Donna in Bridgeport, CT, at Poli’s – June 30-July 2, 1927

Donna in Bridgeport, CT, at Poli’s – June 30-July 2, 1927.

We know Donna played in Warren, PA, in early May, but don’t know where she, Sammy, and Hal Dixon were until the played at Poli’s Theater in Bridgeport, CT from June 30 until July 2, 1927.[i] [ii]

From the advertising it is clear that the movies had taken over. Irene Rich in a Warner Bros. silent feature, “The Climbers” was top billing. Even for the opening night, the “Donna Darling Revue” was promoted after “Amateur Night” in the “Amusements” article regarding what was playing at the Poli, which read:

AMATEURS TONIGHT AT POLI’S VAUDEVILLE 

In addition to the amateur presentations tonight, Poli’s Vaudeville theater offers a splendid new program today. 

Irene Rich leads an all-star cast through the screen version of the stage success “The climbers.” Commander Byrd’s start over the Atlantic is in Pathe News and a short Mack Sennett comedy completes the photoplay bill.

Heading the vaudeville contingent is Stan Stanley and company in a bit of farce, hokum and burlesque. The captain Boys present their six beautiful fashionettes in an elaborate dance act. Modern Vaudeville Frolics includes Donna Darling, Sammy Clark and Hal Dixon; Watts and Reingold in “Their Own Way,” and William Moore as “The Chef” contribute entertainment of high caliber.[iii] 
I’m still searching for other Donna Darling showings during 1927. This may have been her last show in 1927 as her son, Russell, was born less than two months later. I do know she played in Mount Carmel, PA in April 1928.

Poli’s Theater
Cinema Treasures photo of
the Palace Theater shows the
glory the theater once had.[vi]
Poli’s was, in some ways, kind of an early multiplex. Built in 1922 by Sylvester Z Poli, the Palace and Majestic Theaters were separate theaters within the same building complex separated by the Savoy Hotel. The Poli Palace was the larger of the two theaters and was the largest theater in Connecticut until 1975[iv]. According to Historic Buildings of Connecticut, Mae West also played the Poli Palace in 1927.[v] The Majestic Theater closed in 1971 and the Palace Theater closed in 1975. The theater has been vacant for 40 years and the city is hoping to redevelop the property.

Google Maps view of the Palace/Majestic Theater
Endnotes


[i] Bridgeport Telegram, 29 Jun 1927, Pg 10 – via Newspapers.com
[ii] Bridgeport Telegram, 2 Jul 1927 – Bridgeport (CT) Telegram – Via Newspaper Arvhives.com.
[iii] Bridgeport Telegram, 30 Jun 1927, Donna Darling Revue at Poli’s via Newspaperarchive.com
[iv] Web: Historic Buildings of Connecticutt: http://historicbuildingsct.com/?p=19817
[v] Web: Historic Buildings of Connecticutt: http://historicbuildingsct.com/?p=19817 
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