In the News
By Don Taylor
“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (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 I researched “Chin Chin,” the show Donna joined in October 1919, while it was already on tour. Thanks to Newspapers.com, I was able to learn of seven new appearances of “Chin Chin.”
|Date in 1919||Theatre||Location|
|Nov 1||Chatterton Opera House||Bloomington, IL|
|Nov 3||Plumb Theatre||Streator, IL|
|Nov 4||Dixon Opera House||Dixon, IL|
|Nov 5||Greene’s||Cedar Rapids, IA|
|Nov 6||Berchel||Des Moines, IA|
|Nov 21||Sterling Theater or
|Dec 9||Arcade Theatre||La Grande, OR|
The Greeley showing was an exciting find because the theater wasn’t identified. On November 27, 1919, the Windsor Beacon (Windsor, CO) reported:
MANY TAKE IN SHOW AT
GREELEY FRIDAY NIGHT
“Chin Chin” was the attraction which took many Windsor people to Greeley last Friday night. Among those known to have attended were:
Dr. and Mrs. T. B. Gormly…
(Note: Windsor is about ten miles northwest of Greeley.)
The 1921 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide reports Both the “Republican” and the “Tribune” as newspapers that serviced Greeley. I’ll need to find sources for those newspapers when I write more about “Chin Chin” playing in Greeley.
Because of those newly available online articles, I was able to add another seven venues for Donna’s “Chin Chin” tour.
New information added to her career list:
- Nov 1, 1919 – Bloomington, IL – Chatterton Opera House
- Nov 3, 1919 – Streator, IL – Plumb
- Nov 4, 1919 – Dixon, IL – Dixon Opera House
- Nov 5, 1919 – Cedar Rapids, IA – Greene’s
- Nov 6, 1919 – Des Moines, IA – Berchel
- Nov 21, 1919 – Greeley, Colorado – (Sterling or Rex Theatre)
- Dec 9, 1010 – Arcade Theatre – La Grande, Oregon
– – – Disclaimer – – –
[i] Vaudeville Trails Thru the West “By one who knows” – Herbert Lloyd, page 98, reports only one theatre in Greeley, Colorado, the Sterling Theatre. It indicates the Sterling operated on Thursday for a 3PM matinee and an 8:15 PM night show. This could have been a special Friday night show. Alternately, the 1921 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide for 1921 indicates that a second theater, the Rex Theatre, J. Lynch, Mgr. had a seating capacity of 800 and also played Traveling Companies.