Variety (March 1925)

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VARIETY VAUDEVILLE ' Wednesday. March 4, 1925 1 BIG TIME'S ABOUT FACE ON RADIO TOM McKAY ALLEGED ORIGMAL OF CHARUE CHAPLIN'S MAKE-UP "Living Image" Brought Into Amador Suit in Los Angeles—Chaplin Denies Knowing McKay— "Old Pal, Charlie/' Autographed Picture Los Angeles, Mar6h 3. The right of Charles Amador to call himself Charles Aplin and pre- sent a screen character in flima that closely resembles the work of Charles Chaplin Is being thrashed out here in Judge Hudner's court following a suit for an injunction flied by Chaplin. F. M. Sariford, producer of the pictures in which Amador was starred as "Charles Aplin," has been accused of being a "pirate" and to have infringed on the names of sev- eral prominent screen players. During the course of the hear- ing Chaplin appeared in person as a vitnesa. Much testimony has been Intro- duced anent Chaplin's pants. Li. G. Marriott, who qualified as witness because of the fact that from 190S to 1913 he was engaged as a "film viewer" In England, and during that time viewed an average of 100 pictures a we^k. said: "It's the hang of the thing. I don't know just how he does it. but he gathers them in front somehow as if they were hanging from a string. Nobody else does it Just that way." Marriott also testified that al- though he bad seen scores of screen comedians and many vaudeville ac- tors, he had never before the ad- vent of Chaplin seen any one using the entire Chaplin makeup and character. Amador was called to the stand nnd testified concerning his rise from a picture operator to a screen actor. •^ worked as an operator from 1909 to 1915," Amador said. "I be- lieve I first saw ChArltn in films In 1916." He denied Imitating Chap- lin by wearing baggy trousers, derby and carrying a cane. His ex- planation was: "I was not imitating Chaplin any more than numerous other actors who were using similar wardrobes. Under my first contract with San- ford I was to use the name Charles Aplin. It was Mr. Sanford'a idea to use this name, but I consented to it. I received $75 a week and 10 per cent, of the returns from the pictures." Sanford admitted on the stand, under crosa examination, to having seen Chaplin on the screen in his characteristic makeup about seven " yeara ago, apd that he afterward produced films with Billie West and Inter with Amador using a similar makeup. Surprise for Chaplin , A .surprise was sprung on Chap- lin by Amador's attorneys when they called him to the stand and asked him to look at a living image of the Charlie Chaplin character- ization and see if he recognized who it was. This person was seated in the spectators' section of the court- room and as the question was fin- ished walked to the front. Chap- lin looked at him for a moment and then said he had no knowledge of having ever seen him before. The attorney then said, "Do you know Tom McKay?" The reply was In the negative. When further pressed, Chaplin stated that if he had known McKay in the past he had forgotten him. The attorneys explained to the court that McKay and Chaplin had known each other before Chaplin became famous on the screen; that McKay had used the Chaplin make- up long before Chaplin adopted it, and that McKay had been the in- spiration of Chaplin's characterisa- tion, pX .a time when both were members of the Kred Karno vaude- ville act. '.'A Night In An English Music Hall." In eiupport of Ih's contention the defense exhibited a photograph of Cbapllo.. alone, nnde years ago, which they said Chaplin had sent McKay. On the picture, which Fhowed Chaplin wearing the old- fa<!hioned Windsor tie, was ncrawlei "From your Old Pal, Charlie." It was also asserted that Chaplin had taken the idea of his character from McKay, who had really cre- ated It in the Karno act. Then the attorneys assumed a "Terent method of proceedurc by endeavoring to g.> Into Chaplin's private life nnd asl;li.g him If he did not think that escapades In which an actor might indulge would Injure his reputation with the pub- lic and lessen hia popularity. Judge Hudner ruled that this was not ad- missible. NEW ACT HAS ALL BOOKINGS CANCELLED Muldoon, Franklin ft Sar- anoff Dropped Frona Ml Vetaon Bill For the first time on record an act was cancelled at t>roctor'8 Mt. Vernon, N. Y., when Muldoon, Franklin and Saranoff were dropped afto the Monday night pe. .'jrm- ance, Feb. 24. All further Keith- Albee bookings were withdrawn by that circuit. The cancellations followed the appearance of Johnny Mifldoon. the dancer in the act. after he had misaed the matinee. Franklin and Saranoff had gone on in the after- noon without the absentee, who was reported a« ill. following a phone call from hia alleged brother who said Muldoon was suffering from "hemorrhages of the nose," and the act cut to 10 minutea instead of 20, Saranoff