“Chin Chin” at Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD, 20 April 1920

We know that Chin Chin played in Coshocton, Ohio, on April 11th. However, we don’t know yet where else the company played between there and Cumberland.

Stage of the Maryland Theater, Cumberland, MD

Stage of the Maryland Theater, Cumberland, MD via Kidstuff.com

What we do know is from the April 14, 1920, edition of the Cumberland Evening Times – Page 10 – Column 1.

Maryland Theatre

 “Chin Chin” Coming to the Maryland Theatre, Tuesday, April 20

The Production of Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin” has rivaled even “Floradora” in its popularity. Walter Wills and Roy Binder are featured members of the organization. They are slim young men, masters of the eccentric dance and comedians of more than ordinary ability.

“Chin Chin is a musical comedy, or extravaganza, or fantasy, whatever it may please one to call it; but it is saturated with the comic spirit and abounds in delightful pantomime.

The notices accorded the company this year prove that the aggregation of players is exceptional and that the production as a whole is a real “Top Notch” Dillingham show, and that even in war times “Chin Chin” has been doing a record business on the road, near army camps and elsewhere.

The book of the play is by Anne Caldwell and R. H. Bernside, Lyrics by Miss Caldwell and James O’Dea, and music by Ivan Caryll, remembered for the melodies of “The Pink Lady” and “The Little Cafe.”

Of its songs, “Violets,” “The Gray Moon,” “Love Moon,” “Good Bye” and “Go Gar Sig Gong Jute” are not likely to be forgotten for some seasons to come. There is also saxaphone music by the renowned Tom Brown’s Clown Sextette. In fact, “Chin Chin” is one of those fortunate shows that is clean and wholesome fun, offending no one.


Maryland Theatre

Drawing - Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD c. 1907

Drawing – Maryland Theatre, Cumberland, MD c. 1907

The Maryland Theater was built for about $70,000 based upon plans by John D. Allen, Philadelphia, PA. It opened on 21 November, 1907 with a seating capacity of nearly 1800. It closed on 9 October, 1963 and was demolished in December, 1966.[i]

The 1920 Census indicates that Cumberland was a city of nearly 30,000 people.  The Julius Cahn Theatrical Guide for 1913-1914 indicates that the theatre had a capacity of 1,696, 600 on the main floor, 340 in the balcony, 600 in the gallery, and 56 box seats. The Stage was a large 38×33 feet and the front to back wall was 41 feet.  There were four stage pockets.  For newspapers, besides the “Times,” whose afternoon circulation was 7,179, there was the “News” with a morning circulation of 4,000.[ii]

 

Further Research

Obtain a subscription to Newspaper Archives and look for additional information about “Chin Chin” playing in the Cumberland Times.

Find a source for the Cumberland News and see if they have any articles regarding the show.


 Endnotes

[i] Internet: Cinema Treasurers – Maryland Theater in Cumberland, MD – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/28957

[ii] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill – Theatrical Guide 1913-1914: Page 290 – Cumberland, MD, via Google Books

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