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Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(November 13, 1909)

Editorial,   p. 12

Page 12

The Sho World Publishing Co.
Grand Opera House Building
Eighty Seven South Clark Street
Cable Address (Registered) "Showorld"
General Director
Secretary and Treasurer
Entered as second-class matter, June 25,
1907, at the Postoffice at Chicago, Illinois,
under the act of Congress of March 3, 1879
201 Gem   Theater IuIlding
Telephone Bell Olive 6.
Fifteen Cents per Agate Line.
Fourteen Lines to the Inch.
Fifty Inches no the Page.
The Last Advertising Forms Close
Wednesday at Noon.
Advertisements forwarded by mail must
be accompanied by remittance, made pay-
CO., to whom all business communications
should be addressed.
(Payable in Advance)
Four Dollars a Year.
Five Dollars a Year.
The Western News Company
and its
International Branches
The Editor will not be responsible for the
return of unsolicited manuscripts, but If
stamps are enclosed they will be returned
if found unavailable.
Anonymous matter will not be considered
under any circumstances. Writers desiring
their namec to be withheld from publication
must so state beneath their signatures.
We do not solicit contributions from un-
authorized correspondents, but in special
Instances we will consider contributions
bearing upon a topic of vital interest to the
profession of entertainment.
Manuscripts or news matter will not be
considered unless written upon one side of
the paper only and addressed in the lower
left hand corner of the envelope to The
News Editor.
4ED 28
NOVEMBER 13,1909.
Actorless Theater Growing.
The moving picture business is mak-
ing such strides forward in these days,
that even the daily press, which has
sneered at this business for a long
time, is beginning to take note of 't,
and to recognize its importance to the
general public. The fact that moving
picture theaters have done very little
advertising in the daily press, has made
them the target of much criticism, also,
and evils of which the theaters have
never been the cause, have been imagin-
ed by reporters and special writers, and
have been spread on the printed pages.
The   Record-Herald,   a   conservative
newspaper recently printed the follow-
ing sensible editorial regarding the
"actorless theater."
"A magazine writer states that there
are 7,000 'canned theaters' in the United
States and that the number is still
growing.   The allusion, of course, is
to the moving picture shows, the dram-
atic and artistic possibilities of which
werediscernedearly enough, but which
unfortunately, have been exploited to
a considerable extent by traffickers in
vice and moral filth. The rescue and
regulation of those 5-cent shows in the
interest of decency and safety will pro-
ceed, however, without prejudicing the
fair-minded against the new, popular,
actorless theater.
"The moving picture shows are a boon
to millions of people, especially in out-
lying sctions of large cities and in
smsialler conununities. These shows can
be made wholesome, entertaining, edi-
fying, and in many instances they are
already on a fairly high plane. But
even among the friends of this form of
amusement there is little realization of
the extensions and improvements plan-
ned for it in Europe, especially in Paris.
In the French capital actual plays are
given at some of the moving picture
establishments-plays that, in the words
of an American critic, have coherence,
development, climax and even a positive
dramatic thrill. Such plays are written
by leading authors and rehearsed or
interpreted before the picture machine
by eminent actors and actresses. Even
Duse has not deemed it beneath her
dignity to 'pose before the films,' though
in Italy pantomime has always been a
fine art. Hostand and Lemaitre have
written 'canned dramas' for the new,
the speechless theater, and some of the
masterpieces of the stage have been
adapted to its requirements.
"At first sight these things may ap-
pear 'degrading' to the arts of the play-
wright and actor, but, as has been
asked, why are they less legitimate
than Caruso, Melba, and Sembrich 're-
cords' for talking and singing machines?
The answer will be that they are not,
and we may expect that more and more
artists will consent to lend their talent
to the elevation and improvement of the
actorless theater. Some day, perhaps,
the phonograph and the moving picture
machine will be so combined that the
actors will speak as well as play, but
what has already been accomplished is
sufficiently wonderful.
"The better the 5-cent theater is the
greater will be the demand for the real
theater and the artistic drama. The cry
for entertainment is loud and natural,
and to prevent the vulgarization of the
most popular forms of it is to serve
humanity and art at the same time."
Theatrical Depression.
Reports are coming in from different
parts of the country to the effect that
the theatrical business is not thriving.
The reason for this advanced in many
quarters is that the high cost of living
has made it impossible for the general
public to attend the theater. The Bal-
timore Sun of recent date has the fol-
lowing comment to make on conditions:
"When signs of returning prosperity
began to appear in the spring the
theatrical managers of the United States
began to make plans for a season of
crowded houses and fat profits. They
had just finished the worst season in
the history of the American stage.
