Variety (December 1912)

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VARIETY WELLS' SOUTHERN CIRCUIT WILL T RY NEW POP POLICY Taking on Tabloid Musical Comedies, Leaving the Family Department of United Booking Offices. Small Time Bureau Also Loses Harlem House and Has Five Upstate Theatres Booked By It Close Down Just Before Thanksgiving Tabloid musical comedies are to take the place of pop vaudeville on the Jake Wells circuit. Two offerings have al- ready been put in the field and if the experiment turns out successfully, a total of a dozen organizations will be thrown together. This policy goes into effect immedi- ately, and is the result of the failure of pop vaudeville booked into the southern chain of theatres by the United Booking Offices Family De- partment. Ollie Mack and Co. left New York Monday night, to open n^xt week in Knoxville, Tenn. Mack carries eigh- teen people and the company will givt a condensed version of "Casey Jones." The other piece which is in preparation is "Finnigan's Ball." It is planned to cut the pieces down to eighty minutes net in running time, which means that there will be an al- most unbroken succession of musical numbers, with comedy intervals only long enough to permit costume changes. The entertainments will be divided into three acts, separated by moving pictures. One show will be given in the afternoon and two at night, and the admission scale will remain at 15 and 25 cents. Wells buys the shows outright at an upset price. The manager likewise pays railroad fares, printing bills, and furnishes the production, including scenery and costumes. All the organ- izer undertakes is to pay salaries. For this he receives a fixed sum per week. The management of the theatre chain contracts to pay fares to the opening stand and return the company to New York. Each contract guarantees a tour of twelve weeks. It is understood Wilmer & Vincent, another of the smaller associates of the United Booking Offices, are watch- ing the experiment with a good deal of interest, and if it turns out profitable will put it in effect in their vaudeville houses. Something lik^e this policy was the subject of experiment in a portion of the territory booked by the Western Vaudeville Managers' Association. Re- ports from that section indicated the trial was satisfactory. Wells investi- gated the scheme's f jsults in the mid- dle west before trying it out as a sub- stitute for pop vaudeville. The Family Department suffered an- other loss last week when the new Lafayette at 7th avenue and 131st street (Harlem) shifted its bookings to the Loew-Sullivan-Considine agency. The joint bookers furnished the house with a show for the final half of last week. The Lafayette has been opened but a short while, starting with the U. B. O. pop vaudeville. The theatre is located six blocks above Loew's 7th Avenue. It is also said that last week, between Monday and Wednesday (just before Thanksgiving) the Family Department lost five houses in the upper part of New York state. TINNEY IN NEW SHOW. Frank Tinney, featured with "A Winsome Widow," which closed in Washington Saturday night, is back in New York. He will not be idle long, as the blackfaced comedian may be as- signed to one of K. & E.'s new pro- ductions. CHRIS* SPLIT WEEK. South Norwalk, Conn., Dec. 4. Hoyt's Opera House here, now op- erated by Chris O. Brown, will soon have a sister theatre in the new Em- press at Danbury, to "split the week" with it. Chas. Griffin, of Danbury, is building the Empress for Mr. Brown's tenancy. It seats 1,460 and will be in readiness about Feb. 1. OOMINfl BACK EAST. Chicago, Dec. 4. Two of Lew Fields' vaudeville acts, 'The Barbershop" and "The Delicates- sen" will return east next month. "The Barbershop" will stop over for a week (Jan. 13) to play at Akron. PRUDENTIAL. JOINING LOEW. It was agreed this week that the Pru- dential Vaudeville agency shall join the Loew-Sullivan-Considine office Jan. 1, moving into it, with Carl Anderson continuing as the representative head of the Prudential in the new quarters. The Prudential has about twenty houjes, some of the higher small time type among them. RATS' CLUBHOUSE OPENING. The new clubhouse of the White Rats Actors' Union will he formally dedi- cated tomorrow (Saturday) evening by a housewarming. The clubhouse is on 46th street, a few doors west of the present quar- ters of the Rats. COMBINED CIRCUS ACTS. Cleveland, Dec. 4. Acts with Spellman-Robinson's cir- cus are Siegrist and Silbon Troupe; Robinson's Elephants; Lunette Sisters; Hercules' Troupe; Robinson's Horses; Sutherland Sisters; Willimine Ham- mann; Delmore and Oneida; Barlow, Jack and Barlow; The Ledgitts; Dolly Julian; Riley, Barr and Riley; Morri- sini's Animals; Capt. Winston's Seals, eight clowns and concert band. TALBOT AFTER HIPPODROMES. St. Louis, Dec. 4. Frank Talbot, whose 10-cent Hippo- drome here has been a financial success, is in the field for all the theatres of large capacity he can secure on lease. His idea is to extend his holdings until he