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Madison County Theater History

Submissions of your memorabilia (old tickets, pictures) are welcome!  Submit here

 

 

Alton Theatres: Princess Theatre

                       Grand Theatre

                       Starlight Drive-In

                       Hippodrome

                       The Airdome

                       Temple Theatre

                       Lyric Theatre

                       Biograph

                       State Theatre

                       The Bijou (renamed The Royal and later,

                                      The Crescent)

                       The Electric

                       The Victory (the old Electric Theatre)

                       The Nixon

                       The Nina (formerly the Nixon)

                       The Odeon

                       The Theatorium (in the Job bldg, Belle St.)

                       Dwiggins Theater

                       Alton Cine

 

 

Collinsville Theatres:  Miner's Theatre

                               Petite 4 Cinema

                               Will Rogers Theatre

 

 

Cottage Hills Theatre:  The Rio (closed after May 1956)

 

East Alton Theatres:  The Ritz

                                Eastgate Cinema

 

 

Edwardsville Theatres:  Wildey Theatre

                                  Lux Theatre

 

 

Granite City Theatres:  Ken Theatre

                                  Star Theatre

                                  Washington Theatre

 

 

Madison Theatres:  The Madison (located in the

                             Madison Vol. Fire Hall on 3rd St.

 

 

Mitchell Theatre:  Bel-Air Drive-In

 

 

North Alton Theatre:  The Norside

 

Roxana Theatre:  Roxana Cine

 

Upper Alton:  Uptown Theatre (renamed Cameo)

                    The Gem

 

 

Wood River Theatres:  Midtown Theatre

                                 Alt-Wood Outdoor Theatre

                                 Wood River Theatre

                                 Kildare Theatre

                                 Capri Drive-In Theatre

 

 

Are there any theatres that I missed?

Do you have pictures of theatres or old tickets?

Submit here!

 

   

 

 

 

 

Alton's Princess Theatre

 

From the Alton Telegraph, June 1, 2008

Alton's Grand Theatre

 

From the Alton Telegraph, date unknown

   

Bel-Air Drive-In, Mitchell, Illinois

 

The Bel Air Drive In Theatre, Mitchell, Madison County, Illinois

 

From The Telegraph, June 20, 2008

   

 

From The Telegraph, date unknown

 

From The Telegraph, October 9, 2008

   

Wood River Theatre

 

Wood River Theatre

From The Telegraph, March 3, 2014

"Now Playing ...High Wide & Handsome and Alcatraz Island"

Photo taken in October 1936

 

 

                                                                        

 

For more historical information on Madison County theatres, click here

 

 

 THEATRE NEWS CLIPPINGS

 

 

 

 

 

       

ALTON - TEMPLE THEATER DEDICATION

Source: New York Clipper, April 6, 1890

The Temple Theater, Alton, Ill., was dedicated April 6 with Roland Reed [shown in photo on left] as the attraction. The building is a modern structure, first class in every respect, with a seating capacity of one thousand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALTON - GRAND FAMILY MATINEE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AT THE TEMPLE THEATRE

Source: Alton Daily Telegraph, February 28, 1893

"Paul Kauvar," Steele Mackaye's melodrama, will be performed at the Temple Theatre next Saturday, matinee and night. The play is a familiar one, which was in St. Louis last season, and appears there again next week. Mr. Mackaye's play has many stirring and well-written scenes, and its stage pictures give a graphic idea of incidents in the French Revolution. This American-made drama of the French Revolution has had great success.

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ALTON - TEMPLE THEATER'S FUTURE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 21, 1899

The future of the Odd Fellows Temple Association, the owner of the Temple building, was never so bright as it is just now. The association has begun in a most substantial way to feel the effect of returning prosperity in the place where prosperity counts for most - in the exchequer. Under the wise management of the board of directors, the association has safely passed through a time when the outlook was most gloomy, especially during the past year. Last season it was with difficulty that a lessee was had for the theater and then it was at a date long after the time when the place should have been open. This year there are already three bidders for the theater and the terms proposed by the bidders are good ones. The lease was to have been awarded last evening, but the matter was postponed for consideration to a later date. The theater is to be nicely fixed up this season either by the lessees or the Temple Association. One bidder offered to make repairs, but stipulated that he should receive therefore lower rate of rental. The Temple Association is to inaugurate a system of paying off the stock held by persons not connected with the Odd Fellows order. About $16,000 in stock of the capitalized amount is held by outsiders. This is to be paid off at the rate of $600 per annum and the first payment on such stock will be made in a short time. In addition to this, a dividend of 2 1/2 per cent or 3 1/2 per cent will be paid and it will be the first time a dividend has been declared in the history of the association. The association as originally organized was in debt to an extent of $36,000. Of this debt, all over the capital stock has been paid off and the total indebtedness is $25,000. When the association attacks this $25,000 it will be able to make systematic payments on it that will reduce it at both ends and will eventually place ownership of the Temple in exclusively Odd Fellows hands.

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ALTON - TEMPLE THEATER IS LEASED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 24, 1899

The long deferred lease of Temple Theater was made Tuesday evening at a meeting of the board of directors. The new board of directors, Dr. W. W. Halliburton, James Wilkinson, D. Tomlinson, B. Schless, William Sonntag, H. Watson, Julius Fritsch, F. W. Joesting and M. H. Boals unanimously voted to accept the proposition of W. M. Sauvage for the lease of the theater for five years and the deal was closed. There were four bidders for the theater, William Harrison, William King & Co., C. L. Adams of Peoria, and William Sauvage. Mr. Sauvage's offer for the theater was not the highest but his proposition was considered the best for the local theatrical interests, considering his former successful management of the property. He gave up the theater here two years ago because of an offer to manage the Flints and the poor business the theater was then doing. Theatrical business has improved in Alton since then and he is confident he can make a success of the property. The directors of the Temple Association agreed to put the theater in first class repair and to improve the heating facilities which have been unsatisfactory. The new manager wants the theater repainted in white and gold, and it is probable his preference will be considered. New scenery will be bought and the stage setting will be new. Manager Sauvage today stated his policy with reference to the Temple for the season. He will secure the best of attractions and all theater goers know his past reputation in this respect. He has played in the past at the Temple many of the leading players on the stage and has always endeavored to secure the patronage of the best class of theater-goers. Among the better class of players he has played at the Temple are Thomas W. Keene, Robin Hood Opera Company, Wang, Princess Bonnie, Morrison, O'Neill, Wilson Barrett, Mansfield, Primrose and West's white minstrels, Alexander Salvini, Robert Downing, all of Frohmans plays. Archie Boyd in Shore Acres and Old Homestead and many others of the best on the road. The popular price 15 to 50 cents will be continued, except in very high class plays where contracts call for higher prices. Better attractions will be played for popular prices, Mr. Sauvage says, than have heretofore appeared at the Temple at such prices. The improvements in the Temple will be begun about the middle of June and will be under the supervision of Manager Sauvage. The manager will begin booking attractions at once and will open the Theater to the public early in September. Mr. Sauvage has a contract to manage the Lees, Hypnotists, and has not decided whether or not he will continue his connection with them.

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ALTON - TEMPLE THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, Friday, June 16, 1899

W. M. Sauvage, the new manager and lessee of Temple theater, is booking first class attractions for the season at the local playhouse. He has booked Lewis Morrison, Robert Mantell "Brown's in Town," "Town Topics," "What Happened to Jones," Webber & Fields "Glad Hand," "The Guilty Mother," and Nat Goodwin's "Turned Up." The new manager will take possession of the Temple August 1, and in the meantime the work of repairing, renovating and improving the theater will be done. The theater will be opened about the first of September.

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JOLLY OCTOROONS AT TEMPLE THEATRE         Colored Company to Put on Play

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 1, 1903

Manager W. M. Sauvage has completed arrangements for the appearance of a home talent company at Temple Theatre, April 20. The company consists of colored people, and the play was arranged by Miss Cordelia Jones. Cordelia will appear in her own play at Temple theatre on the evening announced, and will have a leading role. The play has little or no plot, and is designed merely to amuse the audience. Last evening a reception was given at her home on Easton street by the author, Miss Jones, to the members of the Jolly Octoroons company. Mr. and Mrs. Louis Jones were the entertainers. A course dinner was served and everyone had a pleasant time. Miss Jones says that after the successful presentation of her play at the Temple, she intends to take it out on the road and may make fame for herself and some of her actors and actresses. The proceeds of the play at the Temple will be used to buy costumes for the participants in the play. Mr. W. M. Sauvage will be the manager.

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"MAID AND MUMMY" COMING TO THE ALTON TEMPLE THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 14, 1904

Manager W. M. Sauvage received word this morning that a delegation of 200 persons from St. Louis, friends of Harrison I. Drummond and J. T. Drummond, will come to Alton May 22 to attend the first production of the new light opera, the "Maid and Mummy," written by Richard Carle. The "Maid and Mummy" is arousing much interest in St. Louis because of its backing and the prominence of the author. Dramatic critics from St. Louis will attend the first performance in Alton to pass judgment on the play, and the Temple will contain on that evening one of the most distinguished audiences from a dramatic standpoint ever known there.