Between September of last year and the
beginning of warm weather mo re than
250 companies disbanded. Theaters had
been closed in all parts of the country;
a large number of managers were bank-
rupt, and many more were heavily in
debt, and more than 8,000 actors and
actresses were out of work. With this
appalling picture behind them the men
whose money was invested in theaters
and productions looked forward with
a good deal of hope. The season of
1909-10 promised to give them the due
yield of returned confidence. So the
summer was spent busily in planning
and rehearsing.
"Unfortunately for the managers, this
bright promise has so far brought no
fulfillment. The present season, though
not quite so bad as last season, is still
discouraging. According to one of the
high dignitaries of the theatrical trust,
fully 75 first-class companies have had
to return to New York since September
1 utterly unable to find enough pat-
ronage on the road to pay expenses.
In New York itself the Broadway thea-
ters are making little more than board
wages for the managers. Only five of
them, it is said, are taking in more
than $6,000 a week-the minimum in-
come for profitable operation. Of the
remainder not a dozen are touching
$4,500. In years past some of these
houses averaged for months more than
$12,000 a week.
"As is almost always the case in bad
seasons, the worthiest atractions are
feeling the depression most keenly, for
the least reflective class of theater-
goers seems to be the most faithful
in its patronage.  The silly musical
piece, particularly if it have a tinge
of indecency, manages to make a living.
but the serious drama starves. Not
one playwright of the very first rank-
not Pinero, or Jones, or Hervieu, or
Sudermann-is represented in New York
at the moment. The few genuine suc-
cesses there on view have little but
glitter, shocks and sentimentality to
recommend them. In all of them, taken
together, there are few ideas worth
"Is the vacuity of the current drama
to be blamed upon poor patronage or
is poor patronage responsible for the
drama's vacuity?  Or, finally, is each
both a cause and an effect? A hundred
answers are offered by the theatrical
diagnosticians and necromancers, but
not one of them is thoroughly satisfy-
ing. However, it is possible that when
the elections are over the theatrical
business will show marked improve-
Washbnrn and Irving.
On the first page of the Show World
this week appears excellent likenesses
of Charles S. Washburne and J. E.
Irving, the heads of the United Booking
Association of Chicago, the theatrical
exchange which has had a remarkable
growth since its organization.
This 01ice is now nt(ring its second
year, but notwithstanding its short time
of existence, has become widely known
The United Booking Association has a
large number of acts on its list which
proves that it has achieved an enviable
reputation and standing in its under-
taking not alone in Chicago, but in out-
of-town circuits.
The success of the United Booking
Association and its popularity is due to
the personal efforts and progressive
ideas of the two men behind the enter-
rise, who understand the booking busi-
iess and have a wide experience in deal-
ing with the artists.
C. S. Washburne, the general manager,
has been prominently identified with the
theatrical business for a number of
years, acting as press agent, business
manager for theatrical enterprises and
being director of several of the large
concessions in the amusement parks.
J. E. Irving, secretary and treasurer,
is well known throughout the states as
a versatile vaudeville and dramatic art-
ist. He was formerly a member of the
team of Irving and Spielman and also
of the Irvings. In addition to being a
performer, Mr. Irving has conducted
film exchanges as well as being con-
nected with numerous theaters in the
northwest when the so-called variety
was in its infancy.
In the face of strenuous opposition
and predictions of failure, the United
Booking Association has made good
since opening a year ago and its won-
derful growth assures the public that
the two young men behind the company
have been working hard every minute
since forming their present partnership.
A perusal of the Show World each
week will show that the association is
booking a chain of high-class theaters
in Chicago. The slogan of the United
Booking Association is "None but the
best for us, the managers and the art-
Another Snag?
In the last issue of a trade paper,
the Film Import and Trading company
announced that they   would   release,
"The Necklace of the Holy Virgin,"
Wednesday, November 10, and "Bertha's
Birthday,"  Thursday,  November   11,
among their other releases.
The early part of this week a circular
was received as follows:
Our representative in Paris ad-
vises us too late for details of a
special release for November 10th
and 1th, in additionto those re-
leases for which bulletins are en-
127 East 23rd St., New xork City
No further information is given. We
wonder if it was on account of the
International Projecting & Producing
Company having released these two sub-
jects sometime ago. If this is true,
then the Film Import and Trading
Company are running up against the
same snag that has bothered the In-
ternational Company for so long a time,
which must be a cause for regret among
the independent exchanges.
Eva Tanguay's throat has given out,
but she stilt retains her rounded con-
tour and she will probably manage to
worry along all right.
With "The Wishing Ring" at the
Great Northern, and Blanche Ring sing-
ing "Rings on My Fingers" at the Gar-
rick, the Shuberts are surely giving Chi-
cago a ringing time of it.
For some reason or other, officials are
very careful about what moving pic-
tures are shown the dear public, but
they wink at all manner of smut and
dirt in the burlesque houses. 'Tis a
funny world.
Some on should sign up Jeffries and
Johnson, and put them in vaudeville in
a sketch called "Black and White."