explaining to the audience Muldooq was sick. A few minutes later Bffuldoon arrived in a taxi, the driver of which ckiimed Muldoon refused to pay his bill and was In no condition to listen to argument. House attaches paid the fare and con\-eyed him to a local hotel where he was put to bed under the watch- ful eye of the carpenter carried by the act. Muldoon was able to go on for the night show but wais reported as Iso shaky he was forced to cut hia most important dance. He also mi.ssed catching Miss Franklin in another dance and had to eliminate the Spins in a Russian number. Following the cancellation Blo.s- som and Hig|dns stepped into the vacahcy. Th^ Muldoon. Franklin find Saranoff turn is a new combi- nation in an act owned and pro- duced by Irving Tatea, Loew agent. and Irving TIshman. Saranoff is the violinist, last seen in vaudeville in a musical and sing- ing turn with Tvette. The Incident marks the first can- cellation following the recent drive of the Keith-Albee Circuit to dis- cipline acts who deliberately miss shows for causes within their con- trol. CAUF. Boosins Lioa Angtltm, llarefc t. G«org« Sackett, manager of the Orpheum. and Jamea B. McKowen, manager of th« Hillatr««t, have ke- oome real Loa Angtiaa booetan, though neitbar la a native son. They are sending out greetings to acta scheduled to play their respective^ houses about two weeka before the acts are due hare. The greetings are in the form of a letter giving the location of their respective theatres; names of the transfer companies; time of rehear- sals; names of an the heads of de- partments and a traveler's blue book, which gives Information re- garding alghta and points In Cali- fornia. The letter alao' lUggeata tHat if the managers can be of aervice to the performera during their atay ao- cially or in a buaineas way they are to be command^. "A HORSEMEN" IN VAUDE Notra Dame's Demen Baekfield As ., -j;.-: Act—Open in May ■•..'* - Chicago. March S. Elmer Ljiyden, Harry Stuhl- dreher. Don Miller and Jim Crowley, commonly termed football's "Four Horsemen," will make their vaude- ville debut in May via western vaadevUle. E^ujKeough is responsible for re- crulMe the Notre Dame gridiron battlmrs as an act. vhich will be a singing; dancing and musical turn. Jinuey Counaebnan, of Washing- ton University. St. Louis, another moleskin luminary, will make the act a quintet. A. & H. Adds 31/2 Weeks Los Angeles, March 3. Three and a half weeks of vaude- ville dates, mostly in Wisconsin, have been added to the Ackerman & Harris circuit according to G. W. R^tcllffe, local manager of the circuit, who has Just returned from sui eight-week trip over the terri- tory extending between the Pacific Coast and Chicago. The new dates are mostly three- diy stands. Fairyland, combination vaudeville and picture house, at Long Beach, Cal., recently erected at a cost of $300,000 and seating 1,350, will open on March 15. Five acts are to be used on a split week bill. Ackerman A. Harris are booking the house. Dancer Tries Suicide San Francisco, March 3. Jijan Llewelyn, 24, who - claims whe is the daughter of a Turkisti Princess and a member of the British aristocracy, made a suicide attempt in n apartment at 444 Larkin street. After the loss of her parents and their possessions in the World War the girl took up a career as a dancer and had fullowcU this until a year ago when she was hurt in an automobile accident. Itecently her compcn.sation pay- ments given her at the time of the accident had been discontinued and this, with other bad luok. drove the girl to an attempt on her life. "PAYS TO ADVERTISE" SKIT A vauilovllle version of Uoi Coop- er Mesirue and Walter Ilacketl's "It Pays to Advertise" is to be pro- duced by Lewis & Uordon, with Grant Mitchell in the lead. Howard Lindsay is tnalilng the 'rondeiisation. . ,. . .J_. . .. , Jean Havez' Estate Los Angeles, March 3. Application for letters of ad- ministration to the estate of Jean Havez, who died recently, has been made by his widow. Mrs. Ebba A. Havez. Havez left no will. His property is described as consisting of per- sonal effects said to be worth $1,SOO and real estate valued at $18,500. $3,S00,(m Home It is estimated that wlien the Percy O. Williams Home for indigent professionals.. At Islip, L. L, receives its share of the late showman's estate, theliome will be foimded bjr a bequest of fS,500,000. William Grossman, of- the trustees of the WitUaois* Estate, has incorporated the Percy O. Williams Home. Shortly, at Mr. Grossman's Instigation, a bill will be pre- sented before the Albany, N. T., Legislature .to grant the home a legislative charter un- der which it will have a wider scope In Its Intended ohar- itablaneas. Durin« the lifetime of Mrs. Williams, as the will of her husband provides, the estate will be held intact with one- half of the income accruing to the