Donna Darling Collection – Part 71

Stratton Theatre – 14 April 1922.

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
Donna Darling
As You Like It

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection relating to the Stratton Theatre.


THEATRES

| WN DAILY TIMES-PRESS, FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 19 |

Stratton Offers Big Program

The acts at the Stratton are all wonderful. To pick the headline act would be quite a task but after one looks at beautiful Donna Darling and her dancing boys he will begin to sit up and take real notice. Her presentation is a miniature musical comedy which might be styled “An Act a Minute.” Murray Walker in his imitation of Pat Rooney was very good. Jack Finney the other boy with Miss Darling proved himself a dancing demon. The Rising Generation might be classed as one of the best child acts on the American stage today. Credit for this splendid offering goes to Miss Maude Daniels who has arranged this very pretty offering and the training of the children. James (Fat) Thompson and Al Petrie appear in a comedy barrage entitled “The Comoufleures.” James Valdare comes along with something new in the line of comedy cycling. Piasno and Bingham in “At the Barber Pole” have a very novelty skit which proves to be a choice bit of amusement. A big time act, “Yachting,” presented by Tom Brown, with Harry Voltaire and Arline Lloyd. This act might be styled as a musical cruise with oceans of melody. Sheehan and Richards present a |

Very bright offering of chatter and song that pleases all.

The big feature photoplay is Pola Negri in “The Last Payment.” The scenes are thrilling and the production as a whole, is massive and superb. Tomorrow’s big feature will be Bebe Daniels in “One Wild Week.”

The second clipping is a reminder to me to double-check and triple-check scans before I return material to its source. In this case the very left edge of the scan was cut off which resulted in losing the first letter (or two) of each line. It is one of the items I wish I could get back and rescan.

 

Seven New Acts at the Stratton

Opening today with an all new Keith Program of seven sterling vaudeville acts the Stratton Theatre will present for the last half of the week and attraction for the local theatergoers that will outdo anything ever before attempted. James Valdare in a comedy cycling novelty, who has just toured Europe with Harry Lander’s famous troupe, opens the program with a whirl of daring deeds on a bicycle. Sheehan and Richards then follow in a bright and snappy offering of chatter and song. The Rising Generation, a sensational juvenile attraction which presents nine of the most talented children on the American Stage. Pisano and Bingham in a choice bit of amusement entitled “At the Barber Pole” Mr. Pisano as an Italian, and Mr. Bingham as an Irishman, and the dialogue of the two is productive of much fun. Miss Donna Darling, musical comedy favorite, and winner of the Madison Square Garden beauty contest assisted by Murray Walker and Jack Finney, her dancing boys, presents an unusually interesting  revue entitles “As You Like It.” James Thompson and Company in a screamingly funny ??ckface comedy brimming over with >>n, will add to your amusement. Tom Brown, of the famous Brown Brown Brothers, send the feature act to close the ???. It is Harry Voltaire and company in “Yachting,” described as a musical cruise with oceans of melody. The act embraces five saxophones a….

Key features:

  • The venue is the Stratton Theatre.
  • The date is the 2nd half of the week that includes April 14th (Apr 13-15)
  • The show is “As You Like It” staring Donna Darling and Murray Walker and Jack Finney.
  • Also on bill
    • James (Fat) Thompson & Al Petrie in “The Comoufleures”
    • James Valdare in a bicycle show
    • Piasno & Bingham in “At the Barber Pole”
    • Rising Generation. (A children’s act)
    • Sheehan & Richards
    • Tom Brown, with Harry Voltaire & Arline Lloyd in “Yachting”
    • Photoplay: Poli Negri in “The Last Payment”
  • Coming attractions include:
    • Bebe Daniels in “One Wild Week.”

Analysis

This first article has a banner that has a paper name and date of “wn Daily Times-Press dated Friday, April 14, 19.”  No year and no city. The good news is that Cinema Treasures indicates there were only two theaters with the name “Stratton” and one of them was in Middletown, New York.[i] Next, the clipping mentions that the photoplay showing was Pola Negri in “The Last Payment.” That movie was released in Germany in 1919.[ii] However, a review of newspaper mentions of the movie indicated that it didn’t come to the United States until the fall of 1921 and was playing through the Spring of 1922.  Additionally, in 1922, April 14th was a Friday, proving the show was in 1922.  The second half of the week would have been April 13, 14, & 15.

Conclusion

I added the following:

April 13-15, 1922 – Middletown, New York – Stratton Theatre – Donna Darling “As You Like It,” with Murray Walker and Jack Finney. – DDC-71.

Sources

[i] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Search for theaters named Stratton in the United States. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/united-states?q=Stratton&status=all accessed 25 July 2020.

[ii] Internet: IMDB – The Last Payment (1919) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0342674/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 – Accessed 25 July 2020.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 70

Two Strand Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
“As You Like It”
“Bathing Beauty Revue”

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”.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Strand. No Location is provided.
  • Date is not provided.
  • The show is “As You Like It.”