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OLD FIDDLERS' CONTEST HELD AT TEMPLE THEATER - JIM PACK MEETS HIS ANCIENT ADVERSARY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 17, 1907

An Old Fiddlers' contest was held at Temple theater under the auspices of the Alton Mutual society last evening, which was attended by a large number of Alton people. Some old fiddlers from Missouri and Illinois participated in the contest for prizes, but the real contest was between Jim Pack of Alton and W. H. Parks of New Haven, Missouri. The two have been rivals since they met one year ago at Alton. Parks complained that Pack did not know one tune from another, and he accused him of being a comparative amateur. He was anxious then to challenge Pack for any amount of money that Pack would be willing to put up, to play a match contest, but for some reason the match never came off. Parks came back last night, and when it came to playing "Arkansas Traveler" in good old fashioned style, Parks defeated Pack. Then Pack played "Arkansas Traveler" with variations, speaking a story as he went along, and he got first prize on that. Parks said that speaking the tune was not playing it, and he was highly delighted with the decision of the judges awarding him the first prize on the regular old fashioned playing of this inspiring dance tune. A good program of musical and comedy numbers was given between the numbers in the contest. Dr. A. G. Porter made an address to open the program.  Dr. Porter's address was by far the greatest effort of the evening, laying all the old fiddlers and the other amusement features in the shade to gasp for breath. The doctor led his speech up to dizzy heights of oratory by graceful and easy accent, pausing here and there to gather flowers of poesy and gems of thought in little secluded nooks on the way. The descent was as easy as the ascent, and when he was nearing the end the audience began to acclaim him so loudly, in anticipation of the close, as the end of the oration began to dawn on their view, that it was almost impossible for the orator to go on. Dr. Porter has never before made claim to being an orator, but the long dormant talent would assert itself and bloomed with all the beauty of a June-time rose, notwithstanding the tardiness of its blooming. A cash prize was awarded to Dan Wagoner of Upper Alton for rendering the "Fisher's Hornpipe" in the best manner. If winner will call at the office of Dr. Porter, the prize will be placed in his possession.  By order of C. C. Osborne, President Association.

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MOVING PICTURES AND ILLUSTRATED SONS LOCATED IN JOB BUILDING - TO BE KNOW AS THE THEATORIUM

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 20, 1907

Alton is to have a moving picture and illustrated song show, to be located in the Job building, 307 Belle street, and to be known as the Theatorium.  C. O. Manspeaker and George B. Sinclair from East Liverpool, Ohio have made the room into a pretty place and will put in an interesting and novel entertainment. The .... [unreadable] a big assortment of moving scenes and illustrated sons and promise to furnish a good, clean, bright entertainment. The show is to be especially for the entertainment of ladies and children. The opening day will be Saturday, and both afternoon and evening performances will be given.

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TEMPLE THEATER BEING REDECORATED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 21, 1907

Manager Sauvage has turned the Temple theater over to decorators who are transforming the interior into a place of beauty. The ruling colors will be old ivory and gold, with old rose trimmings. The theater will be redecorated from the lobby to the back of the stage. A new drop curtain will be painted, new stage settings will be made, and new draperies will be hung. The carpets and draperies will conform with the general color scheme. Eugene Cox is in charge of the work.

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ALTON ELECTRIC THEATRE OPENS SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 27, 1907

The popular picture house of the middle west opens with a new line of subjects that have never been seen by the Alton people as they come direct from the film maker and are guaranteed to be clear of smut or anything to offend. Opens Sept. 1.  The house will be personally conducted by Hallway and Murray, proprietors and managers, and a guarantee is given that you will see one hour and 15 minutes solid pictures for the price of 10c. with no extra charge for reserve seats....

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VAUDEVILLE THEATER (THE LYRIC) TO OPEN OCTOBER 7

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 30, 1907

Vaudeville has become quite the fad in Alton, and the opening of the New Lyric on Monday, October 7th, is being looked forward to with a great deal of pleasure. Manager Sauvage has provided a very strong bill for the opening week, which includes besides new moving pictures and illustrated sons, John A. West, the musical Brownie and his company, Miett's Trained Dog Circus, Murray K. Hill, famous plack face comedian, and Shannon & Straw comedy sketch. This will be by far the best and most expensive vaudeville bill ever presented in this city, and there is little doubt but what capacity audiences will greet them at the New Lyric. The same excellent policy will be pursued by Manager Sauvage in this new enterprise as has always been his rule in all his different amusements.

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NEW LYRIC THEATRE OPENS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 8, 1907

A new era in theatricals was opened up last night when the New Lyric opened its doors for the first time. This theatre is to be devoted exclusively to high class vaudeville and moving pictures. Two packed houses greeted the opening. Manager Sauvage has, in the Lyric, certainly opened up one of the prettiest little vaudeville houses in the west. It is complete in every detail. The outside of the building is decorated beautifully and a wealth of electric light illuminates the front, and the word "Lyric" is displayed in a mass of light. The interior of the theatre is done in red, highlighted with gold, and very comfortable opera chairs have been placed. A handsome new curtain was painted by Eugene Cox of Chicago, and a complete new scenic equipment was placed on the stage. Vaudeville has been an amusement long wanted in Alton, and there is little doubt but what the high class programs offered will be well patronized. The program presented at the Lyric this week is the finest ever arranged or presented in Alton. John A. West, the musical Brownie, and Company, head the bill, and their act is refined and very pleasing. Shannon & Straw in a comedy sketch are clever, and their act is well dressed. Murray K. Hill is known as the Lew Dockstader of the vaudeville stage and merits this title, as his work is by far the cleverest ever seen here. His jokes are all new, Miett's educated dog circus is a splendid act, the dogs are all well trained and do a number of difficult tricks. Matinees will be given daily at the Lyric at 3 p.m., and two shows are to be given each night at 8 and 9:30 p.m. The doors will open for the matinee performances at 2 p.m. and in the evening at 7:30.

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STRONG MAN ATTRACTS CROWD AT LYRIC

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 17, 1907

Santell, the strong man who has been a feature of the program at the Lyric theater this week, has been attracting big crowds and much interest. Last night he showed how strong he was by breaking with his fish a heavy stone, but after the feat he showed the effects of the blow in the swelling in his powerful right hand which he had used for a sledge hammer to do the feat. Tomorrow night he will lift 14 men. A few nights ago he made an actor out of Frank Conley, much against the will of the portly saloonkeeper.

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DWIGGINS THEATER TO OPEN MONDAY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 30, 1907

Dwiggins theater at Twelfth and Alby streets will be opened for the season Monday evening when the Black Diamond Minstrels will begin a two night's stand performance. The Black Diamonds are all Altonians, and are all white. They are all fun makers too, and both boys and girls are talented and will make good in their parts. There are twenty people in the troupe and Bonnie Thornton is manager. A parade will be given tomorrow afternoon starting from the Five Points and extending as far on Belle street as the troupers care to go.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, January 25, 1907/1908

At the Temple, W. M. Sauvage, manager) the Burgess Stock Co. closed a successful week Jan. 10. "Sis in New York" drew well 11. "We Are King" pleased good business 12. Frank Mahara'a Minstrels 16. "Jesse James, the Missouri Outlaw," 17. Stetson's "U. T. C." 18. "When Knighthood Was in Flower" 19, Williams' Ideals Co. 21. The Smart Set 23.
Lyric (W. M. Sauvage, manager).—This week's bill includes: The Otura Japs, Art Adair. Early and Late, Carrie Simpson, and the Biograph.
Electric (Hallway & McCurry, managers). —This house, under new management, is doing a creditable business. Jack McCurry, a young business man of this city, has bought a half interest.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, August 10, 1907/1908

At Rock Springs Park (W. M. Sauvage, manager) Prof. Hill with his balloon is the feature attraction this week.  The Rock Springs Theatre had a splendid bill week of July 28, including Jeanette Adler and company, Romaine and Campbell, Claude Austin and Hutchison and Lusby.  Note - a new concern has been added to Rock Springs Park, called 'The Congress of Novelties.'

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, August 17, 1907/1908

At the Temple (W. M. Sauvage, Manager), "No Mother To Guide Her" opened the season here, August 11. At Rock Springs Park (W. M. Sauvage, manager), Prof. Hill's slide for life is the free attraction. In the theatre, vaudeville hill for week of 4 included: Bates and Ryan, La Belle, [unreadable], Casey and Craney, and Mexican Hermann, the magician. This park closes 9. All the remaining vaudeville booked for the season will be transferred to the Temple Theatre. The Temple Theatre, during the summer months, has been in the hand of decorators, painters, etc.; they having removed and refurnished it completely. Much credit is due W. M. Sauvage, the manager, and the work will be highly appreciated by his patrons.

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ALTON SKATING RINK OPENS

Source: New York Clipper, November 16, 1907/1908

The Crawford Skating Rink has opened its doors for the season.
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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, May 22, 1908/1909

The Royal Amusement Carnival Co. opened its season here May 15. Manager Sauvage inaugurated one of his many enterprises on 11, that of steamboat excursions on the Str. W. W. The Crawford
Co. of St. Louis, will run moving pictures in the Temple at the close of the vaudeville season.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, August 28, 1908/1909

The Biograph is drawing good business with songs and pictures. The Nixon closed this week for remodeling. It will open again Sept. 1. The Temple opens its season on Sept. 4. Mgr. Sauvage promises his patrons a big season. He has booked an excellent list of attractions. Eddie Burns, monologist at the Airdome, and [unreadable] Pells of Chicago, were married in this city by Judge [unreadable] on Aug. 16.

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ELECTRIC THEATRE FIRE - THEODORE HAMILTON SINGS WHILE AUDIENCE HURRIES OUT

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 29, 1908

A fire occurred in the Electric Theatre at Third and Market streets Tuesday evening, and a panic might have occurred but for the good sense of the audience. Theodore Hamilton, who was on the platform singing at the time, helped to calm the audience by starting to sing, and while he sang the audience hurried out, but did not get into a panic. Harry Adams was operating the moving picture machine which contained 2,000 feet of celluloid film, very flammable. In the audience were about 400 people who were listening to a song being sung by Theodore Hamilton, and there was a great quiet in the house when the flash came. A spark got into the film, and it started to burn. Adams tried to smother it with his coat, and in doing so burned himself about the hands and his sleeve caught afire. While putting out the fire in his own garment, the fire in the film got beyond his control and the theatre was soon filled with a smothering vapor, but not before the audience got out. The flames spread in the vicinity of the moving picture machine. When the fire department arrived on the scene, the building was full of smoke which had a very suffocating effect and made fire fighting extremely difficult. The damage to the Electric theatre owners is about $300. The damage to the building is about the same. The ice plant belonging to the Kirsch Co. was thoroughly drenched by water thrown by the fire department and was disabled.

