Shelling of St. Marcos in Dubuque

The Film Index,  June 3, 1911:

“The Star theatre, Dubuque, Iowa, a cut of which appears here, is owned and managed by Harry Weiss, who appears as the second figure from the right in the illustration. The Star seats 325 people comfortably.”


“‘The Shelling of the San Marcos’ (Vitagraph) made a big hit, showing continuously  from 2 to 5 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. for two days. He expended $10 per day on May 5 and 6 for display advertising.

“The cut shows a model of the old battleship Texas (San Marcos) placed above the theatre entrance, which attracted wide attention. The model was whittled out of solid wood by Manager Weiss, with a jack knife and chisel. The cannon are movable as are also the turrets and rigging.

“The neat and ingenious display forth many compliments from numerous patrons of the Star.”


Since 1997, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has presented a popular series theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He 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.






The Jewel, Easton, Pennsylvania

Motion Picture Herald, August 14, 1937, Ohio theatre manager, John A. Schwalm “recalls his years as a nickelodeon operator.”

Featuring a five-cent admission, the Jewel was an “upstairs house” with the first floor used as lobby.


“Mr. Schwalm, at left, wearing a bowler, posed proudly in front of his theatre in Easton, PA., in 1909, two years after the house opened as the fifth of his theatrical ventures.

“Note the elaborate marquee and the double feature bill advertised in quiet taste.”

The Professor’s Trip to the Country, released by Vitagraph, as a split reel with Duty Versus Revenge.

Advertised on the ticket booth: “Illustrated Song Today The Road to Yesterday. ”

Movie and song date from 1908.

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 “vintage” on Etsy.