War Cloud Takes Over Washington

After a career on the legitimate stage and in vaudeville, Chief War Cloud took over management of the Washington Theatre, South & Washington Street, Jamaica, Queens.

The Daily Long Island Farmer, December 16, 1912:

cloud

 

“The new proprietor, who will run the place as a first class motion picture house, and who has had plenty of opportunity to learn show business from A to Z, is a real Indian chief, but has lived almost all his life among white people. He is a college graduate and knows very well the customs of social life.

“He is Chief War Cloud of the Beule Sioux of North Dakota. When he was four years old he was transported from the wilds of the West to the vicinity of 42nd street and Broadway, New York, being adopted by a family of means.

“He is 45 years of age and speaks English better than his racial tongue. He studied at the Carlisle Indian School, where he played on the football team for which that institution is famous. He is also a 32nd degree Free Mason.

“Chief War Cloud has had much success in the presentation of Indian plays and sketches on the vaudeville stage, and is now going to run a theatre of his own.”

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.  Details of independent walks will be published this fall.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Selling  on Etsy and Amazon

 

Big Solax Jubilee at the Queen’s

The Moving Picture News, May 25, 1912:

may 25 1912_pe

“Queen’s Theatre on Third avenue and Fifty-ninth street, New York, one of the neatest and best managed picture houses in New York City, recently featured a Solax night with remarkable success.

“They ran an exclusive Solax program. Besides ‘The Sewer,’ the two reel feature, they ran ‘Saved by a Cat,’ ‘Billy’s Nurse’ and ‘Billy’s Shoes.” Darwin Karr, the Solax leading man, who does such heroic work in ‘The Sewer’ and ‘Saved by a Cat,’ personally appeared after the pictures. Billy Quirk was also there and entertained. Blanch Cornwall made her bow, and Director Warren told how pictures are taken.

Solax Films 

The Sewer

 

Legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle is celebrating 20 years of theatre talks and walks, 1996-2016. Currently accepting bookings for historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.  Details of independent walks will be published this fall.

Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.

Selling  on Etsy and Amazon

 

Fire, Sparta Theatre, Bowery, Coney Island, Brooklyn

On Sunday, July 12, 2015,  Cezar Del Valle, author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index Volume III, hosts the cHURCH OF MONICA, Open Source Gallery, with an illustrated talk on the history of Coney Island theatre.

0034

The Evening Telegram, August 10, 1904:
“The first intimation that a blaze existed was given to the audience on the canvas in which the moving pictures were being shown. The machine itself caused the fire as the result of the photographic films coming in contact with the carbon flame.

“On the canvas was being shown a picture of Dante’s ‘Inferno.’ When the film caught fire it was passing behind lens at a rapid rate and for the space of a minute the real flames were reflected into the picture ‘Inferno.’ At first the audience thought the reflection was part of the picture, but the cry of fire brought them to a realization that the picture was near to being real.

“The picture machine was located in a partly enclosed booth in the balcony of the music hall. The flames spread to the second floor in spite of the fact that the booth was sheathed in tin. Johnson Smith, the operator was burned about the face and hands while making his escape from the booth.”

Above photo from a postcard in the Theatre Talks Collection, please ask permission to copy and/or use. At least give credit to source. We know that some people will not honor this but it would be nice if they did.

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

He is available for theatre talks and walking tours in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Holland Brothers’ Kinetoscope Parlor, 1155 Broadway, New York, NY

The commercial history of motion pictures begins on April 14, 1894 with the opening of the Holland brothers’ kinetoscope parlor at 1155 Broadway in New York City.

Excerpts from The Sun, May 25, 1894:
“The latest of Wizard Edison’s inventions, the kinetoscope is on exhibition at 1,155 Broadway. Although the apparatus is to a considerable extent a resemblance to a toy that has long been a favorite with children, it has new features, and illustrates principles in photography, optical illusions, and electricity that render it of interest.

“Mr. Edison has succeeded in constructing a machine which brings a series of photographs before the eye with such great rapidity that the eye cannot detect the change from one photograph to the next. This produces the effect of lifelike action in the series of views. Ten views are now on exhibition.