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VAUDEVILLE TRANSFERRING

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 1, 1908

The season of vaudeville at the Lyric will close with the Saturday night performance. The week's bill at the Lyric this week will be transferred to the Temple for one night, together with about ten local amateur acts. The closing attraction at the Temple for the season will be "The Lion and the Mouse," next Wednesday night, one of the finest attractions of the season. Manager Sauvage says that the "Aerdome," now in course of construction, will be completed by May 24. The merry widow hat will be allowed in the audience without checking at the door, provided they do not go to a height of over one foot. All above that height will have to be checked at the door. Men will be allowed to smoke in the open air entertainment place. The seating capacity will be near 2,000. The entire aerdome, the buildings and booths will be painted pure white and will be brilliantly illuminated. Among the acts booked are brass bands, performing elephants, flying trapeze acts, orchestras, operas, musical comedies, etc.

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ALTON - AIRDOME

Source: New York Clipper, May 9, 1909

Work was recently started on a monster Airdome to be erected at Alton, Ill., by the Hippodrome Amusement, Inc. at Springfield, Ill. for $5,000. The leading promoter is W. M. Sauvage, manager of the Temple and Lyric Theaters, Alton.  The stage will be [unreadable] ft. wide, and the seating [unreadable], which will be in the open air and have capacity of 2,000. In front there will be a penny arcade, which will be painted pure white. The Airdome will be in the heart of the city, and has excellent railroad facilities. According to the contract, the work must be completed in twenty one days. The season is expected to begin about May 22.

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INTERESTING PICTURES AT THE LYRIC

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 15, 1908

The best moving pictures ever exhibited are being shown at the Lyric with a change in subjects every day. The public are beginning to appreciate the fact that they can see 2,000 feet of film - about an hours entertainment - for the low price of five cents. An electric piano has been installed in the lobby of the theater. The daily matinees are largely patronized by lay shoppers who desire through a system of open doors and windows the river breeze is secured and makes the Lyric the coolest place in Alton.

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GUS CRIVELLO BUYS NIXON THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 2, 1909

Gus Crivello today bought from J. A. Swaton, the Nixon theater on Third street. Mr. Swaton has been conducting the place since it was opened. It is a cheap amusement place, showing vaudeville stunts and moving pictures. Gus took charge of the theater at once. He has long had all ambition to become a theatrical manager and has now gratified his ambition. He will call it the Nina theater.

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LYRIC THEATRE - ALTON

Source: New York Clipper, April 16, 1909/1910

Manager W. M. Sauvage, of Alton, Ill., has had plans drawn for the handsome new Lyric Theatre to be erected on Piasa Street, Alton, on the property sold recently to a syndicate consisting of W. M. Sauvage, Geo. A. Sauvage and Charles Seibold. The plans for the new theatre indicate that Alton will have a fine addition to its amusement places. The new Lyric will have no gallery, but will have a balcony. There will be 750 seats downstairs and 250 in the balcony, and 24 in the boxes, giving a seating capacity of 1,024. The theatre will be 75 feet wide and 125 feet deep, and two stories in height. The stage will be 75 feet wide by 60 feet deep. There will be six exits on the main floor and three from the balcony, permitting of quick egress from the theatre. The floor of the theatre will be sloping, and will be wood laid on a concrete base. The plans call for beautiful art decorations inside as well as outside. The new Lyric will present vaudeville, but it will be possible to play much larger companies there, in case it is desired, than at the Temple, in that city.

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ALTON THEATER SCHEDULE

Source: New York Clipper, June 20, 1909/1910

Aug. 15.  At the Airdome (W. M. Sauvage, manager) the bill for week of June 8: Carita and her Dancing Girls, Pries-Taylor Troupe, O'Brien and O'Brien, and others.
LYRIC (W. M. Sauvage, manager).—This house continues to draw big crowds nightly.
NOTE.—The Pries-Taylor Troupe, playing at the Airdome, were former residents of this city, and have an exceptionally good acrobatic act.
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ALTON THEATERS SCORE WELL

Source: New York Clipper, October 3, 1909/1910

At the Temple (W. M. Sauvage. manager) "Brown's In Town" scored well Sept. 17. "Capt. Clay of Missouri" proved an excellent show, 20. "The Cow Puncher" 26, "Jane Eyre" 27, Howe's moving pictures Oct. 2, "Meadow Brook Farm" 3.
Lyric (W. M. Sauvage, manager).—The opening bill of the season, week of 21. Included Aneta Primrose, Bissonette and Newman, Tom Powell, Lois Cecile and Boy, illustrated songs and new pictures.
Airdome (W. M. Sauvage, manager).— With a change nightly, large crowds are attracted by the Crawford moving pictures.
Biograph (M. J. Brill, manager).—Business continues to be good.
Notes—After being thoroughly remodeled and repainted, the Lyric threw open its doors for the season Sept. 21.   F. H. Cox, a former theatrical man of Chicago, has been appointed by Manager Sauvage, of this city, to set as resident manager of the Lyric.  The Newspaper Association were guests of Manager Sauvage, at a performance given by David Higgins, Sept. 20.
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ALTON THEATER NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, December 26, 1909/1910

At the Tempel (W. M. Sauvage, manager), "Under Southern Skies" had excellent business Dec. 13. "The Flaming Arrow" 19, "From Broadway to the Bowery" 20, Monte Carlo Girls Burlesquers, 24, Latimore & Leigh Stock Co., 25, 26. The Biograph continues to draw big.

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THE ELECTRIC THEATER

Source: April 18, 1909/1910

The Electric moving picture house is drawing big houses every day.

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THE ELECTRIC THEATRE AT ROCKS SPRINGS PARK BURNS

Source: New York Clipper, May 16, 1909/1910

The Electric, a moving picture house, was partially destroyed by fire April 23, owing to the exploding of the film. The damage done was about $500. It happened during a performance, but fortunately, no one was injured getting out, as the house has many exits. The owner has presented Rock Springs Park to the city of Alton, and therefore it will discontinue being an amusement park.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, July 11, 1909/1910

The Lyric has closed for remodeling, preparatory to opening for vaudeville about Sept. 1.  The old Electric, under new management, will be called the Victory, and will present moving pictures and a skating rink adjoining.

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ALTON HIPPODROME

Source: New York Clipper, April 30, 1910/1911

The Hippodrome, Alton, Ill., will be opened by Manager W. M. Sauvage, May 15. Vaudeville, drama, opera, and band concerts will be the offerings.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, June 4, 1910/1911

Airdome (W. M. Sauvage, mgr)  Rentfros Jolly Pathfinders had excellent business May 15-29. Vaudeville 29-31.  Peizer and Whyte, Floyd Mack, Robiach and Childress, and the White Hussar Band.
Lyric (W. M. Sauvage, mgr—This house closes its season, this week with moving pictures.
Biograph (W. T. Simpson, mgr.)—Week of 23 : Carrol and Carrol, and new moving pictures.
There will be changes in the bill at the Airdome twice a week instead of once as last season. The Lyric ends its season this week. Young Bros. Carnival Co. shows here week of May 23.
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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, September 10, 1910/1911

The Biograph reports good business. After a thorough refurnishing and renovating, the Temple will open Sept. 4 with "The Girl in the Kimona." Manager Sauvage has made many decided improvements for this season, chief among them being a row of large electric arc lights in front of the house which, when lit, makes a very brilliant appearance.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, May 14, 1910/1911

H. A. Worthey, manager of the Bijou, left this city April 25. The theatre has been closed. The Temple Theatre closed its season on May 1, with Gertrude Quinlan in "Miss Patsy," as the attraction. Manager Sauvage states it proved to be a highly successful season. The Airdome, with W. M. Sauvage as manager, opens on Sunday, May 13, with a high class vaudeville bill.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, March 25, 1911/1912
Temple (W. M. Sauvage, mgr.) Dainty Paree Burlesquers March 25. Zelda Sears, in "The Nest Egg." 26.
The Biograph and Lyric theatres are having excellent business. The Bijou has been opened by Edwin Murphy, of St. Louis, Mo., with vaudeville and moving pictures, after being closed several months. Mr. Murphy represents the New' York Film Exchange.
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THE ODEON THEATER ABOUT READY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 20, 1911

The finishing touches are being put to the interior of the building in the Luer Bros. block of buildings on east Second street, designed for a playhouse or theatre. The Odeon, as it is called, will be a very handsome playhouse too, and it being the first of the kind in that part of the city, will undoubtedly prove a crowd-getter from the day it opens. The interior lopes gradually from the entrance to the footlights, in order that back seat occupants will have a good commanding position and can see the stage and performers as well as the front seat folks can. The walls are decorated attractively, and the stage shows off well. The foot lights have been placed, and there is but very little more to do before the Odeon may be thrown open for plays. In the matter of fire escapes, it is the best and safest building in the city of its size. It is on the ground floor and there are three wide doors on the west side, big double doors in the rear, and double doors in front. Should fire occur in that building, it could be emptied of its occupants, no matter how large the crowd, in five minutes time.

