Variety (March 1921)

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VAUDEVILLE Friday. March 4, 1881 iECK WANTS MORE NOVELTIES AND COMEDY ACTS FOR ORPHEUM BILLBOARD RIVALRY GETS INTO COURTS Justice Ford Refuses to Force Permit for Sign. New Orleans, Manh 2. Martin Beck, who arrived here from Palm Beach Monday en route north with Mort Singer, declared present Orpheum bills are lacking in comedy and variety, a defect he Intends to remedy at once. He says he will give Instructions imme- diately to the Orpheum booking de- partment to secure more humorous lurjis and as many novelties as pos- sible, averring that price was a sec- ondary consideration. When questioned as to the possi- bility of the Shuberts placing vaudeville in the old Orpheum Theatre, which they have leased here, he said: "Whether they do or not will give us little concern, and their possible entry Into this city will not alter our present policy at all." There is quite a tangle about the lease of the old Orpheum. The Shuberts have taken over the house for a term of years, beginning in September. They instructed the owner to have the lease drawn up, after making a bonding deposit. The landlord sent them a document, con- sidered very much In his favor, which the Shuberts refused to sign. They had their attorney here fix up another lease, which the owner re- fused to sign, and he is going to New York this week to try and ad- just the matter satisfactorily. They have tied up the old Orpheum for a term of years with a small deposit of 1500. Mr. Beck objected to a drop used by the Mijaris, closing the current Orpheum bill, and advised them to cover certain parts of it or to eliminate it altogether. The Beck party are remaining here until the latter part of the week, when they will leave for New York, traveling via St. Louis and Chicago. AVONS IN DISPUTE. Former Members of Comedy Four Ask Accounting. Head of Circuit to Instruct Bookers to Increase Justice Ford la the New York . .,.,, ^ +. - CL , ,~_ . Supreme Court declined this week xiumor * in * CiMS'—4J0O6SV ? r<x\r 3nwbe:4 Uppo$i» Uc. .j*»u9. ,a *wv#'twi# Uv compej _• • xj r\ 1 lho Superintendant of Buildings to ClOn New Ul'leanS. issue a permit to the O. J. Gude Co, allowing the advertising concern to erect Bignboard at Broadway and Mosholu avenue, the Bronx. The ground under controversy is owned by the eity and ihs Gude people contended that it was under the Jurisdiction of the Park Com- missioner, who had already issued a permit. The whole controversy, according to the eourt, arose out of the rivalry of competing billboard concerns, both of whom wanted the sign. Justice Ford did not refuse a court order, but merely granted a stay In the proceedings so that the Gude people could try to establish their right to build the sign through the proper municipal authorities before the issue was settled. Harry Goodwin a;.d Irving Kauf- man, formerly of the Avon Comedy Four, have started action in the Supreme Court against Joe Smith and Charles Dale, the complainants claiming a partnership wi*h the defendants in the ownership of "The Hungaiian Rhai.sody," which wa the act played by the Avo::s and which is now ir. vaudeville with Burns and Kissen. Goodwin and Kaufman allege a secret agreement for royalties on the turn and ask an accounting and share of such moneys. The action iB a suit in equity. Cnce before Goo lwin and Kaufman sought the courts in the same mat- ter, bringing an action in the Munic- ipal Court, but discontinuing it when it was determined that eourt had no jurisdiction. The complain- ants were in the quartet until Smith and Dale joined a Winter Garden show, with which they are now on tour. They are represented by Charles Frankel. Kendler & Gold- stein are acting fo» the defendants. DICKENS IN VAUDEVILLE Joe Hart has accepted for pro- duction a one act playlet entitled "Boz," the central character of which is Chas. Dickens. The scene is laid in New York in 1842, during the novelists' visit to this country. Schuyler Ladd will play Dickens. The cast embraces five characters in all. Ben Barnett, a booking scout for the Keith office wrote the play- let, which is now being readied by Joe Hart for vaudeville. DAMAGES AQAINST POSSE Cincinnati, March 2. The U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals here has awarded $5,000 damages to T. H. (ierig, proprietor of the "Old Kentucky Minstrels," who sued residents of . Dversburg, Tenr... al- leging that they drove him and his troupe out of town in June, 1918. Gerig