Analysis

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.

Conclusion

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.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Strand (somewhere near Albany, New York).
  • The date is not provided.
  • The show is “A Beach Promenade.”

Analysis

The Strand Theatre in Albany opened November 19, 1920. “It was billed as “New York State’s Most Beautiful Theatre.”[ii] “The Ghost in the Garret” was released in February 1921.[iii]

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

Strand Theatre

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.”

Key features:

  • The venue is the Strand, Amsterdam, New York.
  • Date is not provided.
  • The show is “California Bathing Beauties.”

Analysis

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.

Conclusion

January 31 – February 2, 1921 – Strand Theater (Amsterdam, NY) – Donna Montran and her “California Bathing Beauties.” DDC-70. (New Venue)


Endnotes & Sources

[i] IMBD After the Show (1921) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0011912/.

[ii] Cinema Treasures – Strand Theatre, 110 N. Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12207 http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/44094.

[iii] IMDB The Ghost in the Garret (1921) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0012214/.

[iv] Cinema Treasures – Strand Theatre, 133 E. Maine Street, Amsterdam, NY 12010. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/37477.

[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

 

Donna Darling Collection – Part 69

Palace Theatres

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at four clippings about the Palace Theater. from the Donna Darling Collection

Palace Theatre – Port Richmond

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palace Theatre – Port Richmond.
  • The show is the “Donna Darling & Boys” in “As You Like It.”
  • Also, on the bill:
    • Bert Lahr & Mercedes in “What’s the Idea?”
    • Malloy & Cowell – Comedy Sketch “Hogan the Mummy”
    • Rose Garden – Comedy song & Piano
  • Coming attractions include:
    • May 8, 9, 10—Richard Talmadge, Douglas Fairbanks’ only rival, in “The Unknown.”

Analysis

The first of these clippings relates to the Palace Theatre of Port Richmond. Although it is undated, it mentions the show following, the movie “The Unknown,” will come May 8, 9, and 10. Donna Darling & Boys “As You Like It” appears to have opened in June 1921 and ran until June 1924. “Pay Day” with Charlie Chaplin was released in April 1922. So, I’m confident this ad was from May 4, 5, & 6, 1922. Port Richmond is a section of Philadelphia and there was a Lehigh Palace Theatre it is in Glenwood about three miles from Port Richmond but it doesn’t seem to fit the ad.

Port Richmond is also a neighborhood in Staten Island. Also, it had a Palace Theatre which operated from before 1916 into the 1950s. Additionally, Donna Darling & Boys played at the Crescent Theatre in Perth Amboy, only 17 miles away, immediately following the Palace Theatre gig. As such, I am confident this is evidence that Donna and the Boys, played at the Palace Theatre in Port Richmond, Staten Island, New York May 4-6, 1922.

Conclusion

May 6-8, ?, 1922 – Port Richmond (Staten Island) – Palace Theatre – Donna Darling & Boys in “As you Like It” – DDC-69.

Palace Theatre – Detroit, Michigan

The next two are the cover and inside of a program showing what is coming next week.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palace Theatre – Detroit, Michigan.
  • The show is the “Donna Darling and her Bathing Girl Revue” and includes the “Comedy Life Guards”
  • Also on the Program:
    • Tom Brown Presents “Seven Gifted Chinese Musicians” With their Oriental Stringed Octette.
    • Meredith and Miller in “Bring ‘em In”
    • Harry Oliver and Ada Lee in “At the Stage Door” by Jimmy Barry
    • Fayette and Co. “Spectacular and Comedy Illusions”
    • Three Runseys in “An Athletic Surprise”
    • Movie: Emil Jannings in “The Last Laugh”
  • Date: Unknown (Next Week)

Analysis

Thanks to Genealogy Bank, I learned previously that Donna Darling’s Bathing Beauties played at the Palace Theatre in Detroit, Michigan on July 7th & 8tt, 1925. Clearly, this program is from that showing.

I find it interesting that, presumably, Tom Brown and his Saxophone Clowns (from the Chin Chin Days) morphed into a “Chinese Octette.”

The Bathing Beauty on the inside, “One of the Ten Hollywood Bathing Beauties” does not appear to be Donna. It is rare that Donna ever allowed any of the other women in the show to be displayed in advertising.

Conclusion

Add images to existing files I have regarding Donna playing at the Palace Theatre.