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ACTRESS WEARS HAREM SKIRT IN ALTON - REGRETS IT

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 3, 1911

Miss Stella Wimmer had the nerve to do it, at least she said she had, and would try it, and she did, but she paid a price for it. She had said that she was not afraid to wear one of the new "harem skirts" down town, go into a store and then go back to her hotel. The actress, who is appearing at the Temple, early began to regret her rash promise, and as the time drew near she wished it would rain and snow and blow so she could not make the trip. Nevertheless it did nothing of the kind in the weather line. Miss Wimmer had to make the trip to keep her pledge, so she did. The harem skirt she wore was made of a vivid green with old rose trousers. The skirt was brought from New York for the purpose, and Miss Wimmer, attired in it, rode to the Gates-Clark store in the auto of W. M. Sauvage. She happened to arrive down town at an hour and minute when there were just three people to see her leave the auto and trip hastily in the dry goods store. She acted like the old lady in Mother Goose who woke up to find her skirts cut round about. Miss Wimmer walked with a bent knee effect, as though she was trying to drop the over-part of her harem suit so as to cover her ankles, and strange though it may seem to many, that an actress would blush, Miss Wimmer really blushed, bona fide, not drug store blushes. A Telegraph reporter asked what she thought of the harem skirt. Miss Wimmer, still blushing, and apparently anxious to get back to the auto and then to the hotel, said "It's all right on the stage, but I wish I hadn't worn it on the street. It's comfortable, in some ways, it is easy to walk in" - and then the actress broke off and exclaimed, "look at those people looking at me," and she pointed to an interested party of spectators looking down from the balcony in the dry goods store, "It makes a difference then," the reported queried the actress, referring to her embarrassment in wearing the skirt on the street while she would not mind it on the stage. "Oh yes," Miss Wimmer replied, "I'm sorry I came out here in it and I must hurry back ot the hotel. I wish I had never seen the harem skirt." She will wear it on the stage in a play to be put on tomorrow night and to be played the remainder of the week.

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AIRDOME CHANGES - AMUSEMENT PLACE BEING FITTED UP

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 10, 1911

Manager W. M. Sauvage is getting the Airdome ready to open it during the week the Elks convention is in Alton. He expects to have a big week with a fine program of events as a season starter, to make the visitors have a good impression of Alton's amusements. The Temple will be closed when the Airdome opens, unless the weather proves bad, and under such circumstances the program will be transferred to the Temple. Mr. Sauvage has carpenters, painters, decorators and others in the Airdome doing the work. He has put in 300 new chairs, and all reserved seats will be provided with cushions. The interior of the Airdome will be handsomely redecorated and a feature of the trimmings will be a floral display at the front where potted plants will be growing. A carload of tanbark has been bought to be put on the floor to make the floor clean and give a sanitary odor to the atmosphere.

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TROUBLE AT THE BIOGRAPH THEATER - GARMENTS OF ACTRESSES SEIZED - LADIES MADE TO DISROBE ON STAGE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 16, 1911

Following the serving of an attachment writ Saturday night on the money and effects of Larue and Brock at the Biograph theater, there will be a trial Thursday afternoon in Justice Nathan's court. One of the girls connected with a company of eight, who were playing there, claimed that she was not given the money to which she was entitled, and she procured a lawyer who attached all the properties of the company for the $27 claim held by Miss Josephine Byers. The attachment following close on a shot being fired in a room of an Alton hotel by a woman at one of the members of the troupe, caused considerable interest. When Constable James Lewis went to serve the attachment writ Saturday night, the actresses were on the stage wearing the garments it was sought to attach. It made no difference, according to the lawyer, that there were no dressing rooms. The actresses were told to get behind the scenery and remove the clothes they had on and toss the garments out piece by piece until all had been accounted for. This was done while the constable waited close by, never daring to lift his blushing face toward the corner where the girls were making the change of their stage clothes. The property, including half of the receipts of Saturday night, was held by the constable and the hearing will be Thursday. The manager of the troupe says that he will fight the case.

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NEW THEATRE - THE ODEON - ABOUT READY FOR PUBLIC

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 17, 1911

The Odeon, the fine new amusement place in the Luer Bros. block of buildings, is practically ready now for the lessee, J. J. Reilley, to take charge of it. The seats have been placed, the interior decorations have been finished, the footlights and other stage accessories are there, electric lights and electric fans are placed where wanted, and workmen today are putting up the fine, heavy beveled glass door mirrors at the entrances. The house has a seating capacity of 700, and every one of the 700 will have a good view of the stage from whatever seat occupied. It is one of the prettiest small show houses in Illinois, and is about the safest in that it has four large side exits, in addition to front and rear exits. Manager Reilley is a show all by himself, and it is said by his friends that he will conduct a high class, fun-making theatre in the Odeon. He has been in St. Louis the past few days making final arrangements for putting on the opening, and while this has not been settled, it is probable the opening show will be given Saturday evening.

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NEW OWNER TAKES OVER THE BIJOU THEATRE ON THIRD STREET IN ALTON

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 21, 1911

H. A. Custanes, a theatrical man of St. Louis, has leased the former Bijou theatre in Third street and will make a fine amusement place of it in a short time. He intends remodeling the interior completely. The scenery will be changed and made better, and the entertainments to be given there will be of a higher class than those given in the past. The name of the theatre will be changed to the Royal, and the new owner promises to make the place a real amusement spot.

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LOTTIE MAYER - LONG DISTANCE SWIMMER AND DIVER - AT AIRDOME.  SWAM FROM ALTON TO ST. LOUIS IN 1908.

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 19, 1911

Lottie Mayer, who is here filling a week's engagement at the Airdome, once swam from Alton to St. Louis, making the distance in 5 hours, 18 minutes, in the year 1908. She told a Telegraph reporter today that she dived off the Fluent dock and accompanied by the yacht, Columbia, and several boys in rowboats to lead the way, she made the swim, competing with some of the Missouri Athletic club oys, who were trying to show what they could do. At the Illini hotel today she said that she has been trying to get back a trick of diving she lost by accident, when her springboard broke at Memphis. It is the "stand-sit-and-stand" dive. She does a "stand and sit" dive now, and she hopes to get back the knack of doing the final act, but she says she has found herself wholly unable to master it since her spring board broken under her. The diving Venus is an attractive looking woman in her street clothes. She talks with a merry laugh and a smile. She told a Telegraph reporter that when she was very young she lisped from being tongue-tied, and she was also (horrors!) bowlegged, but she says that by exercising she overcame the outward curve of her knees and only when she becomes excited does she lisp. She intends to have an amateur diving exhibition at the Airdome Friday evening, and anyone who wishes to participate in it, male or female, just put in an application. She will look after any girls personally, and they can attempt to imitate her tricks. Miss Mayer also intends to take a swim across the river and said she will go in off the Fluent dock where she started three years ago to make her swim to St. Louis.

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SEATS ARRIVE FOR TEMPLE THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 17, 1911

The new chairs for Temple theatre have arrived and are being set in place. Manager Sauvage thought that the chairs might be delayed and would be unable to get them in on time, but he was determined to go ahead. Setting chairs in a theatre is like putting together one of those puzzle pictures. The chairs are different in size, according to the room that is had, and are made to fit the rows in the theatre. The chairs are made to order after measurements taken in the house, and all are not exactly the same width. The seats are very comfortable, and will be a fine addition to the theatre. The color of the upholstering fits in nicely with the color scheme of the new decorations in the Temple - green and gold. The place is as pretty as a very pretty picture, now with its handsome decorations, and truly even the constant patron of the theatre would not recognize the place on entering it. The new upholstered chairs will not be installed above the first floor. Manager Sauvage says that he will easily have the chairs in place in time for the opening of the theatre, August 26, one week from Saturday, when the "Third Degree" will be the opening attraction.

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AMUSEMENT SEASON OPENS IN THE TEMPLE TOMORROW AFTERNOON

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 25, 1911

The Fall amusement season opens in Alton tomorrow afternoon when "The Third Degree" will play a matinee at the Temple theatre. When the patrons of the theatre walk into the playhouse tomorrow afternoon, they will be greeted with a beautiful scene wrought by the artist's hand in rejuvenating the theatre. The lobby is done in old ivory and light colors. The interior of the house is done in green with copper finish, all of the draperies and tapestries are in green, and here and there grotesque faces on the walls and the balcony front give the place an air and look of amusement. Perhaps the greatest and to the most appreciated improvement is a complete new set of seats on the first floor. The seats are of green plush, padded, and with springs and big arm rests, making them a joy to sit in. The orchestra pit is hid by a green drapery and set farther in toward the stage. Around the stage opening is a magnificent border of acorn leaves and foliage. All in all the colorings are rich, they harmonize and make of the Temple a beautiful theatre. Mr. Sauvage has made several improvements that are for the convenience and safety of the audiences. An opening on the Easton street side with fine granitoid steps will make egress rapid and easy. Another big opening to admit of an automobile being taken on to the stage is cut back at the stage. All of the stage arrangement has been changed for safety and convenience, especially for the actors and actresses. The artistic decorations are the work of Carl Hermann and his assistants, and are a credit to their skill and art. And Manager Sauvage has booked a list of fine attractions to go with his newly decorated theatre. The Third Degree opens the season tomorrow afternoon and evening, and later come such plays as Billy, The Rosarie, George Damerol and Ruth Peebles in The Heart Breakers, Seven Days, Dockstadder's Minstrels, Prince of Tonight, Eugenie Blair in Light Eternal, Brewster's Millions, Deep Purple, The Girl in the Train, The Newly Weds, The Fortune Hunter, George Evans' Honey Boy, Alma, Excuse Me, Ward & Vokes The Girl in The Taxi, Polly of the Circus, and many others. This is the twenty-third time Mr. Sauvage has opened the Temple theatre for the season's amusements, and he has always opened with a newly decorated theatre and with the best attractions he could obtain. This year he eclipses all previous attempts both in the beautification of the house and the list of attractions.

