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Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(May 22, 1909)

Murdock, J. J.
A timely talk on parallels,   p. 12


Chicago vaudeville,   p. 12


Page 12

THE SHOW WORLD
A TIMELY TALK ON PARALLELS
By J. J. MURDOCK.
I ant daily asked as to what I think
of the future of the moving picture
industry.
Not many
years   ago
this  saie
(I nesCtion i
iwas  asked
ie  itt  re-
card it the
InIture  01
titdeville.
Vaudeville
%\as then inl
it', infancy,
just as the
moving pic-
ture indus-
t try  is  to-
daLy.
1rememn-
her, at the
close    o
season   af-
ter reatoi of vaudeille, in the early
clays, we were in dread as to what
the next season imiwrht bring forth.
Vaudeville then xwas a turmoil, a
strife, a game in which few men had
found opportunity to gain that ex-
perience necessary to make it a pro-
ttotinced success.
I had entered the field equippael
awith a knoxalederye gleaned fraom the
"legitimate" school-a school of hard
knocks-a school which rounded off
the rough edges and well prepared a
mai for other ventures in the anatse-
miiit buiiness.
inthose early days, vaudeville vas
looked upon as a cheap     form   of
amusement, just as moving pictures
are totav.
Vaudeville was born    as a store
show. Moving pictures have had aii
equally distinguished birth.
How Keith Arose.
If I may be pardoned for mention-
ing him   in this connection, 1. F.
Keith, a pioner in the adeville fiel,
statrtedlawith a store shoxwii B"oost,
'Todacy liepoits withlpindetohis uil-
lion dollar palaces of vaudeville.
It may be worth aylile to consider
just what was the success of vaudeville
and how this form   of entertainment
was lifted front a plane of iiediocrity
to its present predominating position
in the world of entertainment.
Attracted by thel profits being made
through the operation of store shows
presenting  cheap  variety, men   of
brains, standing and enterprise were
attracted to the field. Such i men are
lever conitent with conaditionts as they
fill tihem]. It is tosuch itmen, indeed,
that the world is indebted for its in-
dustrial. coninercial and sotcial prog-
ress. They found "variety' to be an
acorit frot -which the mighty oak of
"Vaudeville" could be grown. They
llanted the seed and iaurrtredthe tree.
They iegala by converting the store
slts, into a sall. clea rttheater of
liimitedl cpacity mud.Icater. a fexw of
those pioneers were sufficiently cour-
ageoutistl te <fidenut ti erelc tcoae
pretentious theaters. itttil by  this
seeningly slow but saine progress vau-
deville has arisen to the throneshlip
of entertainrnent and its regal man-
siotistire the fitest inthexworld.
First Stage of Growth.
As these daring pioneers increased
the quality of their exhibition room.
they also increased the quality of the
performance. Where their predeces-
sors had hesitated to pay twelse to
fifteen dollars for an "act," they were
eager to pay fifty, seventy-five or one
hundred dollars to obtain something
better. For a time, one hundred dol-
lars -as considered the top notch
price for a vaudeville "turn."
I traveled the rough road with the
early pioueers of vauleville. I cleaned
ip my theaters and, instead of seek-
ing to find where I could save fifteen
or twenty dollars a week in expenses,
I tried to finld where I could spend
mle- to pIce-c tle patns.
1 ecarly discovered the vital secret
that the public is discriminating and
that it is the public which places the
value upon ai act atd which chris-
tels the playhouse with popularity or
failure--
Sotae of the vaudeville managers in
tile pioneer days did not discover this
secret. They looked upol the public
as a imcob ready to be led by the lold-
est cry. They persisted itt adheria g
to chea-n "variety,' furnished by wild
cat booking   agents at starvation
prices. But awhat has become of those
managers today? They    have been
forced down to the lowest riing of the
ladder of showmanship while others
have climbed to the top. Glancing
backward over a period of five years
at the vaudeville theaters in the small-
er towns and coiparing them  with
the theaters of today, the chaige must
strike the most casual oaserver as re-
narkable. In the place of the store
show  and its successor-the small,
cheap theater-one finds a neat, met-
ropolitan playhouse, either operated
by the man who originally started the
store show or by his iore enterpris-
ing successeor.
Public Discrimination.