has a consecutive chain of Hippo- dromes from Chicago to New Orleans He has already secured the Winter Garden in the latter city and will take possession Dec. 22. With the Hip here and the Great Northern lately se- cured in Chicago, Talbot already has the corners of his triangle fixed. Dave Russell, a former lieutenant of John Havlin, is now on the road as a "scout" looking up leases on behalf of Talbot. The policy will be the presentation of animal acts and circus numbers, run- ning mostly to dumb turns. New Orleans, Dec. 4. Lew Rose, Sol Meyers and J. J. Hol- land have leased the Winter Garden and will open it with a vaudeville policy, playing ten acts. The house will be renamed the Hip- podrome, following closely along the lines of the St. Louis Hippodrome. It opens Dec. 22, with Lew Rose as man- ager. Winter Garden's seating capacity is 2,500. Stock burlesque will continue at the Greenwall. T. W. Dinkins has signed Katherine and Violet Pearl to join the organization in the Crescent City. They left New York Monday. With them went Leo Pardello, Galvan and "The Tasmanlan Tiger," three wrestlers who will make an athletic trio meeting all comers on the mat. Omaha, Dec. 4. Omaha is to have a new theatre costing $60.000 : to be built by A. T. Brandeis, called the Hippodrome, and operated by O. T. Crawford and Man- ager Johnson of the Gayety. The site is Douglas and 18th streets, facing the new $1,000,000 hotel. Hippodrome vaudeville will be the policy accord- ing to present plans. THANKSGIVING NOT SO GOOD. "Thanksgiving Week" did not prove the little bonanza it has in previous years of box office records in the show business. While business on the holi- day was up to its customary form, managers are complaining the week as a whole merely rounded up as a nor- mal one, in the total of receipts. SAILINGS. The sailings fcr the week arranged through the Paul Tausig Steamship Agency at 104 East 14th street, New York, are: Nov. 30, Dorothy Rich- mond, Ben Harris, Reinhold Weisc (Washington); Dec. 7, The Van der Koor» (Carmania). Incoming, from Bremen, Dec. 7, Gerson's Midgets (Buelow). BUYS PENN CO. CATALOG. The song prints of the Willim I'enn Co. have been purchased by Jos. W. Stern & Co., which takes in all the new compositions of Gene Buck and Dave Sampter. Stern & Co. have also placed Clarice Manning's catalog on their books. TRAINOR GETS A NEW HEARING. Justice Greenbaum, Special Term, Supreme Court, has granted a reargu- ment of the application of Val Trai- nor for a mandamus compelling his reinstatement in the White Rats Ac- tors' Union. Guy T. Murray, attorney for Trai- nor, argued that Justive Greenbaum had erred in his interpretation of the corporation laws when he ruled that the Rats had been within their rights in trying Trainor before by a board of less than the number required under the General Corporation Law. He de- clared that the W. R. A. U. did not come under the classification of mem- bership corporations as provided in the law upon which the court had denied Trainor's application originally. The court also grants permission to the Rats counsel to file an opposition memorandum. LEACH GROSS CAREFUL. Willie Hammerstein discussed Mon- day with Leach Cross, the fighter, a proposal for the pugilist to play Ham- merstein's week of Dec. 16, and asked that a salary be set. Before doing so, Leachey went inside and counted the seats. Which recalls that on one occasion when Cross was matched for a fight in a certain sporting club on a percent- age basis he visited the auditorium sev- eral days in advance, with a tape meas- ure, figured up the floor space and demanded that additional scats be placed around the ring. 'FITZ," ULTIMATUM. Bob Fitzsimon*, vaudeville actor, has delivered his ultimatum to the booking authorities. In a letter received in New York this week, Fitz declared that he had commissioned Hal Reid to write him a three-act drama, and that if vau- deville bookings weer not forthcom- ing immediately, he would hurry the work, organize a dramatic organization of his own and leave vaudeville flat. MIXED BROOKLYN SITUATION. The Broadway, Brooklyn, section has . more vaudeville through the opening of the Halsey theatre at Halsey street and Saratoga avenue last week. It is booked by the Family Department of the United Booking Offices. The new house is managed by Saxe Bros., who also conduct the 116th street theatre. The Halsey theatre seats 2,400 people. It is located in the same neigh- borhood where stand the Shubert (Loew), Bushwick (Keith), and De Kalb (Cunningham & Fluegelman), all playing programs ot acts at pop prices. LEVEY IN SACRAMENTO. Sacramento, Cal., Dec. 4. Bert Levey's theatre, the Diepcnbrock, opened here Monday night with every promise of public support. Mr. Levey and a party of friends attended the initial performance. The opening bill included Toona Indian Opera Co., Martinez and Martinez, Jul. Hale, Pitsor and Daye, Harry Bardcl, May Nannery and Co. The house until recently held the Or- plieum Circuit shows for two days weekly.