“Chin Chin” played at the Weller Theatre in Zanesville, Ohio, on 13 April 1920
The company of “Chin Chin” played at the 6th Street Theater in Coshocton, Ohio for one night, April 12, 1920. Then the show headed on the train for their next stop, Zanesville, Ohio and the Weller Theater for another one-night show on April 13th.
The “Chin-Chin” show agent arrived in Zanesville about April 7th to begin his promotion of the show. The Times Recorder of April 9th, reported:
“CHIN CHIN” BREAKING ALL ATTENDANCE RECORDS
Charles A. Goettler, the representative of “Chin Chin” the musical extravaganza, which will appear at the Weller theater, was the guest of Manager Charles Ransbottom Wednesday, and while in the city held an impromptu levee for his many friends at his hotel. He is well known among the theatrical colony having been out with some of the biggest shows on the road in years past. Mr. Goettler said that “Chin Chin” was breaking all attendance records in the prominent theaters of the country this season and was a greater success than when seen here before. Willis and Binder, former stars with “Hitchy Koo,” “Wizard of Oz,” ant the Winter Garden shows, have succeeded Doyle and Dixon in the leading roles.
Manager Charles Ransbottom, along with Joseph West Junior began managing the Weller Theatre just three months earlier (January 8).[i] They were then replaced on April 13th with the opening of “Chin Chin” by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[ii]
Another article, Saturday, April 10, 1920, in the Times Recorder, page 5, reported:
CHIN CHIN COMING TO THE WELLER TUESDAY
At the Weller theater next Tuesday, the everlasting “Chin Chin” is announced. There is but on company presenting this, the greatest American musical comedy.
Seven gorgeous settings make up one stupendous production of Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin.” The principal comedians are Walter Wills and Roy Binder. This riot of fun, feast of music, bevy of feminine beauty with pretty dresses, swift and grotesque dancing and lots of prankish amusement including Tom Brown’s clown band as the famous saxophone Sexted, promises a most enjoyable entertainment with Charles Dillingham’s own company presenting this wonderful spectacle.
In this musically rich show such numbers as violet,” “Good-by Girls, I’m Through,” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” always receive spontaneous applause.
The next known showing of “Chin Chin” is on April 20 in Cumberland, Maryland.
Weller Theatre, Zanesville, Ohio
The Weller Theatre was designed by Frederick Elliot and Harry C. Meyer of Columbus, Ohio. The theatre opened on 27 April 1903 by Samual Weller, with the production of the “comic opera” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” And as noted before, it was the first show opening when managed by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[iii]
Specifications for the Weller Theatre [vi]
Seating Capacity – 1427 — L.F. 609; Bal., 362, Gal., 400; Boxes, 56.
Proscenium opening: 35×33 ft
Front to back wall: 39.5 ft
Between side walls: 70 ft
Apron 3.5 ft
Between fly girders: 47 ft
To rigging loft: 69 ft
To fly gallery: 28 ft
Hotels in Zanesville at the time included the Rogge and Clarendon, which were $2.50 & up per night, and the Palace, and New England hotels which were 50ç & up per night.[iv]
What happened to theater
The Weller Theatre stood at 13 N. Third Street. Today it is a vacant area with a small building between Fox Law Offices and the Calvary Chapel.
Research the other Zanesville newspapers of the time: Courier, Signal, and News as they become available.
Find any showings for “Chin Chin” between April 14th and April 19th.
[i] New York Clipper – January 14, 1920, Page 4, Column 3m “Zanesville Manager Retires.”
[iv] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide – 1913-1914, Page 533.
[v] Internet: Weller Theatre in Zanesville, OH – Cinema Treasures http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/41209 – Accessed 12/30/2018.