Vaudette Theatre, 183 3rd St, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Vaudette Theatre boldly confronts the issue of ladies’ hats.

Moving Picture World, April 30, 1910:

“How the Vaudette advertised a Selig film”

“The Vaudette Theater has an innovation that I cannot pass. It is a sort of Jim Crow car, not to keep black from white but to keep the big hats from obstructing the view of the little man. A number of rear seats are partitioned off by a neat brass railing and are specially reserved for the ladies who do not wish to remove their hats.

“It  was a rather hazardous thing to do, but the manager made up his mind to enforce his new rules and paid no attention to the numerous protests. One single evening he ejected 23 women who insisted on keeping their hats on in seats not provided for this purpose.

“The 23 women declared they would boycott the Vaudette, but the great attraction of good and well shown pictures decided them to submit to the inevitable and today they have rejoined the ranks of the patrons and obediently remove their hats or take the specially reserved seats.

“When you can  persuade a woman to discard her hat to see motion pictures it is sure proof that the pictures are of the best quality and are shown as they should be.”

Vaudette Theatre

Milwaukee Public Library

Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre walks and talks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.


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