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CLEANING OF CITY HALL REVIVES OLD MEMORIES - THIRD FLOOR USED AS THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 28, 1911

The third story of the city hall is being cleaned. All the accumulated matter of the past half century is being dumped out of an upper window and carted away. A part of this ancient junk is the scenery of the stage that in the days of the fifties [1850s] and up to the opening of the Mercantile hall, was in use by the theatrical troupes that occasionally came this way, and the old time panoramas that used to delight and inform Altonians of fifty years ago. The stage settings are small and insignificant, placed by the present requirements of the modern stage. And yet the pleasure the old gave was quite as entertaining as the elaborate setting of a Ben Hur or the massive staging of the present production of the tragedies. An old stove cast in some of the ancient periods of the past was also dumped out for transference to some junk dealer. Some of the older residents stood about and gazed at the old stuff as it was ignominiously dumped to the pavement and fell into retrospective contemplation. There are few older men in Alton who are natives but that remember the old stage in the third story of the city hall. At the little ticket window on the second floor, a mark of which is still there, the familiar face of John Mather, now deceased, greeted the purchaser of a pasteboard that gained for one admittance to the hall above. No matter what kind the shows were, they were good then, for we were the right age to enjoy them.

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WILDEY THEATRE, EDWARDSVILLE - NEW MANAGER

Source: New York Clipper, September 2, 1911

The Wildey Theatre, Edwardsville, Ill., which last season was managed by William Sauvage of Alton, is now under management of the Wildey Theatre Company, and has been since June, although the fact was not made public until a few days ago. This season, once a week on Sunday, is to be the rule, with as few exceptions as possible. The theatre is equipped with a moving picture machine, and pictures are shown at night when regular attractions are not booked.

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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, September 30, 1911/1912
The Princess and new Lyric are drawing excellent business daily Preparations are being made for the advent of the Wortham-Allen Carnival Co.. engaged by the Alton Eagles the week of  25-30. Bijou moving picture house has been purchase by Messrs. Ulrich and Hoppe, of Alton, and renamed the Crescent. It opened Sept. 23.
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ALTON THEATRE NEWS

Source: The New York Clipper, November 11, 1911/1912

The Lyric, Princess and Crescent are drawing big business. Jack Allen manager of the Allen Stock Co., and Ethel May, the "Lady of Mystery," of the same company, were married in East St. Louis. Ill., at the home of G. Haynes, Oct. 25, by Rev. Gus Merz.
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THE CRESCENT CLOSES

Source: New York Clipper, November 25, 1911/1912

ALTON - The Crescent closed 10, owing to poor business. The Princess, Lyric and Biograph continue to do good business.

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THE SHOW MUST GO ON

Source: New York Clipper, December 9, 1911/1912
Alton, III.. Dec. 1.—Just a few moments before starting time of his minstrel performance given here Dec. 1. "Honey Boy" George Evans was handed a telegram, apprising him of the death of his mother at Streator, Ill. The news naturally prostrated the comedian, and he felt unable to appear, but Manager Wm. Sauvage informed him that the audience was very anxious to see him. He finally consented to go on, but stated that be felt he could not stand the strain. Mr. Evans' gameness was shown in his monologue when he was forced to smile and joke, but finally cut it short as he was about to break down. John Kennedy replaced Mr. Evans in the afterpiece, "The Dixie Derby," and did creditably, it being his initial performance in the part. Mr. Kennedy will appear in Mr. Evans place during the Springfield, III., and Quincy engagements, after which Mr. Evans will rejoin his company.
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FRANK SHAW, FORMERLY CLERK AT ALTON MADISON HOTEL, IS IN MOVING PICTURE SHOWING AT THE LYRIC THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 15, 1912

Frank Shaw, formerly clerk at the Madison hotel in Alton, is in the moving picture business at Los Angeles, Cal., with the Pathe people. Frank will be a conspicuous figure in a moving picture show at the Lyric theater, "An Episode of Early Mormon days," tomorrow and Wednesday. Frank plays the part of a Mormon and an Indian chief in the same play. He has been connected with the Pathe people for four years, and seldom takes part in plays, as he devotes his time to staging their productions. Frank's friends may recognize him in the pictures. Another interesting feature of the Lyric pictures on Thursday and Friday will be a moving picture the play for which was written by Walter M. Smith, a son of E. A. Smith. He formerly was employed on the Telegraph, and since leaving here has been working in northern cities. He is now in Canada, where he has taken up magazine and other literary work. Mrs. Smith left a few days ago to join him after visiting her father, Valentine Wolf.

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ALTON'S PLAYHOUSE READY - HIPPODROME OPENING MONDAY

Source: Alton Telegraph, September 19, 1912

The formal opening of the Hippodrome will take place Monday evening. Manager Sauvage was somewhat disappointed in not being able to open the Hippodrome sooner, as the past week the weather has been such as to discourage outside shows. Mr. Sauvage will open his new playhouse with an advanced price show, the price for the opening night to be fifty cents a ticket and a good show will be given. There will be some speeches by representatives of various bodies in Alton, the speakers to represent the city of Alton, the Manufacturers' Association, the Retail Merchants, the Trades and Labor Assembly, previous to the opening of the program. The program will begin at 8:10 p.m. Mr. Sauvage says that the regular popular prices will prevail. He plans to have a few reserved seats at 5 cents extra for the first evening performance only. All other entertainments will be ten cents.

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HIPPODROME IS OPENED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 24, 1912

The new Hippodrome was opened Monday evening with some formality. Speeches were made by Mayor Faulstich, W. H. Joesting, and G. H. Mosser, representing the city, the retail merchants, and the Board of Trade. Representatives of other organizations in Alton were expected to be present but were detained, one by absence from the city, another by illness. Manager Sauvage was given warm commendation for his enterprise in providing such a nice place of amusement, and it was predicted that the Hippodrome would be an aid to the mercantile interests of Alton by affording further attractions in the city where shoppers could go for an hour or two during an afternoon. The confidence that Mr. Sauvage has in Alton, and his efforts to improve every opportunity that comes to Alton better amusements features was spoken of. The new Hippodrome is a work of art. To be fully appreciated it must be seen inside, as the hands of skillful artists have been busy in there, and the walls, ceiling and the stage settings have been decorated in a style that is new and attractive. The seats provided are comfortable, and during the season Mr. Sauvage will have a four-piece orchestra. He will give five shows a day, two in the afternoon and three each evening, with five changes of pictures weekly and two changes of vaudeville weekly. Before the close of the program Mr. Sauvage explained how he happened to make the price 50 cents on the opening night. He said he was not sure that in the last day's rush everything would work satisfactorily, and he would rather have a small audience to be disappointed on the opening night. The audience was a good sized one, notwithstanding the advance in price for the one night. A fine program of pictures was given, and two very good vaudeville acts. The first act was Carlotta, "the human dragon," who has a rather startling variation of the usual line of work of the contortionist. The short sketch, "The Choice," in which a very good moral lesson is pointed, was given by a company of four. It seemed at first to be treading on rather dangerous ground, but toward the close the delicate situation was brought around in a manner that pointed a high class moral and everybody who saw it had to admit that it was good. Frank Cox, the architect, who also had the contract, was sitting in a box and was called upon to say a few words at the opening of the pretty playhouse. Mr. Cox was too modest to say much, except that he hoped the public would like the place, which they evidently do.

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ALTON'S HIPPODROME

Source: New York Clipper, October 5, 1912

The new Hippodrome Theatre at Alton, Ill., was formerly opened Monday evening, Sept. 23.  W. M. Sauvage, sole owner and manager, has leased the McPike property on the corner of Second and Piasa Streets, and has built one of the prettiest houses in the State. The playhouse, rebuilt by Frank Cox of Chicago, includes a balcony, two boxes, and with the lower floor, has a seating capacity of 1,200. The stage measures 54 by 32 feet, and the lobby 54 by 12 feet. The scenery and curtains were painted by Eugene Cox and staff of Chicago, as were the beautiful interior decorations. The entire exterior is [unreadable] white and the base surrounded with marble slabs ten feet from the ground. The playhouse was opened addresses by Mayor Fauistich (sp?), G. H. Mosser, secretary of the board of trade, W. H. Joesting, of the Retail Merchants, Manager Sauvage, and Frank Cox, the builder. Many floral tributes were received by Mr. Sauvage. The new house will be devoted to vaudeville and moving pictures. The opening bill included Walter Petroval (sp?) and company, in "The Choice of Carletta" and four reels of pictures.

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JOHN PHILIP SOUSA, THE GREAT BANDMASTER, PLAYS AT TEMPLE THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 7, 1912

John Philip Sousa, the great bandmaster, with his band of fifty pieces, was in Alton Saturday evening and at Temple theater played a fine program, which was enjoyed by an audience that was not at all in keeping with the importance of the engagement Manager Sauvage had made. The theater should have been filled to its capacity, but it was far from that. Sousa had prepared a program consisting principally of pieces that were new or unfamiliar to the general public, but he had another feature that was unannounced. All the encores given on the program were of the old time pieces that everyone knew, some of them the favorites of Sousa's own composition. Sousa was exceedingly gracious in giving encores, and he seemed to be especially pleased when his soloists received enthusiastic encores. The Sousa band was at its very best and accompanied the soloists perfectly. The soprano soloist, Miss Virginia Root, sang as her encore "Annie Laurie," and never was that sweet old ballad sung to better effect in Alton than by her Saturday night. Miss Zedeler, the violinist, was given two encores and responded with two extra numbers, while Herbert L. Clarke, the cornet soloist, played one of his own compositions and after getting an enthusiastic encore he played "Silver Threads Among the Gold." The concert was not started until 8:30 p.m., as the special train arrived here at 8, and even after the concert was under way the band members kept coming in one and two at a time and taking their places, they having been delayed in getting supper.

