Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vaudeville Hangs On in 1943

The Death of Vaudeville gets mentioned from time to time in movies of the 1930s, but here in Holyoke, Massachusetts (and not a few other places) in 1943, vaudeville hung on as a supplement to the movies. The war brought round the clock working shifts and a round the clock demand for entertainment.

Here at the New Holyoke Theater we have six “headline” acts: Rex Webber, “a vocal allusion”; Senna and Dean in a skit; comedian Ted Leary; dancers Gavin and Astor; acrobats the Winnie Dolly Trio; and singer Joe Martini, three shows a day.

As you can see, they were an addendum on the bill to the film “Johnny Eager” with Robert Taylor and Lana Turner. In this ad, the movie seems almost like an afterthought. Tommy Reynolds and his Orchestra also appeared, at jacked-up wartime prices of 55 cents and 25 cents for kids.


Raquelle said...

Very neat! Where did you find the ad?

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, Raquelle. The ad comes from the October 27, 1943 edition of the Holyoke Transcript-Telegram. (For which I used to write briefly before they went out of business in the early 1990s. I'm pretty sure that wasn't my fault.)

Caftan Woman said...

Boy, folks sure got their money's worth!

LucieWickfield said...

I always enjoyed the Vaudevillian themes of movies like For Me and My Gal. It's a part of American culture that nobody seems to remember.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Caftan Woman, that depends on whether the Winnie Dolly Trio is worth 55 cents. I hope it was.

Lucie, I like vaudeville stories, too. They're fun, and remind us that it was a huge part of American theatrical history.

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