Palace Theatre – “Dolly Montrose”

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palace – The Home of Supreme Vaudeville (Location unknown)
  • The show of interest is “Dolly Montrose – Singing Comedienne”
  • Also on the Program:
    • Beyer & McNulty in their comedy hit “Hunting”
    • Bill Browing—The Talkative Man
    • ??? eley and La Rose—Some Team
    • ??? Lone Star & Co. – Songs and Dances
    • Movie: “Diamonds Adrift” starring Earl Williams
  • Date: Unknown (Probably early 1921)

Analysis

This fragment is intriguing. The Big Vitagraph Feature is “Diamonds Adrift” starring Earl Williams which was released in January 1921. The clipping does not mention Donna but does portray a “Dolly Montrose – Singing Comedienne.” Donna occasionally used the name “Dolly” in her early career, but I’ve not seen “Montrose” ever used before. It may have been a typo, but I suspect something else.

Donna’s known career in early 1921 is lacking many venues. I suspect there was a week in February where Donna didn’t have any shows with her Bathing Beauties and wanted to keep working so she got a gig as a “Singing Comedienne” named Dolly Montrose. A name different enough to not be an embarrassment to her Bathing Beauties show.

Actions

Although my speculation may be right, unless I find corroborating information, I’m just going to just keep this clipping aside and see if something else comes to light.

Donna in the News – Scenic Theatre – Whittier, CA – 30 June 1924

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

From The Whittier News, (Whittier, California) newspaper dated 30 June 1924.

The Whittier News – 28 June 1924

Rare Beauty?

Advertisement for “Donna Darling & Company” headlining at the Scenic Theatre on 30 June 1924.

“Headlining is that rare beauty of the stage world, Miss Donna Darling, the young lady who recently took the beauty prize at the Hippodrome in New York. The lady is appearing in a charming little song and dance revue called ‘As You Like It’, and it is said that the singer wears a wonderfully exquisite gown, containing some 20,000+ pearls. In her support will be Jack Lewis, a comedian and pianist of note. Miss Darling’s clothes are particularly charming creations. She wears a colonial costume of gold cloth in which she sings some old favorites. The settings for this act are gorgeous and most expensive.”

Because of the newly available online article & advertising, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s “As You Like It” tour.

June 30, 1924 – Whittier, CA – Scenic Theatre – Donna Darling and Company presenting “As You Like It.”

Sources

  • The_Whittier_News_Sat__Jun_28__1924, Page 2, Column 4, “Things Theatrical” via Newspapers.Com.
  • The_Whittier_News_Mon__Jun_30__1924_, Page 15, Column 1, “Scenic Theatre” via Newspapers.Com.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 59

Donna Montran – Vaudeville
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection, all relating to the State Theatre, Beacon, New York.

Article

STATE THEATRE.

D. W. Griffith’s “The Love Flower,” which opened at the State Theatre last night for three days, lives up to the Griffith standard. It was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

A rattling good vaudeville bill wins the appreciation of all.
….
Dolly Montran, the singing comedienne, with a million dollar personality, gives the patrons a treat in song offerings She more than pleases.

“The Girlie Review,” introducing….

Advertising

With the article was an advertisement for Beacon’s State Theatre. The show “Dolly Montrose” is number 6 on the bill. Also, my grandmother highlighted the item. Beneath that is another ad showing the motion picture “The Love Flower” and Dolly Montran, a Singing Comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality. My grandmother also highlighted that clipping.

Magazine

The last clipping was a short one:

Donna Montran played Bacon [sic], New York, last week, and is appearing at Red Bank, N. J., and Stroudsburg, PA., this week, breaking on her new single, “As You Like It,” written by Hockey and Green.

The good news is I had seen the short clip before. It ran in The New York Clipper, dated 6 July 1921, on – page 15, column 3. From other documents, I knew that Donna was “breaking in” the new single in 1921.

Key features:

  • The venue is the State Theatre. It is “Beacon’s Pride – Theatre Beautiful.”
  • The show is the “Dolly Montran” A singing comedienne. The prima donna with a million-dollar personality.
  • Also on the bill:
    • David Wark [D.W.] Griffith’s picture, “The Love Flower.”
    • “The Girlie Review” – Vaudeville’s greatest dancing novelty
    • Hall and Fenton – A corking skit
    • Robertio – Novelty contortionist

Analysis

Interestingly, the theatre program called her “Dolly Montrose,” and the theatre’s advertising called her Dolly Montran.  I have not seen her going by the name of “Dolly” before. I suspect that “Montrose” was a typo, but I should look at that closer.

July 3rd was a Sunday and playbills of the period typically ran Monday through Wednesday and Thursday through Sunday, so those shows were probably the dates for Red Bank, NJ, and the Stroudsburg, PA, shows.

Conclusion

I was able to update my previous schedule with the following:

  • June 30 – July 2, 1921 – Beacon, New York, State Theatre, “As You Like It” with Donna Montran.
  • July 4-6, 1921 – Red Bank, New Jersey, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)
  • July 7-9, 1921 – Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, _____ Theatre, Donna Montran (probable)

Actions

Search for any other examples of “Dolly Montrose” or “Dolly Montran” during 1921.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – SCAN0080 – Don Taylor’s Private Collection.