charged that tne citizens complained that the show drew men away from their work who were needed in the field, and for that rea- son a posse was organized and the minstrels were chased. The higher court upheld the decision of the District Court. The Appellate Court also settled a controversy between Thomas Wells, owner of the Orpheum vaudeville theatre at Nashville, and the Princess Amusement Company over contracts relating to bookings In that city. The court directed that Wells be ailowed damages of $17,000 with interest while the Princess company be awarded $4,400 In compensation. HENDERSON WILL FILED. Coney Island Property Goe« to Fred. Son San Francisco, March 2. The will of Fred B. Henderson, millionaire owner of theatrical properties, who died Feb, 9, was filed for probate in the Superior Court last week by his widow, Mrs. Kdith b; Henderson; a son, Fred A . and the Union Trust Co. Henderson's properties number many in Coney Island and in this State. All of the New York prop- erty is bequeathed to the son, Fred A., while the remainder of the prop- er y is left to the widow, whom the deceased stated would for the two young sons. provide BLACKWELLS VEHICLE. Carlyle Blaekwell, picture star in a total of 36S photoplays, will be seen in one of the Keith New York theatres March 14 in a new vehicle, designated an "allegorical Morality playlet." It is called "The Moral Pirates." •* The piece is by J. Altumis and Fred Spears and the star will be supported by Miss Marline Martin. who played with Blaekwell in his last piece. "His Lady Friends," Fred Spears and Ed Racey. The vaude- ville tout i» diiecied by TfTaries Allen of the M. S. Bentham olllce. BATHS ATOP CENTURY The Hath Brothers appeared as n feature of the Century Promenade show beginning Monday. This engagement follows a deci- sion of the United States Court of Appeals affirming the decree of the District Court granting the Shuhert Theatrical Company a permanent injunction restraining the Hath Bros, from performing for any managers other than the Shuberts ■litil the expiration of the contract. As an aftermath of the Shubert- Hath Brothers litigation, resulting in a verdict In favor of the Shuberts', tho Raths have settled their dif- ferences with Davidow & I>Malre for commissions claimed to be due on f!ie contract. PLANS HIGH UCENSE LOFTY iH irri Fees Would Run Up to $3,200 a Year Based on Prices, of Admission—Protest Against Paying Premium Over New York Scale for ' r No. 2** Show PAN'S MEMPHIS OPENS 3 Cor n«r Opposition on in Town of 150,000 The bronze doors of the new Pan- t age's Theatre opened at 12:30 Mon- day. It is the last word in theatre construction. Though not as large as some theatres recently built, it is luxurious and represents the ulti- mate In theatre design. B. Marcus Priteca of Seattle, Wash., was the architect. The olor scheme is gray, and the construction is that of reinforced concrete. The seating capacity, a little over 2,000, includes a gallery for negro patrons. J. J. Cluzton, personal representa- tive for Alexander Pantages com- pleted details for the opening and Loyd Dearth has been appointed assistant manager. The regular Pantages policy will prevail, the opening bill in running order being Kenny, Mason and Scholl, Lillian Ruby, Sllber and North, Jarvis' Whirl of Mirth, Juliet Dika, Clemenso, Bellings Co., and the feature picture, "Black Beauty." The admission scale will be 40 cent top for matinee, with 50 cents for box and loges, and 50 cent top for night shows, with 75 cents for boxes and loges. With the opening of Pantages. Memphis has three vaudeville thea- tres, namely, Orpheum, Loew's State and Pantages. Of the 156,000 popu- laion here, approximately 70,000 are negroes and it remains to be seen whether or not all of these theatres will thrive. FRANCES KENNEDY HURT. Nos* Broken In Railroad Accident »t Porter, Ind. Frances Kennedy (vaudeville) suf- fered a fractured nose in the train wreck of the New York Central and Michigan Central at Porter. Ind.. last Sunday. First reports coming into New York had it that the per- son injured war* Madge Kennedy. Later reports identified the injured person as Frances Kennedy. Miss Konnedy was en route from Blng- hamton to Milwaukee to fill an en- gagement at the Majestic in the latter city. It was at Porter, Ind., by way of an odd coincidence, that Miss Ken- nedy was severely burned last sum- mer, while vacationing at her summer home in that town. It was at Porter that the big train wreck of the Hagenback-Wallace Circus