It seems but vesterda- that I
learned the value daf the public's dis-
cruiination between Ia good and poor
act and a good and poor show. I re-
call how I went in search of a higher
form of talent for my patrons, at first
timiidly paying two hundred and fifty
dollars for an act,-an unheard-of stum
at that tinie,-but the success of that
venture encouraged le to seek for the
five hundred dollar act. I was criti-
cized when T first presented ail  act
costing one thousand dollars, but the
aery Iaanagers who questioned miny
jtudgmeit at that time caile to tmle
later and sought to eigage the saie
clt through me. Perhaps you may re-
Call selac-i  I i"%liti-clI  "il,  I  -  "t II it
huindred ,ildiar ;lcv that ever plavyed
vatudeville? And you may or may not
know that the actor had never ob-
tained more than two hundred and
tifty dollars in the "legitimate"?  I
tigured out that the act was worth
that much to my house and later this
judgment was proven correct, for
other managers engaged it from me.
It is a matter of record that I was
supposed to be a fit subject for an in-
sane asylum when I paid three thou-
sand dollars for a single act in vaude-
ville, but that fit of insanity netted me
fourteen thousand dollars in profits in
oie week.
My adventure in this direction not
univ encouraged m- fellow managers
and increased their profits, but it also
brought into being a broader field of
operation for the artist. It not only
attracted representative artists front
the "legitimate" to enter the vaude-
ville field, but it had a tendency to
increase the income of all meritorious
actors appearing upon the variety
stage. With this increase of income.,
actors sought new   material, richer
wardrobe, expensive scenic effects and
gaiued a courage for their talent. It.
in fact, gave the vaudeville actor a
status in the field of amusement that
lie could not otherwise have gained.
Look at the stars that have shown in
vaudeville through my' introduction.
And it is gratifying, indeed, to reflect
that I have, in my humble way, been
instrumental in bringing the salaries
of artists  to th eir present high  plane.
Encourages Exhibitors.
I have del\ed this much into iy
vaudeville  biography  to  Convince
lloving picture men, if possible, that
the wise plan for them is to profit by
the lesson I have learned in vande-
ylle and to avoid the pitfalls into
which I have seen others fall.
I want to eicourage the exhibitor
to strive for better things,-for better
service, for better theaters, for better
conditions, and  for  better  results.
Quality counts, and good thintgs
cost good imoney  the world over.
There is a reason why a house il one
CHICAGO VAUDEVILLE
American.
Jamtecs J. Jeffries remiainas at the
Amerian   Music iall for a second
week and appears to advantage in a
sketch from the pen of Helen Green.
It is cleverly devised. SIam Berger
takes his apapearance first and those
who do not know Jeffries think lie is
coillitig oin with the rise of the ctir-
taii. Another character is introduced
alul thie autdieicc speaks thrugh the
iewspaper reo-ter which the seconel
character r-preseits. The infornlia-
tiol that thie first prize  ighting char-
acter is Sai HIerger, the  Califtoriia
chatmpioni, is handed out aid later Jef-
fries appears and goes through some
gy-tiastic stunits to the delight of the
Collins & Hart also remain a second
wx-eck with their hurlesque-strong-nialn
act and core. Alauide Lambert iakes
her first aipearance in vautdeville atid
is heing well received. IHilly Clifford
jollies the audience and has them as-
sist in at song which has the title. Oh,.
Oh. Oh.    The Five Juggling Jor-
daIas give a waonderful exhibition of
club throaing. Shean and Warren
offer Quo Vad is Upside Dont. and
Mayme Remington ad ler pickinl-
nies please it several numbers. Ros-
tow. the Russiaii equilibrist. opens the
bill and accomplishes  several feats
wxhiCih  make tihe audience  applaud.
The Sisters Rappo close the show
with their Russian daices.
All in all the program   is a very
satisfying onue.
Shuberts Secure Stars.
Alessrs. Shubiert are said to have
engaged the services of Frank Dan-
iels. Ray-nid Iitchcockt and Mrs.
vet-r cc' stars ur text seasol.
Majestic.
It  a s  i hill of quality  that   as  f-
fered at the Majestic this week, aid
judging by tie liberal attentidater the
public ftiull appreciated thce efforts of
the management.    Allan Nightnman
opened the program with anl exhibi-
tion of clay modelig that eariied ijus-
tiable applause despite the [itt po-
sition  oil  the  bill.  lie  was  followtiax-ed
by Otto Ficchtel's Quintette- a   ov-
ellty  ausial act wlich had nto difli-
culta  ill holdin g  the  atteition  of  the
uitiene   Gcncil il i'trkr   catnte
t~thisiiithullg'.andiiiltices hat axot
heatyx far. Arthur   t Rtcaniiud \it-
tie NcNaro offered a happy comnhila-
titu  ii ctr  qiacI  al song. Vernn.
veniltuoq~uist,  and  his  faiutly  cif '"atitI-
i   <tr dumiisan als like. Fairrel-
Taylor- tade'omaniy-provxel:I -'ettitae
scretam ini their skit, That Miiinstrel
Alcn. and were repeatedly encored.
