Variety (December 1907)

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• VARIETY SUPREME COURT DECIDES SUNDAY SHOWS ILLEGAL I Decision Says Any Kind of Theatre Entertainment On the Sabbath is a Violation. Involves the Loss of Over $1,000,000 on Season. May Go to Board of Aldermen. Not a vaudeville theatre in Greater on Sunday would visit the theatres dur- New York will give a show to-mor- ing the week were it positive they could row (Sunday). It has been years since not do so on a Sunday, but the receipts of New York City has been so tightly closed the seventh day are generally regarded as as to its amusements. The prominent clear profit. In a house playing capacity vaudeville managers- have declared they for six days, it could not well crowd more will shut their houses on Sunday until in, and the returns which would have the legal right is received to play con- been received on the Sunday show are certs, and it is not thought any theatrical a complete loss. manager will risk his license by remain- Below is a list of New York "Sunday" ing open. theatres and the estimated amount of In his decision Judge O'Gorman swept money each box office takes in on a Sun- all entertainment of any nature given in day: a public place of amusement on the Sab- Klaw & Erlanger— bath into one class, terming it illegal. Be- * ew York $3,300 sides the theatres, moving picture shows ^rand Opera House (Brooklyn). . 1,800 and various other minor forms of amuse- Percy G. Williams inent will have to remain closed as well. Alhambra 1,900 There is no appeal, and the only hope n a '' . g . , • i *• **—r*. Orpheum (Brooklyn) 2,000 left is legislative enactment for relief, or J v J ' ' the possible action taken by the Board of ° . m ... ... u # Novelty 500 Aldermen in this city. * The City Fathers are said to have the _ * J 77* , .. . ,. . _ East 125th Street 1,500 power to amend the charter which con- tains the "Sunday clause," and it is be- * ee " ,« lieved that with the public sentiment Umon ^ uare }** . M . ., r . 23d Street 1,400 strongly in favor of the clean, amusing ' entertainment offered by a vaudeville Harlem °P« House < one 8how) ■ ■ 1 - 400 performance, as it is given here, the Board Flfth Avenue • • 1 » 100 will be inclined to any move which will Hammer8tein > 8 ,.......' 2 ,000 please the public and improve the pres- Keeney , 8> Brooklyn lj0 00 ent situation. Grand 0pera H(mae (one 8how) l2QQ The managers held a meeting on Thura- American (Sunday only) 1>200 day, and decided upon a course to follow. Hurtig & g^^,, (Sunday only) 800 Marc Klaw, Percy G. Williams and Yorkville (Sunday only) 700 George Kraus were appointed by the MurTay H ill (Sunday only) 600 gathering a* a committee to look after ^^ (Sunday only) 1>3 oo the Albany end of possible legislation. Gotham (Simday only) 1)2 00 Only managers attended who give Sun- Broadway> Brooklyn (one Bho w)... 1,200 day shows. The Penal Code, which can not be $30,950 abridged by the Aldermen, will have to The single vaudeville house not affected be reckoned with. The sentiment of the j g pastor's. Mr. Pastor does not allow New Yorker, however, is so adverse to the Sunday show* in his theatre, excepting "Blue Law" regime that the sanction of f or a benefit or worthy cause, the local authorities to a liberal policy \ number of vaudeville theatres will would be accepted as indicative of im- nave a struggle to show a profitable bal- munity from further annoyance. ance without the aid of the Sunday con- The State Legislature, which convenes certs. This is especially true of the in January, is the only body which can smaller houses. set the decision of Judge O'Gorman to The closing of the theatres on Sunday one side. His failure to affirm the refe- will be a severe blow to a great number ree's opinion was not unexpected. of artists who are dependent upon them After the decision was read by Percy to a great extent, preferring to remain <*. Williams he declared he would not in New York, where the Sunday engage- give a Sunday show in any of his five me nt, together with the miscellaneous vaudeville theatres, and later on directed work chanced upon during the week, re- that the sale of tickets for Sundays be turns more on the average than continu- stopped. ous time would on a circuit. There was some talk that an evasion Whatever will be done locally will be might be successfully accomplished by rapidly pushed. If the legislature must giving a performance "for the benefit of be appealed to, theatres may remain charity," but this was brushed one side closed on the Sabbath for some time, but through the wording of the section in the prompt action, if possible, by the munici- Penal Code prohibiting Sunday perform- pal guardians might accelerate the day of ances. reopening. Over $30,000 is taken in at the box of- flees of the theatres which play Sunday NO ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MORRIS, concerts. In a season of forty weeks this No announcement was made by William represents a loss of more than $1,000,000. Morris this week. Mr. Morris said that It is claimed that a fair percentage of peo- developments had not reached the stage pie who attend the vaudeville shows only where they could be divulged. "PAT" CASEY LEAVES MORRIS. The William