Bunnyfinches Play the Aurora

John Bunny “made 260 shorts with Flora Finch between 1910 and 1914, which were known as ‘Bunnygraphs’, ‘Bunnyfinches’, and ‘Bunnyfinchgraphs.'”

Moving Picture World, February 24, 1912:


“Of the three picture houses in Lawrence, Kan., the Aurora theater is said to be the finest. It is owned by Mr. Gibbons. The accompanying illustration shows the front of the Aurora billed for one of the Vitagraph ‘Bunny, Pictures and indicates that the proprietor is particularly enterprising when the question of publicity is considered.

The Aurora is fitted with a Mirror Screen and the current is supplied through a motor generator. The Aurora is not for its excellent projection.”



John Bunny

John Bunny and Flora Finch


 Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Walks also available at Local Expeditions

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.

Editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index.






Comique Theatre, Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee

Motography,July 15, 1916:


“The birthplace of the Mutual Film Corporation was recently unearthed in the form of a photograph which President [John R.] Freuler discovered among his possessions. It was the long forgotten Comique Theater on Kinnickinnic avenue. Milwaukee.

“Here Mr. Freuler was introduced to the motion picture business which led to the establishment of the Western Film Exchange of Milwaukee, which grew into a system of exchanges and finally developed into the Mutual Film Corporation.

“The film magnate is interested in the American Film Company, Inc., the Lone Star Corporation, which makes the Charlie Chaplin Mutual specials, Majestic-Reliance, New York Motion Picture Corporation, Vogue Films, Inc., States Film Corporation, North American Film Corporation and Signal Film Corporation. In addition he holds important interests in a number of other concerns in the picture making business.

“The development of all these concerns may be traced back to Mr. Freuler’s interest in the business created by his connection with the little old Comique.”


From The British Film Institute

Mutual Films

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 2015-2016: historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.

Now selling  on Etsy and Amazon

Empress Theatre, 416 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC

Trade publication criticizes theatre manager for his “absurd stand.”

Moving Picture World, August 20, 1910:


“A recent reel that caused quite a sensation in Washington from the independent people was Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Thanhouser), which caused quite a stampede  in front of the Empress Theater.

“This play is arranged in a continuous  performance, taking about thirty minutes for its presentation. The music, which accompanied it consisted of plantation melodies and songs which added much to the effectiveness of the play, and should be a hint to other exhibitors to bring out the true spirit of the silent drama with appropriate music.

“Manager Notes was asked by his patrons to retain the film for another day to satisfy the large demand for seats, but he declined, saying it was the policy of his house to change the bill daily, presenting only first-time-shown films, a most absurd stand for any exhibitor to take. Give the public what it wants, even if it is six months old subjects.”

Uncle Tom’s Cabin


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 currently accepting theatre talks and walks for 2014–historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.