Donna in the News – Passaic & Patterson, New Jersey.

“Chin Chin”

This week Newspapers.Com released two more newspapers that were of interest to my Donna Montran Vaudeville Career work. First, the Passaic Daily Herald had several articles and ads for “Chin Chin” playing at the Lyceum Theatre in Paterson, New Jersey on May 7th and 8th, 1920.  Besides the Herald, the News (Paterson, NY) also had advertising and articles regarding that show.  This was all new information to me about the venues that “Chin Chin” played at during Donna’s being with the cast.

Bathing Beauties

Additionally, the News (Paterson, NY) had a small ad showing that Donna Montran and Her Bathing Beauties played at the Majestic Theater.  The date isn’t 100% clear, but it appears that it was January 13, 14, & 15, 1921, that her Beach Promenade played.

The News (Paterson, New Jersey) · Fri, Jan 14, 1921 · Page 21

Both of these are new dates and venues to be added to my list of Donna’s career performances.

  • May 7 & 8, 1920 – Paterson, NY – Lyceum Theater – “Chin Chin”
  • Jan 13-15, 1921 – Paterson, New Jersey – Majestic Theatre — Donna Montran and her Bathing Beauties.

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers 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.

—– Disclaimer —–

Donna Darling Collection – Part 45

 

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Lyceum Theater, Canton, Ohio

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at another news clipping from the Donna Darling Collection.

Newspaper article from 1922 - Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater
Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater

…. Donna Darling the well known musical comedy star….

… Miss Donna Darling, the musical comedy star assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney will appear in a song and dance cocktail “As you Like It.” Miss Darling will wear in one number a costly gown on which there are more than 20,000 pearls. This is one of the most elaborate gowns ever worn on the American star. Each number of this lavish offering has its special sets and costume effects. A cloth of gold drop is used. The three sing some of the comedy numbers from the Floradora sextette and a number from the musical comedy “Sally,” do some dances to “Irene” music, and other musical comedy hits are introduced with special settings and costumes. The three are exceptionally good dancers as well as singers.

One of the features of the offering will be a burlesque of an Egyptian dance.

Miss Darling is well known to Cantonians as she played here as the prima donna of “Chin Chin” two seasons ago when this big musical comedy played at the Grand. [April 1, 1920 – Canton, OH – Grand Opera House]

Key features:

  • The venue is the Lyceum Theater.
  • The show is the “As You Like It” starring Donna Darling assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney.
  • Also on bill
    • Valerie Bergere was the top bill in a new Japanese comedy-drama, “O Joy San.”
    • Lew Hoffman displayed his skills with hats in “The Hattery.”
    • Miss Lillian Conroy & her brother John used a 5500-gallon water tank for an aquatic show.
    • Jean McCoy & Ralph Walton present “A Few Minutes with Ouija.”
    • Joe Rome & Lou Gaut show “When Extremes Meet” as dancers, singers & storytellers.

Analysis

I always love it when Donna writes the source information on the clipping page. In this case, she wrote “Mar 12 – Sun Repositor – Canton, Ohio.” This matched perfectly with a show I already knew about. On March 12-16 she played at the Lyceum Theater in Canton Ohio.

The article included some interesting tidbits. In particular, I had not previously known that her dress had “over 20,000 pearls.”  Wow, that must have been quite the dress.

Conclusion

Added a note about DDC to the previous entry:

March 12-16, 1922 – Canton, Ohio – Lyceum – Donna Darling – Genealogy Bank – DDC – Part 45.

 

Chin-Chin in the News – Orpheum Theatre – York, PA

28 May 1920 – York, PA

Vaudeville/Chin-Chin
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My grandmother was a vaudeville star and I am following her career, trying to learn of her many performances. In October 1919, she joined the cast of the Charles Dillingham production of “Chin-Chin” “Chin-Chin” played across the US and Canada until June 1920. I monitor several newspaper services watching for new venues that the show played at while she was a cast member.

This week’s entries are from The Evening Sun (Hanover, PA) on May 25th, 26th, and 27th and come via (Newspapers.Com).

Article transcription:

Orpheum – One Night Only – May 28TH
Friday
York, PA
THE BIGGEST SHOW IN YEARS
Charles Dillingham’s Gigantic Musical Comedy

“CHIN CHIN”

The Only Company

Ad showing "Chin Chin" to play at the Orpheum Theater on May 28th [1920].
The Evening Sun – Hanover, PA – 25 May 1920
WALTER WILLS
ROY BINDER
COMPANY OF 70
MOSTLY GIRLS
THE FAMOUS TOM
BROWN’S CLOWN
SAXOPHONE BAND
INDOOR CIRCUS
LOTS OF FU

Mile. Falloffski
Inimitable Paderewski
Marvelous Ventriloquist

Grotesque Dancing
and the Screamingly
Funny Laughing Horse.