Morris office is no more the business home of P. ("Pat") J. Casey. Mr. Casey resigned on Wednesday last. ''Pat" said on that day he had no plans for the future, but it is safe to say that Mr. Casey will enter into an engagement with Klaw & Erlanger. "Pat" is about the most popular thing in vaudeville that stands in shoes. He joined the Morris staff about two years ago. When the Williams-Ham- nierstein-Keith amalgamation occurred, Mr. Casey declined several tempting of- fers to remove his cheery presence to the United Booking Offices, and remained with Morris when the only prospect in sight was to keep his chair warm. Since a week or so before Klaw & Er- langer announced the building of their "Steam Roller," Mr. -Casey has been rout- ing the weekly bills for the Klaw & Er- langer houses, having had full charge of that department, with offices in the head- quarters of the United States Amuse- ment Company at the New York Theatre, although still an attache of the Morris office. The following is the letter of resigna- tion forwarded by Mr. Casey to Mr. Mor- ris, and is, in part, self-explanatory: "New York Theatre Building, "Dec. 4. "Mr. William Morris, "1440 Broadway, New York City. •"Dear Sir: Upon leaving your office yesterday on my way to Springfield, Mr. Klaw sent for me, saying he de- sired to see me at once. "I had a talk with him, and he thinks it would be very unfair for me to leave New York, even for one day, as the entire routing is prac- tically in my hands. "Mr. Klaw said it would be better for me to have another talk with you, as my leaving New York might in- terfere with whatever agreement you have with Messrs. Klaw & Erlanger. "I have very carefully gone over the situation, and have reached the conclusion that in order for me not to offend anyone concerned in this matter and to treat all fairly, it is best that I tender my resignation, to take effect immediately. "I am also by this mail notifying Messrs. Klaw & Erlanger to that ef- fect so that they may notify you to send someone here to take charge of these bookings. "With kindest regards, I remain, "Yours very truly, (Signed) "P. J. Casey." MISS HITE READY TO SAIL. Chicago, Dec 6. The Palace, London, will have Mabel Hite for a four weeks' stay if an engage- ment in New York doesn't settle upon the comedienne very soon. Miss Hite expects an offer to appear in the new Ziegfeld revue, which will open at the New York Theatre on February 3. Failing to receive it she will sail for Lon- don. BECK AFTER COMPOSERS. Since Martin Beck left New York last Saturday for Paris to visit his family and look about for plays for America, it has been learned that while in Europe he will interview Paul Links and several other noted foreign composers in an attempt to secure an option on their output for pro- duction over here. Foreign lyric singers will also be placed under engagement by the manager, and imported to this country for the musical plays he intends presenting. There are two pieces Mr. Beck will probably re- turn with, and it it said that upon arriv- ing here he will remove his personal head- quarters to the vicinity of Broadway and Forty-second street. The productions to be made by Mr. Beck will either be in conjunction with Klaw & Erlanger, or will be booked by the "Syndicate" firm. X.-P. -AMAlituk NIGHTS." The "amateur night" fad has at last reached the New York vaudeville theatre. Keith-Proctor's Fifty-eighth Street Thea- tre will inaugurate the event among the first class theatres of the city, giving up Thursday evening to the novices. Over in Brooklyn at Keeney's, Gotham and Novelty, "amateur night" has been a feature for some time, but up to date no regular variety theatre in Manhattan has been given over to it. CALDERA JUGGLES WATER? Elgin, 111., Dec. 6. A. K. Caldera is playing at the Star this week, and claims he has the very latest novelty in the juggling line. Mr. Caldera says he can juggle water, "loose" and not frozen. ZIEGFELD HAS NEW YORK ROOF. The New York Theatre Roof will again he under the management of Florenz Zieg- feld, Jr., next summer. Mr. Ziegfeld placed the "Follies of 1907" there during the past warm spell. It will be the only aerial garden on a Klaw & Erlanger theatre to open. The one above the New Amsterdam will re- main closed, it is anticipated "The Merry Widow," now in the house, will have a continuous run until next fall, at least. The New Amsterdam is playing to weekly receipts of $26,000. There are two companies on the road with another to follow. It is estimated that Henry W. Savage, who produced the piece over here, will draw down a profit of over $1,500,000 be- fore it wears off. "SHE" POLICEMAN AT AUDITORIUM. Chicago, Dec. 6. A female police officer in an adaptation of the regulation uniform is the latest innovation at the Auditorium. She is sta- tioned in the main foyer. Her duties are to look after the comfort and conveniences of the women and children. ALBEE ON VACATION. Chicago, Dec 6. E. F. Albee and A. Paul Keith passed through here early in the week on their way to French Lick Springs. A WISE EDITOR. Chicago, Dec. 6. A paragraph in an Oshkosh (Wis.) paper reads as follows: "Poultry thieves are active in Wausau. Milwaukee capitalists will erect a $100,- 000 theatre at Beloit."