occurred and eighty persons killed four or five years ago. Forty-two were killed and a large number In- jured in the New York Central Michigan Central wreck last Sun- day. KEITH'S AMATEUR PLAN Cincinnati, March 2. Manager Ned Hastings announces that at the suggestion of EL F. Albee, every Monday night, beginning next week will be "amateur night" at Keith's. Mr. Albee believes that the plan, which will be tried out all over the country will result in vaudeville being improved by the addition of promising entertainers who have heretofore never had a real chance to show what they could do. SAM STDMAJTS RETURN Sam Sidman is returning to vaudeville shortly after an absence of several years. He will offer a comedy sketch called "Phoney Wire- less." The act will have a cast of four. Jim McKowen of the Frank Evans office has charge of the book- ings. I\J\J 1 U U1IO - ' I A box-party of the most prominent screen atari tendered an ovation to HELENE "Smiles" DAVIS at the American, N. V. last week, of such magnitude that It eclipsed Anything previous at this famous playhouse Numerous and beautiful floral pieces were passed across the footlights to Miss Davis, who had each of the film players appear with her in turn upon the stage. The audience was delighted and responded with rounds and rounds of applause, it proved her popularity with the audience as well as her fellow artists. * ENGLISH ACTS FOR CIRCUS. Two acts engaged by the Rlngllng Brother! for this year's circus will sail from England this week. They are the Henry Martini Troupe, "ris- ley" and gymnastic ring workers, and tho Malic Brothers, a perch act. It will be their first appearance here. The turns were booked through the vVirth, Blumenfelt & Co. office. Chicago, March S. Chicago, the theatrical sucker of the world, has officially balked at last. The city council this week reommended advances in theatrical licenses ranging as high as $3,200 annually and fixing the scale not only on seating capacity, as be- fore, but on the box office pricee charged. This makes the houses that profiteer in admission rates pay for it in a small measure, at least. One alderman quoted findings that Chicago is the most abused place in the world in the matter of charges for theatre tickets, showing numer- ous instances where prices for the same show (usually trimmed down at that) are higher here than in New York, whereas here they can play seven nights to only six in the Ea«t. Among the instances held forth were' Kd Wynn's Carnival. New York $2.50. Chicago $4.40; "Irene," New York $3, Chicago (second company) $3.85; "The Bat," New York $3. Chicago (second company), $4.40;' Ziegfeld Follies, New York $4.40, Chicago (without Fannie Brice, Bernard Granville and several other principals, not to mention a goodly part of the famous chorus) $4.96; Fanchon-Marco Revue, on the road 12.20, Chicago $2.75. Topping all this was a public ex- pose of the Couthoui Agency (scalpers) system, whereby extra tickets are printed for all desirable seats, which are handed to the agency in blocks, priced at 50 cents above box office rates, which pre- mium is divided between the agency and the theatres, thus giving the local public only the poorer seats even at the swollen prices and giv- ing the houses and shows a graft for the better rows. An ordinance is also proposed making it a misdemeanor to charge more on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays than on other day's. REPORT R00NEY HAS SHOW Pat Said to Have Taken "Lovs Birds" by Paying Salaries. A report was circulated around the early part of the week that Pat Kooney had taken over the show starring him, "Love Birds," from Wilner & Romberg. It was understood that after play* ing Sprlngiield and Worcester, last week, no salaries were paid, hence Uooney came through with the necessary amount, and incidentally took the whole piece over. STRONG REJOINS SURATT Kugene Strong jumped from New York to Seattle to rejoin "Scarlet." the Jack Lait act In which Valeska Suratt is starring, assuming again the male lead, which he created last season. Acrobats Robbed The Parker Bros., hand balancers, were robbed of $813 in cash .and a diamond ring valued at $100 last Wednesday while playing the Tem- ple, Camden. According to the men the cash and ring were locked in a wardrobe trunk, the keys of which were left in a bath robo pocket. Tho robe was bung. in. the dressing room, thjs door of which they say was with- out a lock. BARTRAM and SAXTON Playing U. B. O. Time. Direction, MORRIS & FBIL