Donna Darling Collection – Part 79

Terrace Theatre – Beautiful Bathing Girls

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a second clipping from the Donna Darling Collection relating to the Terrace Theater.

BATHING GIRLS NOW PLAYING AT THE TERRACE THEATRE

Miss Donna Darling, star with Beautiful Bathing Girls from the Motion Picture Studios, now playing at the Terrace theatre.

The stellar act at the Terrace theatre the first of the week is the Beautiful Bathing girls from the Moving Picture Studios, headed by Donna Darling. Fashions in bathing suits from 1860 down to the present are shown by these girls, who also give a good account of themselves in several dance numbers. Probably the largest early week night audience in many fonths [sic] witness the performance Monday night. Two other good acts and a feature picture, “So This Is Marriage,” complete the Terrace bill.

The silent film, “So This Is Marriage,” was released in 1924, confirming that this showing was from 1924 or 1924 and not any of Donna’s earlier Bathing Beauty shows.

Cinema Treasures reports there were 41 Terrace theatres in the United States. Thirty-seven of them opened after 1925. One was in Vallejo, California; Donna didn’t tour the west coast with this show. One, the Airdome, was a second listing for the Terrace in Danville, Illinois. The last one was the Terrace Theatre in Chicago. This is clearly a clipping from her show at one of the two locations, either Danville or Chicago.

Because Donna played the Empress Theatre in Chicago in October 1924, I suspect that this clipping is from her probable show in Danville in October 1924.

Key features:

  • The venue was the Terrace Theatre in (Probably Danville, Illinois) but possibly Chicago.
  • The show was the “Beautiful Bathing Girls from the Motion Picture Studios” staring Donna Darling.

Finally, a review of the newspapers of the time yielded none currently available online for Danville, Illinois.

Conclusion

Date Unknown (Fall 1924- Spring 1925) – Danville, IL, Hollywood Revue of Bathing Beauties.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 78

Terrace Theatre – Bathing Beauties

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection.

Terrace Theatre – Attendance Records Smashed, circa 1925

Cinema Treasures reported 41 Terrace theatres in the united states, but only one of them in a city named Danville – Danville, IL. Donna appears to have had two trips into Illinois with her Bathing Beauties, once in the fall of 1924 (September) and again in January/February 1925. So this show must have been from one of those periods.

This clipping is particularly interesting because it names the other girls in the show.

  • Betty Bryant of Ziegfield’s – A Prize Winner.
  • Mildred O’Brien – In Singing and Dancing.
  • Alyce Louyse – A Bather From Mars.
  • Clarice Allyn – Petite Toe Dancer.
  • May Walker – Blue Singer and Beach Flirt

It also mentions Murray Earl as Comedian.

Key features:

  • The venue was the Terrace Theatre in Danville, Illinois.
  • The show was the “California Motion Picture – Big Hollywood Reue of Bathing Beauties, featuring Donna Darling.

Finally, a review of the newspapers of the time yielded none currently available online for Danville, Illinois.

Conclusion

Date Unknown (Probably Fall 1924or Spring 1925) – Danville, IL – Terrace Theatre – Hollywood Revue of Bathing Beauties.

Donna in the News – The Indiana Theater, Bedford, IN

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and 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. 

This week from the Bedford Daily Times, (Bedford, Indiana) dated April 30th thru May 2nd, 1925.

I didn’t see any articles; however, there were ads for Donna’s show three days in a row.

Because of those newly available online articles, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s 1925 Bathing Girl Revue. The new venue added to her career list: “April 30 – May 2, 1925 – Indiana Theater – Bedford, IN – Bathing Girl Revue featuring beautiful Donna Darling.”

My thanks to Newspapers.com for their continuous efforts to digitize newspapers and their alert capability.

—–Disclaimer —–

 

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 Darling Collection – Part 68

Four Orpheum Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday,
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at ten clippings from seven different pages. Nine of them relate to the Orpheum Theaters in various locations. But first, there was a “Donna Darling Review” trade advertisement. It clearly was a clipping from a magazine. It didn’t provide anything about a theater. It gives the title of their show and who the director was.

DONNA DARLING Revue.
With SAMMY CLARK
A Novel Revue in Five Scenes

Entitled

FROM HEAVEN – TO HADES
Singing—Komedy—Dancing

Direction: Lew Holleb
Lew Goldberg Office, Chicago

I think I can use this ad as a graphic for the entire show period.

Racine

Next, there were two clippings of “California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” featuring Donna Darling. The theater is the “Orpheum-Racine’s Play House Deluxe” and the date is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving was the November 27th in 1924. I had already determined that Donna played at the Racine Orpheum theatre on Nov 27, 28, & 29, so I am able to add the date to these two clippings.

Des Moines

There are three clippings that show another Orpheum theater. They are identified as under “Direction of Alexander Frank.” Alexander Frank provided direction to several theaters in Iowa during the 1920s. One of those theaters was in Des Moines. I had already established that Donna played the Des Moines Orpheum on January 2nd to the 5th, 1927; so, I’m sure this show is the show the clippings are related to.

Tulsa & Oklahoma City

The last three items include an Orpheum Theater Program. There is no date nor location with it. However, another clipping shows the Orpheum theater with the same acts also on the bill and had hand-written on it “Tulsa Okla.” Also, is a short ad showing the Donna Darling Revue “this W’k, Orpheum, Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla.”

Donna played the Orpheum Theater in Oklahoma City on December 9, 1923 and the Orpheum in Tulsa on December 13-14, 1923. At first I thought this venue must have been one of these two. Further research on line found acts different from the ones in the clippings played on those dates. Finally, a search for “Sie Tehar Troup” found they played in Oklahoma City with the “Darling Revue” starting Thursday, 12 August 1926. It is possible the same group played in Tulsa sometime in August 1926, however, I have not been able to find any papers for that time period and location, yet.

Conclusion

November 27-29, 1924 – Racine, Wisconsin – Orpheum – Bathing Beauties with Donna Darling. Newspapers.com – DDC-68

January 2-5, 1927 – Des Moines, IA – Orpheum – Donna Darling Revue – Newspapers.com – Archives.Com – DCC-68 

Two New Venues Discovered:

August 12, 1926 – Oklahoma City, OK – Orpheum Theater. Newspapers.com

August ??, 1926 – Tulsa, OK – Orpheum – Darling Revue – DDC-68