Two Strand Theaters
By Don Taylor
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three images from the Donna Darling Collection that relate to the Strand Theater.
MISS DONNA DARLING
Who with her Dancing Boys will be at the Strand first half next week in a dance revue entitled “As You Like It”.
- The venue is the Strand. No Location is provided.
- Date is not provided.
- The show is “As You Like It.”
Although the cropped image doesn’t include any other clues, the original torn out image mentions “William de Mille” and “__ter the Show” is playing somewhere. “After the Show” was released in October 1921.[i] So, it appears that the date for the show is probably October or November 1921.
Donna’s “As you Like It” show began in June 1921 and ran until October 1922. Donna played the Strand theater in Ithaca, New York and played the Strand theater in Shamokin, Pennsylvania, in February 1922. This clipping could be from either of those shows, but it is more likely from an earlier show at a here-to-for unknown Strand theater she played in late 1921.
Circa Oct-Nov 1921 – Strand Theater – (Unknown Location) Donna Darling “As You Like It.” DDC-70.
Second Strand Clipping
Mabel Talliaferro at Strand
The most notable engagement of the present season at the Strand is announced by the management for the first half of this week, in presentation of that charming artist of stage and screen, Mabel Talliaferro, who is appearing in person in “Connie,” a playlet of comedy and romance with Daniel Moyles and Edmund Soraghan. Miss Talliaferro has been secured for a limited engagement in vaudeville and has been brought out of New York city for one week, split between the Strand and Proctor’s Grand Theatre, Albany, and will be a headliner at both theatres. Other big-time stars will be secured and as the big-time acts will not take a booking of less than a week, they will be divided between the Strand and Proctor’s Grand in Albany, which theatre has a ninety-nine cent admission.
Another engagement for the first half of next week at the Strand is Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties in “A Beach Promenade” which is a headliner. This act carries a beautiful setting, stunning costumes, and ten of “California’s selected peaches.”
Other acts on the bill are Fred and Tommy Hayden;” “The American Englishman,” and Wolfred and Stephens, who are billed as “The Boys That Are Different.” “The Ghost in the Garret,” which is Dorothy Gish’s latest starring vehicle, will be screened. The latest Pathe News completes the bill.
- The venue is the Strand (somewhere near Albany, New York).
- The date is not provided.
- The show is “A Beach Promenade.”
Donna’s “A Beach Promenade” show began in July 1920 and ran until March 1921. Donna played at the Clinton Theatre in Albany during September 22-25. So, this appears to be a new venue for this show. HOWEVER –
Strand Ad Clipping
Largest and Best Theatre Orchestra in Town | Consistently the Best Show in Town.
“When Better Shows Come to Amsterdam, The Strand will Present Them.” | Tonight, Tomorrow & Wednesday
Engagement Extraordinary | Mabel Taliaferro (herself) | Famous Star of Stage and Screen, in | “Connie” | A One Act Playlet of Comedy and Romance.
Fred & Tommy Hayden – The American Englishmen.
Wolfred & Stephens – The Boys That Are Different.
Engagement De Luxe | Donna Montran and her | California Bathing Beauties | With Ten of California’s Selected Peaches.
Photoplay—Paramount Presents | Dorothy Gish | Premier Comedienne of the Screen, in | “The Ghost in the Garret.”
- The venue is the Strand, Amsterdam, New York.
- Date is not provided.
- The show is “California Bathing Beauties.”
This advertisement clipping and the previous “article” were physically on the same page of my grandmother’s scrapbook. They also had the exact same acts, so, my initial thought was they were of the same show. Then I realized that one was for the Strand in Albany and the other was for the Strand in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a small town about 35 miles northwest of Albany. A review of Amsterdam theatres indicated that “The Lyceum Theatre was operating prior to 1914. By 1931, it had been renamed Strand Theatre and was operated by the Schine Circuit.”[iv] So the question arises, when did the Lyceum change its name to Strand? Anyway, I was really confused.
In 1921, the Amsterdam Theatre, managed by Ed. Clapp was the only theater in Amsterdam, New York, listed in Julius Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical guide.[v]
Research at FultonHistory.Com led to the exact ad and article (from above). It ran on page 6 of the January 31, 1921 issue of the Amsterdam Evening Recorder confirming the date and location of the show.
January 31 – February 2, 1921 – Strand Theater (Amsterdam, NY) – Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties.” DDC-70. (New Venue)
Endnotes & Sources
[v] (1921). The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill theatrical guide and moving picture directory. New York, N.Y.: Julius Cahn-Gus Hill. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924063709764&view=1up&seq=7