“The first shows Sandow, the strong performing his feats. Then there is a scene in a barber shop in which a customer takes his place in a chair and the barber shaves him in regular style. Bertoldi, the contortionist, whose photograph is not more than an inch in length, gives one of her difficult exhibitions,

“There are a wrestling contest, a rooster fight, a Highland dance, an organ grinder with monkey, three blacksmiths at a forge, and a gymnast in a flying ring exercise.

“Three blacksmiths at the forge are very lively in their movements, it being evident that they are impressed with the importance of striking while the iron is hot. They are thirsty after the iron is shaped, and each in turn takes a drink from a bottle in a manner amusing to the spectator.

“Although the kinetoscope is far from being a perfect machine, it combines principles which Mr. Edison may greatly improve in the near future. The name of the machine is not an invention of the ‘Wizard.’ It is in the dictionary.”

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

Yorkville Hippodrome, 499 First Avenue, New York, NY

The Film Index, October 9, 1909:

yorkville1_pe (Medium)

“The Hippodrome was opened January , 1909, and cost $21,000 to build. The dimensions are 22 feet 6 inches front, by 102 feet deep, with an ‘L’ in the rear which gives a width of 39 feet.

“The auditorium includes a balcony which affords ample seating capacity. There is a commodious stage with a 20 foot opening, with all drops and scenery necessary for vaudeville acts.

“The lobby is 12 feet deep and brilliantly illuminated. Every possible means of fireproofing the Hippodrome was employed in its construction. The ceiling and walls are of steel and costs $1,600. During the exhibition of pictures the auditorium is made comparatively light by use of green lamps and shades.

“Uniformed help add to the general attractiveness of the place. The Hippodrome can be numbered among the best of the modern picture houses.

 

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling “vintage” on Etsy.

 

Comedy Theatre, 46 East 14th Street, New York,NY

Moving Picture World, May 28, 1910:

comedy theatre 1910

“We present herewith the portrait of Albert A. Kaufman, manager of the Comedy Theatre, who is reported to be the youngest man in his particular line. On account of the competition of adjacent licensed houses, the Comedy uses Independent service which is supplied by William Steiner’s film exchange.

kaufman

Albert A. Kaufman

Three reels constitute the show and with 5 cents admission on weekdays and 10 cents on Saturday and Sunday, the Comedy does a  standing  room business  and Mr. Kaufman is well satisfied  with his receipts.

One excellent feature of Mr. Kaufman’s management is that patrons of this theater are not allowed to find their way to seats. Ample standing room is allowed  while a show is in progress, behind the chairs and as this space slopes with the floor, even those standing can get a full view of the screen.

This is the second of the prominent theaters on Moving Picture Row  to install the Independent service and Mr. Kaufman seems to be well pleased with the treatment that he receives from Bill Steiner and his staff.

 

Romany Rob’s Revenge

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2015: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Jefferson Theatre, 811 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11206

With the third and concluding volume of the Brooklyn Theatre Index nearing its publication, we will be featuring during the month of September, borough performance spaces on our various web logs and sites.

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, February 21, 1914:

jefferson

“The accompanying photo-engraving [above] is a view of the Jefferson Theater, 811-813 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. It is owned and managed by the Jefferson Photo Show Company, comprised of George Hilkemeier, president, and William Hilkemeier, secretary and treasurer.

“As soon as the late Mayor Gaynor signed the ordinance allowing among other things that all New York motion picture theaters may have a seating capacity of six hundred seats, Messrs. Hilkemeier got busy and soon the contractors were hard at work renovating the house to take advantage of the law. In addition to running the Jefferson Theater, the company operates four airdromes in the eastern part of Brooklyn.

“The Hilkemeier Brothers have been in the business since 1904 when they bought their first picture house for the sum of $150.”

“They have always kept  their original policy  of a good, clean show in the forefront, resulting in big profits. They do not believe in the ‘country store’ inducements or any other such device to get the public patronizing their shows, and are firmly convinced that these schemes will pass out of existence in the evolution of the business.”

A 1943 Housing Authority Photograph of the Jefferson shortly before its demolition:

Jefferson1943

Cezar Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.

He is available for theatre talks and walks in 2014, historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.