficult to imagine that such a small theater could host a cast of over 60 people and still have room for customers.

Then I contacted the good folks at the Rock Springs Historical Society on Facebook and asked them about the Grand Theater. They were kind enough to send a photo they had.  Their photo clearly showed additional space in the rear, which probably housed the stage, changing rooms, etc.

What a relief. Back in the day, it held over 300 people. The photo also show a roof element that indicates the building was built in 1914 as a Labor Temple.

The Grand Theater, Rock Springs, WY
Courtesy of Rock Springs Historical Museum

Today it hosts an “Adult store” and some vacant frontages.

Sources:
Rock Springs Miner (Rock Springs, WY) Nov 14, 1919, Pages 3, 5, & 6 via the Wyoming Newspaper Project 
Rock Springs Miner (Rock Springs, WY) Nov 21, 1919, Pages 2, 3, 5, & 6 via the Wyoming Newspaper Project 
Kilduffs.com Wyoming Theater Tour Rock Springs and the Grand Theater 
Google Maps 463 North Front Street, Rock Springs, WY, 82901

Rock Springs Historical Museum via Facebook



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