Variety (April 1912)

Record Details:

Something wrong or inaccurate about this page? Let us Know!

Thanks for helping us continually improve the quality of the Lantern search engine for all of our users! We have millions of scanned pages, so user reports are incredibly helpful for us to identify places where we can improve and update the metadata.

Please describe the issue below, and click "Submit" to send your comments to our team! If you'd prefer, you can also send us an email to with your comments.

We use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) during our scanning and processing workflow to make the content of each page searchable. You can view the automatically generated text below as well as copy and paste individual pieces of text to quote in your own work.

Text recognition is never 100% accurate. Many parts of the scanned page may not be reflected in the OCR text output, including: images, page layout, certain fonts or handwriting.

VARIETY 13 WESTERN "SMALL TIME" VE RY MUC H CONFUSED Chicago Waiting For Return of C. E. Bray to Find What "Association" Will Do. "Blacklist" Not Believed Meanwhile. Walter Keefe in the Midst of it Chicago, April 3. During the past ten days, the entire "small time" vaudeville situation throughout the middle-west, especially that section which centers about Chi- cago, has been turned over, thorough- ly and systematically shot to pieces and restored in a very dilapidated condition. Incidentally, succeeding develop- ments point toward a "small time" vaudeville war out this way, and clearly indicate to the casual observer that a "blacklist" is about to be es- tablished by the Western Vaudeville Managers' Association forces, said "blacklist" to be carefully aimed at the Theatre Booking Corporation, of which Walter Keefe is general man- ager, and whose recent activities have been a source of considerable worry to those particular managers making their headquarters on the tenth and eleventh floors of the Majestic Theatre building. Last week, following the announce- ment that Keefe had annexed the Crawford link of houses, together with some southwestern time that happens to be under the supervision of one Harr,y Miller (late of the W. V. M. A.) the various manager^ who claim membership in "The Associa- tion," hurriedly gathered together and called a special meeting in the Majestic building. After the keyholes had been carefully plugged, they pro- ceeded to hold a pow-wow, which may or may not have been the direct cause of the several cancellations which took place immediately afterward, among whom were Meyer Harris and Co., and the Marimba Band, the for- mer losing ten weeks and the latter twenty. Both acts had previously played for Keefe. Naturally, this was reported as the cause of the can- cellations. Once the rumor gained headway, the "Association" people diplomatically refused to deny it. How- ever, no one with any authority to talk would make a statement that a "blacklist" was about to be estab- lished. Until General Manager Bray- returns from the coast, it is not likely that such an announcement will be forthcoming. It has been understood a move against "opposition" in general and the Keefe agency in particular was being contemplated by the "Associa- tion." While it was whispered that acts playing for Keefe would "get in bad" with the W. V. M. A/, still it is a fact that up to the present writing the "Association" is routing acts that have played the Miles times, which Is booked by Keefe. To back up this assertion friends of Keefe point to "The Seven Aviator Girls" (an act managed by John Simons, who Is at- tached to the "Association" by way of selecting attractions for his brother's house in Louisville) as hav- ing played the Keefe time and was immediately routed by the W. V. M. A. Other Instances are James J. Corbett, Florenz Troupe, American Newsboy's Quartet, Tate's "Motoring," and Vil- mos Westony. It is quite natural managers book- ing through the W. V. M. A. wish to have the impression abroad that Keefe acts will be tabooed by "Asso- ciation" managers. This particularly goes for the men who have houses in towns where Keefe is an opposition, but the majority of the "Associa- tion" managers (owning or controll- ing houses in towns where there is no opposition) haven't, up to date, shown any Inclination to side with the "sufferers." Besides which, good material is not any too plentiful hereabouts. If the managers do in- augurate a blacklist, there is going to be some tall hustling to fill bills. Al- lowing Keefe seventy-five or one hun- dred acts a week, it will take about twenty weeks to have everything worth while in this neck-o-the-woods on the "N. G" pad. Keefe, in the past several month6, has jumped to the front as the strongest existing "opposition" to the W. V. M. A. Since October he has taken several houses out of their of- fice and his recent affiliation with Crawford and the acquisition of the Miller chain place him in a good fighting position. Meantime the "Association" has not been asleep. It, too, has done some trading of houses. At present C. E. Bray, accompanied by Kerry Meagher and Ben Rosenthal, are somewhere In the west arranging to extend the "Association" bookings through to the Coast. Reports from the points visited by the trio, to- gether with the announcement of their Intention to establish several western offices during their absence, point to a successful trip. The west is a territory that has been sadly ne- glected In the past by the big "small time" agents. A new arrangement would benefit everyone concerned out that way, abolishing big jumps for the actor and making it possible for the manager to receive a good show at a moderate cost. Mr. Bray is expected to return here some time next week. Immediately upon his return a meeting of the W. V. M. A. managers will take place and the question of opposition thoroughly threshed out. If everyone stands to- gether, it is likely a "blacklist" will be established. Whether it can con- sistently be maintained remains to b: seen. Furthermore (and most im- portant of all) is the question whether all the managers will agree to stick together. They have tried it (Continued on page 19.) DE KALB OPPOSITION. As a result of the Benedict Amuse- ment Co. leasing the Saratoga Tark site, Brooklyn, from the F. A. Clarke Co. and the subsequent announce- ment of a new theatre, the DeKalb theatre may have opposition before long. The Saratoga Park site Is a part of the old Barnum & Bailey .circus grounds. The Clarke Co., after get- ting hold of it, gave the I. Fluegel- man-Cunnlngham Co. (owners of the DeKalb) a first option on the prop- erty. The F.