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ALTON THEATERS' RECORD YEAR

Source: New York Clipper, May 11, 1912/1913

All records for local theatricals were broken by the Alton Council, Knights of Columbus, when they presented their annual minstrels at the Temple Theatre, April 25, 26. The grand first part, entitled "An Evening on the Lawn with the K. of C.'s," was a scene of beauty and gorgeousness, being a view of clubhouse exterior, with all the members seated around tables in full dress and blackface. The soloists and end men, comprising the cream of local talent. Included: J. J. Hammond. John Braunagle, John Eckhard, Jos. Shotkey, John Maloney. Jos. Crivello, Geo. Long, John Buese, Walter Green, Theo. Timper, and Aug. Crivello, and The Clipper correspondent. The olio consisted of numbers by the K. of C. Quartette. and the afterpiece, entitled "Chasing the Rainbow," a musical comedy burlesque. The music and entire libretto was composed by Dr. A. Don Stocker, a local composer of prominence. The production was a great financial success, the proceeds, above all expenses, amounting to $800.

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WILLIAM SAUVAGE ESTIMATE DAMAGE TO THEATRE AT $50

Source: Alton Telegraph, May 8, 1913

Manager W. M. Sauvage of Temple Theater says that the worst crush in many respects that he even had for seat reservations was that yesterday when the seats were opened for reservations for the High School junior play. When Mr. Sauvage came down the rail in front of the wicket was torn loose from the floor and the glass in the window of the box office was smashed. Mr. Sauvage thinks that some of the early callers for tickets must have crawled up in the wicket and slept so they would be first at the wicket when the place was opened. The first ones who applied for tickets he questioned about the damage done, and they said that they did not know, he would have to ask someone else. Mr. Sauvage says that the people waiting for their seat reservations wrote on the walls and defaced the decorations there so that it will be necessary to have the walls redecorated. Mr. Sauvage says that hereafter the door to the lobby will be locked and that people waiting for seat reservations for high school plays will have to wait out in the open.

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WILLIAM SAUVAGE - THEATRE MANAGER AND STEAMER AGENT

Source: New York Clipper, May 31, 1913/1914

W. M. Sauvage, local excursion steamer agent, reports great success with his fleet of popular boats. He is also manager of the Temple, Hippodrome, and Airdome Theatres. The Illinois Billposters' Association convention, in Alton, drew many heads of billposter companies from all over the State. Much credit is due W. M. Sauvage, the local member, who entertained the guests.

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ALTON THEATER NEWS

Source: New York Clipper, June 7, 1913/1914

Hippodrome (W. M. Sauvage. mgr.) for May 26-28: Milton and Dolly Nobles. Gorden Bros, and boxing kangaroo, and new pictures.
Airdome (W. M. Sauvage. mgr.)—Pictures have been the policy since the opening. Jane 1 7 : Ferullo's Band and Moss. Begue. baritone.
The Princess and Ouatogo continue with good business.
Willi Isley, secretary to W. M. Sauvage, has returned to her duties after undergoing a serious surgical operation.

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SAUVAGE CONTRACT THE SHOW "WITHIN THE LAW" AT TEMPLE THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 16, 1914

Manager William Sauvage in a talk between acts at the Temple Theater last evening, announced that he had booked a three days engagement with the manager of "Within The Law." The company, which has been playing the largest cities in the United States, will be in Alton on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...... A large number of Altonians who have witnessed the performance in other cities speak very highly of the production, and some of these have urged the manager of the Temple to bring it to Alton. He said last evening that he had been trying for two years to book this one show for the Alton theater. The engagement made it necessary for Mr. Sauvage to pay the management of the company $1,200 for the five performances in three days. In addition, he says he will be at an expense of $500 to put the play on here, making a total of $1,700.....In this gripping drama of thrills, there is adopted for the first time for use on the stage, smokeless powder and a Maxim silencer, such as the accomplices of the McNamara dynamiters are alleged to have employed to rid themselves of persons who might hamper their plans. These ingenious instruments of death add considerably to the mystery the police are called upon to solve in the play - a mystery they might never have fathomed, but for the sacrifice of a professional criminal who takes the blame upon himself and goes willingly to his punishment out of unselfish devotion to a young woman who stood by him when he was in peril before. As a background for this story is the social problem of the person who is convicted of a crime, goes to prison and serves the sentence in full, only to be prosecuted afterward by the police and hounded away from the endeavor to earn a reputable livelihood. In "Within the Law" the convict is a pretty young girl who is innocent of the offense with which she is charged, but is sacrificed to the plans of a hypocritical employer. Upon her release she is forced to choose between a life of the streets or taking up warfare on the law. She adopts the latter course, adroitly keeping beyond the clutches of the machine she defies. The battle she wages is extremely daring and ingenious and her triumph, while not complete, is suggestive of the methods of escaping responsibility said to be employed by financial buccaneers in their so-called "big business" operations. "Within the Law" exercises an almost irresistible human appeal on all classes of theatergoers, and is said to be one of the most exciting theatrical offerings of many years. An admirably fine cast appears, while the ornate scenic embellishment afforded "Within the Law" by The American Play Company is an elaborate as might be expected from the producers whose standard of artistic excellence is well known.

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IRISH SOIL IMPORTED FOR SHOWING OF "COLLEEN BAWN" AT PRINCESS THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 9, 1914

The great heart story filled with human interest and soul throbs, "Colleen Bawn," will be presented this evening at the Princess theatre in three reels. The Kalem Company some time ago imported a large quantity of Irish soil dug from the base of the Coleen Bawn roak, in one of the lakes of Killarney, and Manager Jim Reilley secured a box of this soil from the Kalem company. The soil will be placed in front of the ticket office of the Princess this evening, and everybody who buys a ticket there tonight will have to stand on Irish soil to do so. Anybody who goes to that theatre tonight can always say afterwards he or she has stood on Irish soil, and they need make no further explanation either. They will be telling the truth.

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AIRDOME ELEPHANT TAKES PAINT BATH

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 28, 1914

"Minnie," the large elephant appearing with Capt. Grubers Animals at the Airdome this week, took a bath in paint shortly before the performance last evening, and caused her trainer considerable trouble. If Capt. Gruber had given the elephant enough white paint, he might have had a perfect white elephant by this time, but he failed to do this and the color selected by the elephant were so far from meeting with his approval that he had to secure some scouring soap to take it off before the performance. The elephant is being kept in one of the empty buildings in the rear of the Mineral Springs Hotel, where the painters had left a supply of surplus paint. On account of the warm weather, the elephant had been dipping into every watering place on the way, covering itself with water, and the trainer thought nothing last evening when he saw the elephant reach down in a bucket in the building and fill its trunk, but it did get him to worrying when he saw the elephant shoot five gallons of white paint over its body. Then the elephant reached in the blue, and later the red.

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SAUVAGE DOWN-HEARTED - MAY HAVE TO RETURN TO "TURKEY BURLESQUE" UNLESS PEOPLE PATRONIZE GOOD SHOWS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 16, 1915

Manager W. M. Sauvage of the Temple Theatre, in speaking of the apparent lack of great interest in the announcement of the visit of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra this evening, said that he was afraid he might have to go back to the "turkey burlesque" style of shows that are real money makers. He says he discontinued giving such shows at the Temple, believing that there was a demand for good shows, but he says that there has been no rush to get seats for the orchestra concert. He has had a fair sale, but he declares he has had to give a guarantee of expenses and that the advance sale had not covered the expense guarantee yet, and that he would probably never see any profits for the concert tonight. Mr. Sauvage believes that the people of Alton, who do not favor the lower and lowest grades of attractions, should patronize the good ones he brings to the city and show a deeper interest in ordering seats when he announces something as far above the ordinary as the Symphony concert is.....

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CRESCENT THEATRE WILL OPEN SATURDAY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 31, 1915

The Crescent theatre will be opened Saturday in the Kirsch building at the corner of Third and Market streets. J. H. Work of St. Louis is in charge, and had renovated the old playhouse and made of it an up to date place. Mr. Work is a twin brother of Mrs. James Alton Smith, wife of the east Second street dry goods merchant.

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MINSTREL SHOW AT THE TEMPLE THEATER - 'ALL FOR ALTON, ALTON FOR ALL' IS NEW SLOGAN