home. Mrs. Williams is a confirmed invalid. The surviving son, Harold Willlama. ha^ been provided for In his father's will during his lifetime. COLORED SHOW AT$2jOO WEEKLY Cabaret Troupe of 23 From Connie's Inn as Act -. i rf:' V ■|; Recent Bodcing of 'Radio' AcU Upsets Bookers' Box Office Theory Bookers of the Keith-AIbee the- atres have been offered the Connie's Inn Revue (colored floor show) and Leroy Smith's band as a special vaudeville feature. The price asked is $2,500 weekly The revne, with chorus and prin- cipals, niunbers 23, while Smith's band has 11 musicians. George and Connie Immelman (white) are brothers, with Connie, perhaps, the best known of the boys in the Harlem district. The inn is at 131st street and 7th avenue. The revue was given special booking at Hurtig A Seamen's 126th street burlesque bouse, and bus- iness took a decided Jump, equaling the house's record. $75 I*OB TEAGHINO TRICKS Los Angeles, March S. Claiming that he taught "Man- teck," a stage horse, tricks so that Ruth Mix, daughter of Tom Mix, could appear in vaudeville and'that itm had not been reimburesd for his services, J. L. Treesch, an ani- mal trainer, filed claims against Mrs. Tom Mix, first wife of the pic- ture star, for $75 wages. Mrs. Mix will appear before Deputy Labor Commissioner Lowy to give her side of the story. PEKT KELTON Keith's ipalace, N. Y.. April C—E. F'. Albee, Brooklyu, April 13. WARNING!! I BUSINIilSS OF SWAYING OLIO DROP IN MY ACT H l-LY PROTECTED. Much appreciation to McCormack and Regay for some splendid sug- gCMlOOS. ... Direction MAX E. HAYES • fi' < The big time theatres are begin* nlng to cash in on radio reputations' and have executed an about face oa the former theory that radio popu« larity doesn't help at the boxofiice. The recent bookings at ^he Palace^ New Yorlc. of Harry Richman and his Club Richman entertainers wltlu the Eddie Blkins Band. Ben Bernie and Band, the coming engagement of Vincent Lopes and Band, all active radio favorites, has convinced the vaudeville people that in some Instances the broadcasting may work the other way and help at the gate. The appearance of George Im- merman's Connie's Inn artists and the Leroy ENnlth Band at Hurtig and Seamon's 126th Street, where they augmented a hurlesque show. Jumped the gross almost to a tie with the house record. The colored artists have been broadcasting nightly over WFBH and have achieved unusual ether popularity. Richman^ Return Date '.j Richman Is reported to have pulled" business at the Palace and has been booked for a return engagement. Of the radio artists mentioned, eleven have refrained from broad- casting while playing Keith book- ings, a clause in the Keith-Albee contract forbidding it. but it la un- derstood the Orpl^eum Circuit, after booking Harry Snodgrasa. the Leavenworth Prison radio pianist, at $1,000 weelUy are now preparing to allow Snodgrass to lay off period- ically 80 he can broadcast. >, Some of the veteran vaudeville i showmen explain the newer atti-, I tude jis the result of careful in» vestigation of radio programs dar« j ing the past season. Following the ^ first fiurry of alarm, the vaudeville people began analyzing the reactions to the air concerts and decided that with the mediocre programs given by radio the theatres were in no immediate danger. On the other band, 'it is reported- the Keith eastern bookers turned down Snodgra%s as an attraction, claiming his popularity war a ficti- tious one and purely radio. He has. been breaking house records on the Orpheum Circuit is the West, wher* he Is widely known. — —J— •• f-j THEATRE FELT QUAKE Near Panic at Lincoln, BlooJn» field, N. J. Newark, N*. J., ^arch 3, ' "The earthquake caused no trouble' in Newark theatres. In some part8< of tbe city it was not noticed at. all. There was a panic in the. Lincoln. Bloomfleld, N. J. Some man yelled that ^he theatre was collapsing. An audience of l,00a rushed for the doors. No one was, reported as hurt but the police closed the house for the night. Youngster for Pictures ' ^^ Graduating High Scale, , Mickey Bennet has been nlgnfd. for five years by Sam GoUlwyn at a graduating salary. The child-, phenom receives $500 the first year, $750 t)ie second and $1,000 weekly<< for the balance of the contract. Mickey was signed folIowInK an ai)pearonce at the Franklin, NeWi Vork. where he was appearing for^ the Keith-Albee Circuit. A jeprat' seiUative of Sam Oold.wyn cuughti: Mickey In the vaudeville Itousc. .. * The youngster left for.the o<ja<»W last Tuesday to begin wnvk oii.hlSit first GoMwyn. ..'«( Bennet has been pljiyint? vaudc^j. ville in :!. .skit by Ted McLean. ^t McKclIar'» "Jay Driver" v^ Helen McKellar is »o(»i: to make her vaudeville debut In "Tlfe .Iny Driver." by Edwin Btiike, now in rehearsal, under the direction of Lewis A Gordon. George McFarlane and Le.«llo Adams appear in support.