Dick Crolitis & Co. followed with an
oniginal sketch entitled  Shxorty. in
which. although Croils himself axas
nearly the entire show, his surround-
ing company was one of exceptional
ierit. The skit belongs aiong the
classics of slang. Eddie Leonard as-
sisted by the (oirdon Brothers, twxo
clever  ancers  111l singers. had no
little  tr bi le  il  excutsig'   himself after
hicinitg lbeei forced t a exhalt.i  his
repertoire oa it tilce and soigs. 1io-
let BIlack. assisted b  aeiroi Clem-
ens. utgeie \cilit a d A. W. Brown
presented Iin the Suhwa  . a playlet
wshicih made a wo derful hit inl Neax-
York and ashichi ftully justitled that
honor in    Chicago. Edna    Wallace
Ilopper. she of the So)ft voice and inl-
sintuating waysx readily crept into her
hearers' hearts with a repertoire if
clever songs. Seldom's Venus. being
poses ii marble, werc so exceptionally
ascll chute i.s to command numerous
ce ic'res.   Pi icures clo'ed  tile  bill.
hl-C -  I   cost n   tllic l thcahotle
fin another.  There is a rea~otas-he
one service should cost more than an
other. That reason is quality
I have on file letters front certain
exchanges, asking us whether we have
any old film for sale and stating that
it don't make any difference to the
how old it is or how much it ha,
been used. One of them hoasted i
the fact that lie has not purchased a
foot of new film in more than a year.
What kind of service can exhibitor,
expect from    such aii exchange and,
in turn, what kind of results can a
exhibitor expect who is satisfied to
exhibit such pictures?
The time is fast approaching when
the exhibitor who thinks he can hold
his trade by utilizing cheap film serv-
ice ai  who hopes to satisf his Crs-
tomners by throwing ini an extra reel
of shoddy wornout stuff for extra
measure. believing it will suffice to
hold his clientele, will be eliminated
from   the  ranks.   The honors-the
profits-will go to the men who are
sufficiently enterprising to want to
forge ahead; to the men who realize
the importance of good service, to the
men   who   know   that a reel of film
is the same to the film man as a
vaudeville act is to    the vaudeville
manager, and who have discoveredthe
vital secret of public discrininatioe
It is to such men that success mu5st
come, for the law    of success is in-
violate. It is quality, and not quan-
tity, that counts: it is good judgment.
energy   and   respect for vatronaoc
which spells progress: it is honest de-
termination which must, in the end,
wxin out for the men who want to
wvin-
If the personal pronotin has oc-
curred too often in my timely talk this
week, it has not been to air Iy van-
litv, btit rather to point aa ioral to a
jtale which hac pr-xven profitable to
ime.
CHILD LABOR LAW
LOSES ON       CONTRACT,
Case Azainst Gretchen Hartman of
Mary Pane's Pa Dismissed-She
Is a Partner of Savage.
The child labor law of Illinoish-
proven a source of great vexation t
companies appearing itm this city duet-
iig the past season, aild such iiotahl
examples as Salvation Nell, The Piel
Piper, The Traveling Salesnan, and
other Itlays, mlitIlt he metnstioned t
exemplify the diffictlty which ialna-
gers iaxe cicotttered in their effort,
to introduce "kiddies" tr their Iar-
ductioits inl this city.
Ma- have sottit i, vain for
intethod to evade this law, but it wa
not util Walter I'loyd,    ilaiager
Alnra-Jatc's Pa. axas aectisedofeitl-
3lyig a child tiaerage it the ier-
soil of Gretcent H~artiiant,the Aan
Tate of the day. and got his fertik
braii to work that a method of "get-
tiniz by" was discovered.
When Floyd was accused of the
dreadful crime lie at oice prodticed
papers to   show   that Gretchen wva'
itot p t emplove of the conipany lt
was a partner in the manlagemtent:
that she   -as to receive 10 per cent
tle  et profits ad was to pay 10 Per
celit of the nt losses: and, accorditg
to Flo-d's testimol-  before Judge Fry
ill the   AInticipal Court. Gretlcen
gets ift- a week "pilnontey< or
rather. as ati ad\vance o)n her Coll-
tract
Adolph   Marks argued the Floyd
side of thel proposition and, as usual
Marks won otit. The case was di
iissed and Gretchen  may ow Coll
itle to delight Chicagoans for soie
days to coie.
Similar   chares   acainst G.
Kiigshibury and W. B. Kirby. imnagaer
of the   Chicago    opera  house anl
agent for Henry W. Savage, respect-
i-c-I, w-ere conlttiurel to May 24.
12
May22,1909.
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