Source: January 14, 1916

A big crowd was pleased at the Temple Thursday evening with the first appearance of the Knights of Columbus minstrels and the after part, a musical comedy written by Dr. A. Don Stocker, "The Great Divide." Notwithstanding the intense cold, there was hardly a vacant seat on the lower floor, and the balcony and the gallery had a good patronage to see the "knights of minstrelsy" prance across the stage and sing songs and tell stories. There is much ability among the young men who participated, and the show had less of the appearance of being an amateur affair than most home talent entertainments. There were some veterans of home talent shows in the cast, such as "Sonny" Hammond and Joe Crivello, and there were others with less experience, but much talent in the line of amusing people. There were some sweet singers in the crowd who delighted the audience. In fact, there was not a solo but what called for an encore and this tended to lengthen out the show somewhat beyond the usual time. Joseph Sharkey was interlocutor with J. J. Hammond, James Dooley, William Carson, J. L. Buese, Joseph and Tony Crivello as end men. The opening was just like any other minstrel show with some pretty sons and some jokes. Solos in the first part were given by Jack Maloney, James Dooley, Louis Green, Joseph Crivello, John E. Eckhard, J. J. Hammond, Joseph Sharkey, John L. Buese and Ben Garde. Louis Green and Lucian Sims put on a skit in the cleo, "It Happens Every Day." Then came the after part, "The Great Divide." It is an amusing little comedy with a moral, written by Dr. A. Don Stocker. He was spending the evenings at home early in the winter and he put in his time getting on paper an idea he had in his mind that was given birth by what he viewed as an apparent antagonism between the east end and the west end of the city. In this part, local characters were taken off, including city officials, business men, and newspaper men. The story turns on the fight that was put up over getting of industries for the two ends of the city and the final loss of the industry through a fight that was started in which the two sides are represented as being engaged in regulation warfare. The piece has some good songs and tuneful music throughout. Among the sons sung in "The Great Divide" were the following: "Because They've Gone 'Nuts' Over There," solo and chorus, "You're No Friend of Mine," finale first act: "Crap Shooters," chorus: "Will I 'Spose I Might as Well Just Stay," solo and chorus: "In the Cluck - Cluck - Cluck - Cluck - Cluck - Cluck Clan," chorus: "War, War, Cruel War," chorus; "Mother's Biscuits," solo and chorus: "The Chase," orchestra: "There Will Be One Vacant Chair," chorus: "Hiram, Hiram, You've Been Stealing," chorus: "Mad," scene Hiram's Trial solo and chorus: "There Goes Hiram," chorus: Grand Finale "We'll Have To Pull Together," solo and chorus: Music, Words and Lyrics of the "Great Divide," by A. Don Stocker. The most tuneful of all the songs was the "Mother's Biscuits," which may make a hit. It was sung by John Eckhard. After the presentation of a bouquet to the author, Dr. Don Stocker, and long continued applause which was plainly meant as a recognition of the work he had done, Dr. Stocker responded not with a curtain speech, but by playing as a cornet solo the music of Mother's Biscuits and he drew warm applause. During the whole show Dr. Stocker directed from the orchestra pit while John L. Buese as assistant director on the stage, was a star everywhere he shone. There were so many stars it would be difficult to pick out any of them. Those who see the show this evening will enjoy it. In connection with the slogan for Alton, it was given out today that Alderman H. B. Herb had guessed it. Whether his close proximity to the office of Mr. Stocker enabled him to read the mind of the author or the fact that the slogan of the Retail Merchants and the Board of Trade in the same building is for Alton. Mr. Herb sent in his guess, All for Alton and Alton for All. At the close of the show the new slogan for Alton, which only the author knew, was displayed. It was on a huge streamer which was lowered from the flies of the stage, and as the grand finale was being sung the slogan became an important feature. It was "All for Alton, Alton For All." The slogan was received with applause.

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NAVAL RESERVES HELP WITH PICTURES AT AIRDOME THEATER - EIGHT REEL PHOTO-PLAY "THE BATTLE CRY OF PEACE"  [during WWI]

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 17, 1916

One of the most spectacular motion picture performances ever seen in Alton, and one which Manager William Sauvage of the Temple Theater promises will rival the "Birth of a Nation" will be presented here on May 29 at the opening night of the Airdome. The picture is to be the eight reel photo-play "The Battle Cry of Peace," and the effects for the play are to be furnished by the members of the Alton Division of the Naval Reserve. Five hundred rounds of ammunition for the four one-inch guns of the Alton Division of the Naval Reserve will be made at the Western Cartridge Co. to be used as a part of the performance and over 5,000 cartridges will be discharged during the three evening performances from the rifles of the Alton division. The fifty members of the Alton Naval Reserve, under the direction of Lieut. J. B. Maxfield, will take part in the production. The picture is one that has been passed upon by the government officials as a good argument for preparedness, and the naval reserves are to do their part in the production for the effect the picture will have in securing a better army and navy. The guns are to be mounted at different places on the side of the stage and the screen will be in the rear of the stage. One scene in the big picture where the enemy is supposed to be attacking New York from the harbor will be the feature. The front of the stage will be arranged to represent a gun boat, and the audience will get the effect of being on the boat that is firing on the city, and they will be able to see the results of the shots on the city as the pictures are shown on the screen in the rear of the stage. An extra large audience will be used for this feature, which will be run for three days, not including Sunday. Mr. Sauvage stated this afternoon that if the picture was run on Sunday the noise would be enough to make the churches complain and he would not attempt to do that. Besides the guns, a special orchestra especially for this picture will be a feature. The other effects will also be carefully carried out from the stage. At the same time he made this announcement, Mr. Sauvage stated that the Airdome would be run this year without vaudeville. He will use an orchestra twice as large as the one at the Hippodrome, and will run only feature pictures. The admission will remain the same except when extra large features such as the "Battle Cry of Peace" are presented. For this and other exceptional features, the price will be raised to twenty-five cents.

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SOCIETY VAUDEVILLE DRAWS BIG CROWD AT TEMPLE THEATER

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 3, 1916

The Society Vaudeville given last evening at the Temple Theatre under the auspices of the V. I. A. for the benefit of playground equipment, under the personal direction of Miss Maud Frances Donovan of the Monticello School of Expression, was attended by a packed house, the first and second floors and boxes being filled, and a large number in the gallery. The entire entertainment was cleverly gotten up and given and from beginning to end was filled with funny stunts which created much laughter and amusement. The program of the evening was made up of songs, dances, a comedy, a one-act farce, monologues, piano-logues, nifty nonsense, and was concluded with live pictures. All the numbers were short and served to make the evening one of great enjoyment for all present. Among the hits of the evening were Emily and Harold Hoefert as International Stars; Lucia Taylor in "Beatrice Fairfax, Tell Me What To Do;" Joseph Crivello in monologue, song and story; Elsie Leverett Owen who presented some original pianologues; and Dick Sparks, Torry McKenny and Adele Stratton in Nifty Nonsense. One of the beautiful numbers of the evening was the dancing of Miss Marie Floss and Mr. Nelson Schweppe, which was as pretty and graceful as one could wish. The popular young couple have the reputation of being the best dancers in the city and their exhibition Tuesday night only served to add to the already well-earned honor. The one-act comedy, "The Dress Rehearsal," and the one-act farce, "The Chaperone," as well as the Miniature Broadway Production, were well acted and enjoyable. In "A Miniature Broadway Production," the Spanish dancing was very pretty, all the young ladies being attired in keeping with the spirit. The live pictures proved a pretty closing to the program. The music for the evening was furnished by an orchestra composed of all local talent, with Prof. B. C. Richardson as director. Those taking part in the orchestra were Mrs. Stocker, Mr. Daniels, Mr. Richardson, violinists; Miss Gervig, Mr. Dixon, flutes; clarinet, Raymond Stocker; cornet Dr. Stocker; trombone Mr. Ferguson, Mr. Beck; and piano, Miss Rumsey. The accompanists of the evening were the Misses Theo Erbeck, Myrtle Boals, Leona Nickel, Gill and Maul. If ever the promoters give again the Society Vaudeville, it is certain that they will have very little trouble in filling the Temple the second time. The benefit was a good one and the performance most excellently given. Great credit is given to Mrs. George A. McMillen, Mrs. Richard D. Sparks and Miss Donavon for the success of the entertainment. Mrs. McMillen did the great work of getting the large cast together; Mrs. Richard Sparks was in charge of the stage setting, her artistic taste being very highly marked, and Miss Donavon who directed the whole affair. The commission of the V. I. A., Mrs. H. M. Schweppe, Mrs. McMillen and Miss Biggins, deserve credit also for their great ability in advertising and getting the matter before the public. Work was started in February by the V. I. A. committee on the wonderful production which was presented last evening, and from that time until last evening Mrs. George A. McMillen never rested once, so interested was she in and enthusiastic over its success.

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TWO NEW RECTIFIERS AT HIPPODROME

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 7, 1916

Two new rectifiers for the Hippodrome have arrived and been installed with an idea of improving the pictures at that theater. The two machines were ordered over three months ago, but on account of the big demand for electrical apparatus have been delayed in arriving. The two machines are of the very latest type and are used to change the alternating current to direct current for the movie machines. They have a higher candle power than other machines ever used in the city. The machines are so arranged that each is two systems in one, and in case one part of the machinery should go down, the machine will transfer automatically to the other. This makes it sure that the machines will not go down as long as there is any power coming into the building.

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PRINCESS THEATRE BEING REPAINTED - Is Being Fixed up in Pink Tea Order

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 3, 1916

Manager J. J. Reilley is having his popular playhouse, the Princess theatre, repainted and beautified exteriorally and interiorally it is being thoroughly overhauled, decorated and brightened up. The Princess has won a warm place for itself in the hearts of Alton people for the clean, wholesome amusement it presents, and Manager Reilley is determined to keep the good will of the theatre going public by not only continuing to give high class, educational, instructive, or amusing entertainments, but also to have the surroundings beautiful and pleasing. This is reason enough for the improvement work now being done.

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HIPPODROME CLOSES TOMORROW EVENING FOR REDECORATION

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 11, 1917

After the show tomorrow evening, the Hippodrome will close its doors to be redecorated. The theater will be reopened on September 3, completely redecorated. The new curtain showing the river front of the City of Alton as it would appear with a sea wall will be one of the features of the show house when it is reopened. The days of the ten cent combined picture and vaudeville show are a thing of the past, as announced in the Telegraph some time ago. Manager William Sauvage said this morning that the Hippodrome would not open at less than fifteen cents, and there is a chance that the price might be even higher than that. The policy of the house will be to have programs of about the same type as are being run at the Airdome.

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GIRL USHERS FOR TEMPLE THEATER - SHORTAGE OF MEN CAUSED BY WAR

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 7, 1918

Girl ushers will be one of the features when the Temple Theater opens the 1918-1919 season on Sunday evening, August 25. The girls, following the policy now used in some of the theaters in the large cities, will be dressed in grey shirtwaists and skirts. With few exceptions, all of the old ushers have been put in the draft. On account of the difficulty in obtaining men, Manager Sauvage decided to use girl ushers. In order to open the Temple Theatre, it will be necessary to close the Airdome. There are not enough stage hands in Alton to handle the work at both places. As the result of this, the Airdome will close on Saturday evening, August 24, and the Temple Theater will be opened on Sunday evening. "Friendly Enemies," one of the strongest war plays written, will feature the opening of the Temple Theater. Manager Sauvage said today that he had been very fortunate in securing good bookings for the coming season. The following is the list of productions that have been booked for Alton thus far: "Friendly Enemies," "Leave It To Jane," "O'Brien's Minstrels," "My Soldier Girl," Century English Opera Co., "Hearts of the World," "Salome," "A Night in Honolulu," "A Bird of Paradise," Maude Adams, Lyman H. Howe's Festival, "Flo Flo," "Mutt and Jeff," "Parlor, Bedroom and Bath," "Business Before Pleasure."