Two Car Loads of
Scenery and Most
Startling Effects

New Venue Added:

28 May 1920 – York PA, Orpheum Theatre, “Chin-Chin”

 

 

Donna Darling Collection – Part 44

The Lindo Theatre

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection where she played at the Lindo Theater. The first is a newspaper clipping which advertises The Donna Darling Revue playing for 4 days at the Lido. at the same time as “The Savage” a comedy novelty movie. According to IMDB, the film was released on 18 July 1926. Sadly, the film is apparently lost, with no known copies left. From the ad, it looks like a really funky movie. “One wild man—many wild animals—a naughty dinosaur—and a society deb looking for a thrill. Oh, spare us—we can’t mention it without laughing.” It is hard to think of the film’s story without laughing. Ben Lyon went on to star in the 1930 version of “Hell’s Angels.” May McAvoy went on to be in “The Jazz Singer” with Al Jolson.

Clipping of Donna Darling & The Savage at the Lindo Theatre
Clipping – Donna Darling & The Savage at the Lindo Theatre

I had previously seen articles in Newspaper Archives and Newspapers.com indicating that the Donna Darling Review played at the Lindo Theatre in Freeport, IL on August 3, 1926. The clipping clarified the dates as being August 2nd through the 5th. Donna’s show was “One of those big acts that seldom gets to small towns” and “Missing this [show] is like losing one of life’s treats.”

A clipping of an ad of the Donna Darling Review playing at the Lindo Theatre
Ad showing the Donna Darling Review playing at the Lindo Theatre

I have cropped, edited, and sized the photos for the web.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Lindo Theatre.
  • The show is the “Donna Darling Revue.”
  • Also on the bill
    • Ben Lyon and May McAvoy in “The Savage”

Sources

Internet: IMDb – Entry for “The Savage” (1926) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017348/

 

Donna Darling Collection – Part 43

Treasure Chest Thursday
Bathing Girl Review
Donna Darling

By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection of what appears to be about her playing at the “Indiana Theatre.”

“The Gayety Girl” starring Mary Philbin was released 31 July 1924.[i]

Presenting her “Bathing Beauty Review” sometime in September or October 1924 in Indiana is certainly possible. She played in Illinois in July and August of 1924. Most silent films only played for a couple of months after release, so I suspect it was between July and October she was at the “Indiana.”

Cinema Treasures indicated there were 19 theatre’s name “Indiana Theatre.”[ii]  They are:

Town (County)                      Date Opened

  1. Chicago, IL                         About 1910
  2. Scottsburg                           1930
  3. Gary                                       1938
  4. Marian (Grant Co.)         Circa 1922
  5. East Chicago                      Feb 1925
  6. South Bend                         Aug 1925
  7. Indianapolis                      1927
  8. Indiana, PA                       Jul 1924
  9. Terre Haute (Vigo Co.) 1922
  10. Indianapolis                      1927
  11. Kokomo (Howard Co.) 1920
  12. New Albany (Floyd)      1919
  13. Bloomington (Monroe Co.) 1911
  14. Martinsville Was “Switow’s Dream Theatre” from 1914 until 1917.
  15. Richmond Was “Murray Theater” from 1909 until 1930.
  16. Bedford Was “Stone City Opera House” from 1901 until 1924.
  17. Indianapolis (Marion Co.) Was “Gayety Theater in 1907. Period it was Indiana Theater unknown.
  18. Fort Wayne                          1930
  19. Fort Wayne Was “Broadway Theatre” from 1923 until 1934.

Theatres that are possible are bolded.

So, the most likely “Indiana Theatres” were in Marian, Terre Haute, Kokomo, New Albany, and Bloomington. Bedford, Indianapolis, Chicago (IL), and Indiana (PA) are also possible but not quite as likely.

Key features:

  • The venue is probably the Indiana Theater, location unknown, After July 1924.
  • The show is the “Bathing Beauty Revue” starring Donna Darling.
  • Also on bill
    • Mary Philbin in “The Gayety Girl”

Analysis

A lengthy search of Newspapers.Com, Newspaper Archives, Genealogy Bank, Chronicling America, and the Hoosier State Chronicles failed to yield any new information about the probable show location or date. Additionally, I didn’t see any advertisements for an “Indiana” theatre that used a similar font and design as the Donna Darling Collection clipping.

Because newspapers from 1924 will fall out of copyright next year, and because so many publications are being added to the various newspaper services every year, I’ve decided to put this on hold and will return to it in the future.

Actions

  • Follow-up in 2020.


Sources

[i] IMDB: The Gaiety Girl (1924) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0014930/
[ii] Internet: Cinema Treasures. Search for Indiana Theatre – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters?q=Indiana%20Theatre&status=all