Donna 100 Years ago – Majestic Theatre, Elmira, New York

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna 100 years ago” is my reporting items relating to my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). Hers was the exciting world of 1920s vaudeville. She crisscrossed the country with her many shows.

This week, from her original newspaper clippings, two items that placed her at the Majestic Theatre, in Elmira.

First, a clipping mentioning Majestic: Follow the Arrow (to) Keith Vaudeville. Besides Donna Darling and Boys – Elaborate Presentation of Songs and Dances are

  • “At the Party” – An Original revue of the Sunny South—Colonial settings Quaint Costumes
  • Manuel Romain’s “That Trio” – Vaudeville’s Sweetest Singers
  • Hunniford – Ventriloquist with a Production
  • Jean & White – In “Dance Varieties” and
  • Conway Tearle in “Bucking the Tiger”

Finally was a small clipping that mentions

ELMIRA

(First Half) – Jean & White – Hunniford – Donna Darling Co. – Manuel Romaine Co. – At the Party.

None of the clippings had dates nor did any mention the state the theatre was located in.[i]

I was pretty sure this bill was from 1922 and Elmira, New York. Then I found an article on Page 19 of the January 29, 1942, Elmira Star-Gazette, which read,

In Elmira Theaters 20 Years Ago

MAJESTIC—“Bucking the Tiger” with Conrad Tearle and Keith Vaudeville featuring “At the Party” revue. Manuel Romain’s “That Trio,” Donna Darling and Boys, and Ventriloquist Hunniford and Jean and White.

Finally, advertisements in the Star-Gazette on January 28, 30, & 31 showed the same program would play at the Majestic on January 29th, 30th, & 31st (Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday). The ad also used the same “Follow the Arrow” in the advertisement.

Conclusion

One hundred years ago, Donna’s  vaudeville act, “Donna Darling & Boys,” played at the Majestic Theatre in Elmira, New York.


Endnotes

[i] There are seven Elmira’s in the United States and two in Canada.

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