-C. people decided it would not pay to run "opposish" to them- selves. The Benedict Co. immedi- ately clinched the deal. That com- pany is headed by a Mr. Saxe, also in- terested in the Fifth Avenue, Brook- lyn, and the picture house on Broad- way, New York, near 41st street. The new Brooklyn playhouse will be called the Halsey (Halstead street near Broadway) and will be modeled along the same lines as the DeKalb. EAST SIDE? HOUSE STARTED. Ground will be broken this week for the new Marcus LoeW theatre at Avenue B and 6th street. It is on the southwest corner. A four-story brick theatre is to be erected. Thomas W. Lamb is the architect. The Matoma Amusement Co. is the promoter of the structure. It is a corporation formed by Mr. Loew for the purpose. The new theatre will cost $100,000. The location is not a great ways removed from the Delancey Street theatre, opened by the Loew Circuit last Thursday. From then until Sunday it was impossible to obtain admission into the theatre, owing to the dense crowds continually waiting outside. MOSS A BRILL ON B'WAY. The new theatre going up at 146th street and Broadway will join the growing list of the Moss & Brill chain, according to information. Reports about have ascribed the ownership of this property to Percy G. Williams. The location is on the northeast corner. There will be ca- pacity for 2,500. 50 SCHOOLBOYS AS "ACT." Boston, April 3. Fifty schoolboys were gathered from the streets of Boston to make up the feature act at the National this week. The Idea is to make a grand choir of the boys, to sing a medley of songs, ranging from classics of a century ago to the up-to-date "rags." Forty songs are in the medley. MANCHESTER'S TWO-NIGHTLY. Manchester, N. H., April 3. Eugene and Alphonse Couture are building a new open-air theatre on Hanover street, opposite the postofflce, which will be open only at night, when two shows will be given. W. H. Irvine has arrived to succeed F. P. Belmont as manager of the New Park theatre. Belmont goes to P. F. Shea's office at Worcester. The Dixie Pickaninny Band, thirty musicians, organized by Frank WhIt- beck (George Sydney's show manager) goes on tour this bummer. PHILADELPHIA RUMORS. Philadelphia, April 3. Tho local papers have carried a story of a deal, good as closed, for the Betz brewery property at Broad and Montgomery avenue, almost next door to the Grand Opera House, and that a theatre was to be built. The company originally had in view the remodelling of the main building on Broad street, but this plan is reported abandoned in favor of a large ne* theatre. The cost of the theatre, in- cluding the ground, is given as $400.* 000. It is assessed at f 180,000. An option is held. This announcement started the wheels of the rumor factory working overtime and all sorts of stories were spread. One was to the effect B. F. Keith had taken the property because if the Broad Street Subway is built one of its stations will be right in front of the location. The fact Keith has been dickering for a vaudeville hoube in tnis section, gave the report some substance. It was said that Keith had his eye ou the Grand Opera House, now playing Stair & Havlin bookings, but the Grand has been leased for ten years to F. G. Nixon-Nirdlinger who intends to play "pop" vaudeville there. Mr. Nirdlinger refused to give out any- thing official, but that he holds the lease is sure at a rental said to be $30,000. This caused some comment among those who know that the house is drawing only $18,000 rental now. The lease will give Nirdlinger pos- session in September, 1913, but it is reported he is dickering to take the house noxt fall. If this happens it means direct opposition to the Lib- erty, one of the M. W. Taylor string, owned by J. Fred Zimmerman. The recent injunction suit brought by Nixon-Nirdlinger to gain possession of the new unfinished theatre in Ger- mantown has strained the relations between Messrs. Nixon and Zimmer- man, who are the allies of "The Syn- dicate" in this city. A. L. Erlanger endeavored to fix the differences dur- ing the past two weeks, but with what success is unknown. There were reports that negotia- tions were going on between Nixon- Nirdlinger and the United, but with the taking over of the Grand by Nix- on-Nirdlinger, comes the report that the United is after Zimmerman's houses. A representative of the United was here no later than Monday, but nothing definite was learned and it was said nothing had been done. If Taylor wins the suit over Nixon- Nirdlinger and the United will meet his demands, It Is likely that the Lib- erty, Keystone, the new house in Ger- mantown (which Zimmerman an- nounced last week that he would build within a year), and possibly one or two booked through" the M. W. Taylor Agency will all go into the United list. Mr. Nixon-Nirdlinger added the Grand theatre, formerly booked by Stein & Leonard, to his list thin week and announced he will have six houses in this city next season. Uur ing the Rummer alterations will be made to 11 ■ *» Jumbo, managed by Thomas Dougherty of the X-Z ofhVe •\vhii Ii will increase the seating ca- pacity to 3,000 and an increase in price will be made,