Donna at the State Street Theatre in Trenton, NJ

100 Years Ago – March 3rd, 1921

We know Donna played in Amsterdam, NY, in early February but have no shows for her from then until she played at the State Street Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey, from March 3rd through the 5th. The Trenton Evening Times published two brief writeups. The first one, March 3rd, under Theatres and Movies, read:

Trenton Evening Times, 3 March 1921, Page 16 (via  Genealogy Bank)

STATE—FATTY ARBUCKLE

The last half of Banner wee opens today at the State Street Theatre with a complete change of program, embracing six star vaudeville acts and the famous Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle in Brewster’s Millions.”

Manager Wahn has also booked Tom Rooney’s and Earl Lindsay’s California Bathing Girls, an attraction of high character, including the noted Donna Montran. “Fatty” Arbuckle in the role….

The California Bathing Girls is a miniature musical comedy, “A Beach Promenade,” and is replete with brilliant songs and appealing musical numbers. There is fun aplenty and a fashion show of 1921 bathing costumes, including the one-piece suits in vogue at the prominent winter resorts. Other vaudeville star acts are….

Interestingly, the article cites Tom Rooney[i] and Earl Linsay as owning the show “their California Bathing Girls.”  I’m sure Donna didn’t like that much. That might be why it was changed in the second listing. which read:

STATE—“FATTY” ARBUCKLE

Trenton Evening Times, 4 March 1921, Page 22 (via  Genealogy Bank)

The last half of Banner Week at the State Street Theatre opened yesterday with capacity crowds. The show in its entirety is a round of riotous laughter, in which the noted Rosco (“Fatty”) Arbuckle is presented in “Brewster’s Millions,” six all-star vaudeville acts and comedy films….

The California Bathing Girls proved a combination of beauty and 1921 bathing suit style show, reflecting those to be worn this season at the popular bathing resorts. The American girl, in a snappy one-piece suit, made a distinct hit. Blair & Crystal appeared….

The other shows on the bill included:

    • Martin Goodwin in “The Union Man”
    • Josephine Lenhardt, diminutive comedienne
    • Harry and Ruth Sullivan in “The Love Nest”
    • Blair Crystal comedy skit
    • Comedy Martinetti in “The Silent Fool.”

The movie playing that week was the 1921 edition of “Brewster’s Millions.” (Not to be confused with 1914, 1935, 1945, or 1985 versions of the film – Or the future “Brewster’s Billions” currently in development.)

State Street Theater, Trenton, New Jersey

The State Street Theatre (Public Domain)
The State Street Theatre (via Cinema Treasures)

The State Street Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey, opened on December 9th, 1903.[ii]

Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide for 1910-1911 reports that the seating capacity was 2,025. Interestingly the Guide for 1913-1914 indicated that vaudeville and movies played at the theatre but that the theater management ignored repeated requests for corrected details. And the guide for 1921 did not include the theatre.

The theater closed in the early 1950s.[iii]

Specifications for the State Street Theatre[iv]

Seating Capacity: 2,025

Proscenium opening: 39 ft
Footlights to back wall: 40 ft
Between side walls: 75 ft
Between fly girders: 58 ft
To rigging loft: 70 ft
To fly gallery: 25 ft
10 Dressing rooms


Endnotes

[i] Thomas Valentine Rooney was Donna’s second (known) husband. They were married on 24 November 1915.
[ii] “RKO State Theatre In Trenton, NJ – Cinema Treasures”. 2021. Cinematreasures.Org. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/11944
[iii] ibid.
[iv] The Julius Cahn’s Official Theatrical Guide for 1910-1911