Donna Darling Collection – Part 47

Loew’s Theater, London, Ont & More

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. The page includes two photos, one ad for the Bijou, one non-descript ad, and two articles about Donna and Sammy playing at Lowe’s.

Lowe’s Theatre – “Seven Sinners”

The only item identified with a date is the clipping for Loew’s Theatre – “Seven Sinners”.  It indicates June 24, 25, 26 and “Ont.) IMDB indicates that the movie was released on 7 November 1925 in the USA. That would suggest the film played at Loew’s in June 1926.

Donna and Sammy played at the Capitol Theater in Kitchener on June 21, 22, & 23, so it fits that after Kitchener they went the 110km (68 miles) to London to play at the Loew’s Theatre there.

The first article reads:

LOEW’S THEATRE
“SEVEN SINNERS”

Dona Darling, former Zeifield Follies girl, heads an all-star vaudeville cast at Loew’s Theatre the last half of this week, and together with the famous crook story, “Seven Sinners,” as the feature picture, London theatregoers are treated to a perfectly balanced theatre bill. Mary Prevost makes a crook really too pleasant to be natural, and Clive Brook, the hero, is an excellent parallel.

The story is interesting in its novelty; everybody in it is a crook, but everybody manages to enlist the sympathies of the audience before the picture ends. The settinsg [sic] show careful choosing and the plot development is well worked out. The story consists of the efforts of seven crooks to steal jewels from a deserted mansion, and then, when the house is quarantined with them inside it, the owner returns. Situations develop which are in turn funny and tense, until, at the end, crooks are probed to be sometimes nearly human, after all.

The vaudeville bill is exceptionally fine. It is seldom that London audiences have the pleasure of seeing such smooth aerial performancers as the Aerial Smiths on the same bill as the act given by Dave Fox and Jane Allyn. This is a comedy skit of unusual merit entitled, “To Let.” The last act on the bill, the Darling and Clark Revue, has five very capable performers. The dancing in the first part is especially good.

The second clipping appears to have been clipped without the information about the motion picture.  The clipping says:

AT THE THEATERS

LOEW’S

The trapeze work of the vaudeville program is carried out by the Aerial Smiths. It is said of them that they have been a long time at it, and it can be said for them that they haven’t wasted their time. They make other acts of their kind look like the last rose of summer, especially when the climax is reached and the woman shoots out on a trapeze that suddenly lengthens as she swings in mid-air.

Fox and Allen entertain with songs and patter based upon an unsatisfactory search for an apartment in a big town. They seem to please and draw to themselves a generous amount of the applause.

The Darling and Clark Revue is not the kind that deals exclusively in dancing. It has that, too, but it also has other features equally as entertaining, including songs, whistling, a clever recitation and a darkened-stage novelty. The whole is permeated with the personality of Miss Darling, there are five persons.

The third item is a simple ad for Donna and Sammy and “Their New Revue.”  There is no theatre mentioned but it reminds us that Donna was “The Scintillating Beauty” and Sammy was the “Juvenile Komik.”

Next, are two photos that appear to shoe the entire cast of the Darling and Clark Revue. It looks like one photo was taken by Donna and includes Sammy as the third person from the left. The second one looks like it was taken by Sammy and has Donna as the third person from the left. I am quite certain the other three people in these photos are the other members of the show. I will need to do a little more research to determine what their names were.

The Darling & Clark Revue Cast – 1926  (Including Donna)

The Darling & Clark Revue Cast – 1926 (Including Sammy)

Finally, there is an ad for “Decatur’s Favorite – The Bijou”  It mentions three vaudeville acts: Donna Darling and Sammy Clare [sic] Revue “A Modern Vaudeville Frolic” Donna & Sammy’s show is playing with Paul & Darling “Two Broadway Rounders” and Billy De Armo doing a comedy novelty show. It wouldn’t be clear why this clipping would be on the same page with the Loew’s Theatre clippings unless you knew that Donna and Sammy played at the Bijou Theatre in Decatur, IL only eight days later.

Conclusion

I was able to add a new venue to Donna’s Career.  She and Sammy played June 24 to 26, 1924, in their “Darling and Clark Revue” at Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario, Canada.

I was also able to add images I suspect are the three other performers in the show.

Finally, I was able to add another advertising clipping to Donna and Sammy’s show at the Bijou Theatre in Decatur, IL.

Actions

Research the other three individuals who play in the Darling and Clark Revue.

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Image DSCN1428.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 46

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at “DSCN1419” from the Donna Darling Collection. There were five items on this page.

Loew’s … On the Stage – Donna Darling The Scintillating Beauty in “Her Jewel Review” and two other big acts.

The accompanying movie was Constance Talmadge in “Her Sister from Paris.” There were many Loew’s Theatre’s, so it isn’t clear which of the 147 Loew’s theatres this one was[i].

The second and third clippings provide the answer. One is a long, thin page header which indicates, “London Evening Advertiser, Friday, February 26, 1926.” The other is an article, “At the Theatres,” which describes what was playing at Loew’s Theatre. Together, with the advertisement clipping, they show Donna played at the Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario, from February 25th through the 27th, 1926.

Donna Darling Revue is one of the best dancing and singing acts seen at Loew’s for some time. All the girls are beautiful, and they can dance. Miss Darling proves her versality by appearing in four different roles, singing and dancing in each. A splendid selection of costume dances brings calls for many encores and on the whole the girls prove a huge success.

Further searching on Cinema Treasures, indicated there was a Loew’s Theater, which was built in 1924, existed in London Ontario.  I know that Donna played at the Capitol Theatre in Toronto, Ontario, from February 8th through the 13th, and at the Colonial Theatre in Detroit from February 28th through March 3rd, so her playing in London between them makes sense.

Sammy Clark, c. Feb 1926.

The fourth image was one of her dog. The photo was severely damaged over time and not worth trying to clean it up.

The final image was one of her husband, Sammy. It is a lovely photo that adds to my collection of Sammy photos. Long coat, hat, gloves, he looks so gangster from the 1920s. He clearly dressed in the style of the mid-1920s.

Conclusion

February 25-27, 1926 – Loew’s Theatre, London, Ontario – Donna Darling in “Her Jewel Revue” added to Donna’s list of performances.

Actions

  • Research Loew’s Theatre in London, Ontario and write about her show there and the theatre.

Sources

[i] Internet: Cinema Treasures – Search for Loew theatres. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters?q=Loew&status=all

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.

 

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