The New York Morning Telegraph
and the New York Review spend so
much time and so much printers' ink in
fighting each other, they do not have
time or room for any news.
It would appear that some of the
booking agencies of Chicago are book-
ing for the red light district, Instead of
the theaters. The Show World is in
possession of facts regarding some of
the vile agencies, which   might not
look well in print.
It is said that an attempt was made
to make a moving picture of Eva Tan-
guay, utthatno camera couldbe found
fast enough to keep up with her gyra-
There is a curiosity in town. It is
nothing else than a clean musical com-
November i3, t
edy.   Think of it, a musical teal
with only one pair of tights in
a good excuse for those! The at,Oa
this rare show is "The Yankee ira
it is on view at the Garrick
"You tickle me and I'll tickle
does not appear to be the mode ef l,'
cedure among the theatrical nf r
of Chicago. The syndicate thnaer W
fuse to advertise the Shubert theateri
their programs, and a tempest in a an
pot results. Oh, you kids!
Martin Beck says he never brageo
what he is going to do, but waitas nt
it is done, and then points with ri I
at the accomplished fact. Seineseie
in that, too.                  me sense
The New York Review has been t1
to crumble Powers' theater into d
but the playhouse still stands atis
present writing.
Praises Show World.
Pueblo, Colo., Oct. 25, 1905,
Editor, The Show World.
Happenings upon the Show World
September 18, at the T. M. A. togh.
1 mentally shouted for joy at te little
bouquet sent in on a tray by S. D.
Ricardo to one J. E. Irving. I has
had no dealings with Mr. Irving,Snl
not in a knocking spirit either, I will
say that the performers I have talked
to in the western part of the county
seem for some reason to want to slp
him a jolt once in a while.
I agree absolutely and in intricate
detail with our friend ir. Ricardo, re-
garding the proposition of any attempt
to reduce the salary or privileges of
ye vaudeville actor. Heaven knows (ilf
Heaven could) that the man who goes
before critical audiences two or three
times a day deserves the best that is,
in harmony with a just income to the
manager, considering his amount invest.
ed and his weekly outlay.
The Show World, in distinction from
the Clipper and other theatrical papers,
seems to advance the idea of unionism
In this day of "trusts" in show work
it behooves the vodevil actor to be-
come affiliated with some organization
witn  a firm  foundation which will be
able to see him through the fights
against men who are out strictly for
the money regardless of how much an
actor might do or how much shekel
he nmight   bring   into  the manogeris
Let it not be thought that I do not
think the manager-that is a few of him
-has a hard row, at times, but now-
adays he has things figured out so that
he does not takemore thanaordinary
mercantile risk inrunninghissohwo
any week. However, the man who prac*
tices "sweat shop" tactics, in an en-
deavor to get something for nothitg
and   squeezing   this  something from
what might be termed his rolling stock
is one who glides into the limelight for
a few critical remarks.
Such a hub bub as I am making
might appear immaterial coming from
a man whose stage career dates from
but twelve months back; but consider-
ing the fact that I had been doing dra-
matics on a metropolitan newspaper for
two years before this same stage entre,
there might be some reason-not to say
exscuce-for this "extraordinary out
Anyway, to sum the thing up, it
is  cinch (pardon the word) thatite
laboring  man, as exemplified by Y'
vodevil actor, does not stand with his
neighbor at this time, there is going
to be war to pay in the near future, and
you know what Sherman called war.
Owing to the diverse conditions Sur-
rounding vaudeville performers, it is
difficult to arrive at any definite wage
scale; for there is probably no business
in which so many people ask for a
journeyman's card before they have
hardly started on     an  apprenticeship.
This idea of unionism among actors has
never struck me so forcibly, before to-
night. The actor is something like the
reporter in that his money drawing
ability is not gauged by his physical
efforts or the time he puts in but by
the talent-the brains-he uses in his
It cannot be gainsaid that vaudevile
never was more in demand than atthis
time, and that it offers more opportunity
for the manager or booking agent to
shave a few dollars off per actor.
This brings me to the article of Char-
les  A. Moreland,    with   the caption
"Vaudeville Grows to a Fine Maturity.
Charles has the correct view, ifyea
will permit me, and reflects presentcn
ditions in his clever article. As a at
ter of fact vaudeville is forcing th
so-called "legitimate" manager to the
sorts of corners in order to satisfyih
appetite for entertainment for whic
the  vaudeville   artist is responsibl.
Vaudeville is theeverydayosw, thog  Z
possibly some may go to the heavier
stuff on Sunday; at the same limo
vaudeville furnishes satisfaction for
persons of every temperament hine
ical,   dramatical'  comical,  Peevtsh,
grouchy, artistic, athletic and whatnot
Vaudeville at this time is practicald
unlimited.   I say with Mr. Moreland,
"Variety is dead, long live vaudevIlam
Wishing you unlimited suess, on,

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