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DOWN CAME THE ELEPHANT FROM THE TOP OF THE HIPPODROME

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 4, 1918

The big elephant has been taken down from the top of the Hippodrome building, and will probably stay down during the war. Although it was an elephant which is supposed to be very heavy, this one was a "light affair," according to an electrician, meaning by that an electric light affair. It scattered lots of light around high up in the air, and it was to save that light and obey the lightless instructions of the fuel administration that the ornamental animal was removed.

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PRINCESS THEATER REDECORATED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 5, 1918

The Princess theatre on East Broadway is being repainted and decorated. When the "flu" epidemic is over, patrons of that amusement place will find it greatly beautified.  [Note: During the great influenza epidemic of 1918, theaters, school, churches, and generally public meeting places, were shut down for fear of spreading of the flu, by order of the government.]

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AMUSEMENT HOUSES RE-OPEN TODAY [They were closed due to the 1918 influenza epidemic.]

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 14, 1918

The amusement houses in Alton resumed business today after being closed 20 days. It was said by the mayor today that there would be no crowding in the picture houses for the present. When the motion picture theaters have their seating capacity occupied, no more will be admitted. Those waiting will have to wait outside, as no standing room row will be available for anyone. This is done to avoid danger of spreading contagion. Further, he said, the ventilating systems will be worked full capacity to keep the air pure and clean all the time, and that every effort would be made to avoid any necessity for another closing. The picture houses being closed has cost the managers heavy during the 20 days. The patrons have been awaiting with eagerness the opening, and there will probably be a big scramble for places among those who can get seats.

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HIPPODROME WILL HAVE NEW POLICY

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 28, 1919

Manager Sauvage of the Hippodrome has announced a new policy for that theater this winter. Starting on the first day of September the theater will be kept open from 11 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night. He will run two acts of vaudeville. A new organ has been ordered and it will arrive shortly. The organ will be added to the present organ and will be played from the pit as part of the orchestra. The organ with the men who are now in the orchestra will give the music a volume equal to an orchestra of about seventy-five musicians.

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SAUVAGE NOT TO APPLY FOR TEMPLE THEATRE - SAYS IT'S LAST YEAR           List Below Shows Performers at the Temple Theatre!

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 29, 1920

Mayor W. M. Sauvage said yesterday that this will positively be his last year as manager of the Temple Theatre. He declared that when his time is up at the end of this season he will not be an applicant for the house again. Because it is a long time ahead of this promise taking effect, the Mayor was asked if he was in earnest about his statement. "When I say so, I mean it," the mayor replied. He said that he had been in the Temple as manager for twenty-eight years. The Temple has not been a paying enterprise for him for a long time. Good shows are few and hard to get, and some he has brought to town have not yielded the revenue they should yield to make the theatrical business a good one. Mayor Sauvage thinks that with another theatre such as he has in mind, he could make a great success. He is planning a fire proof theatre of much greater capacity that will stand on the Airdome site. He believes that by having larger stage and larger seating accommodations, the theatre would be more attractive both to the patrons and to the theatrical companies, and he would be able to secure more and bigger attractions. He thinks that the amusement situation in Alton might be improved if he had the kind of theatre he has in mind and the construction of which he may decide to undertake this spring. Among the many stars that have played the Temple Theatre during W. M. Sauvage's management are the following, many of whom are dead: Alexander Salvini, Neil Burgess, Frank Q. Seabrooke, Ezra Kendall, Modjeska, Walker Whiteside, Grace Van Studdiford, Mme. Janeshek, Margaret Anglin, McIntyre & Heath, Rose Stahl, John Philip Sousa, Bostonians, Kyrle Bellew, Damrosch Orchestra, Theodore Thomas Orchestra, Nat C. Goodwin, William Courtenay, Herman the Great, May Robson, Thatcher, Primrose & West, Hyams & McIntyre, Al G. Fields, Eva Tanguary, Valeska Suratt, Constance Crawley, Frank Tinney, Marie Doro, Roland Reed, Della Fox, DeWolf Hopper, Wilson Barrett, Thomas Jefferson, Lewis Morrison, Mme. Schumann Heink, Blanch Bates, George M. Cohan, 4 Cohans, Chauncey Olcott, Alice Neilson, Herbert Kelsey, Vera Michelena, Ina Claire, Charles B. Hanford, Thomas W. Ross, Trixie Griganza, Richard Mansfield, William Rock, Leonore Ulrich, Neil O'Brien, Patricia Collidge, Creatore, Zelda Sears, Bert Williams, Stuart Robson, Gertrude Hoffman, Mme. Rhea, Frank Daniels, Raymond Hitchcock, Richard Carle, Joseph Jefferson, Louise Cunning, Virginia Harned, Margaret Illington, Weber & Fields, 4 Mortons, Eddie Foy, Henrietta Crossman, Effie Shannon, George Evans, Joseph Sheehan, Marguerite Clark, Thomas Wise, Madge Carr Cook, James O'Neil, Maud Fulton, Guy Bates Post, Lew Dockstader, William Hodge, Leo Carillio, Al Jolson, George Damerel, Kathryn Kidder, Robert B. Mantell, Frederick B. Warde, Louis James, and many others.

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FIRE ALARM AT THE HIPPODROME

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, March 12, 1920

There was a fire alarm from the Hippodrome yesterday afternoon. The people in the house noticed the odor of wood smoke, and they noticed soon that the air was filled with smoke. A fire alarm was turned in. It developed that in the furnace room, under the sidewalk, walled off from the building, workmen had long ago laid a piece of lumber on top of the boiler. The heat of the boiler charred and finally fired the wood. The smoke from the burning wood was sucked through the cracks in a stone wall by the ventilating system and driven into the theater. There was no danger of fire whatsoever in the Hippodrome, the furnace being under the sidewalk on the south side of the building.

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CAMERATA IN A BEAUTIFUL LIGHT OPERA AT THE TEMPLE THEATRE             Featuring Alton Performers!

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 8, 1920

"The Chimes of Normandy" was presented at the Temple Theater Wednesday night by the Camerata and Auxiliary Chorus, under the direction of Miss Katherine V. Dickinson, before a large and appreciative audience. The opera is light, and contains more catchy music, which entertained and delighted those having the pleasure of being present. It was considered by all to be one of the best home talent ever given in Alton. The scenes of the opera are laid in Norman villages of the seventeenth century, and the setting of last night's entertainment was very becoming to the story, as were also the costumes worn by the participants. Henri, Marquis of Corneville, who has been since childhood, owing to civil war, an exile, returns to his ancestral home on the occasion of the great annual fair, which is being celebrated in the village that receives its name from his chateau. In the first act, the curtain rises on an assemblage of village gossips, discussing scandal and small talk. Serpolette, a good for nothing, is the topic of conversation among the belles of Corneville. She comes in just in time to turn the tables on the others, and changes their taunts into expressions of rage. Gaspard, an old miser, wishes to marry his niece, Germaine, to the principal magistrate of the district, the Baill. This arrangement does not suit Germaine, nor a young fisherman named Jean Grenicheaux, who pretends that he has saved her life from drowning on a certain occasion. To escape from the power of old Gaspard, Germaine takes advantage of the privilege of the fair (a similar scene to that in the first act of "Martha"), and becomes the servant of the Marquis. Her example is followed by Grenicheaux and Serpolette. The second act is taken up with the supernatural visitors who have made the Castle of Corneville so long an object of dread. Henri determines to find out the real character of these ghostly appearances, and discovers that it is all the work of the old miser, who has concealed his treasures in the chateau. The discovery drives Gaspard crazy, especially when he hears the bells of the chateau ringing for the first time since the flight of the old Marquis. The third act represents the grand fete given in honor of the return of Henri to his ancestral home. Serpolette arrives as a Marchioness, as some papers, found in the chateau, indicate that she is the lost heiress. The miser, however, recovers his reason, and shows that Germaine is the true Marshioness. A love duet between her and Henri, and the reconciliation of all the parties, bring the romantic story to a close.  Miss Helen Irene Elder, Alton's favorite soloist, took the part of Germaine, the lost Marchioness, and as usual pleased her hearers. Her role of the "Bells," and "Let Our Torches" style, and her rendition of "Legend of the Bells," and "Let Our Aorches" and "By His Side," was very good. She appeared in a duet with Henri, in "'Tis She! A Happy Fate," and at the close in "My Lord! My Lord!" Miss Grace Lorene Gee, as Serpolette, the good for nothing, captured the audience from the moment she appeared until she learns, to her great disappointment, that she is not the lost Marchioness. Her voice carries well, and her interpretation of her part was one of the delights of the evening. Her stage presence is good, she appearing especially good when she comes on the scene attired as a woman of nobility, scorning to notice those whom she thinks beneath her. Miss Gee was considered one of the big successes of the evening. Andrew Leigh took the house by storm, appearing as Gaspard, the bent-over miser, and guardian of Germain. Leigh has had much experience on the stage, and last evening carried out his part as an insane lover of money to perfection. He reached highest ______ lost his mind upon hearing ______ in the chateau ring out...... [some of the article unreadable]

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ALTON - NEW COMPANY ORGANIZED TO ERECT THEATRE - MODERN VAUDEVILLE & MOVIE HOUSE WILL BE ERECTED AT CORNER OF THIRD & MARKET STREETS (Grand Theatre)

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, April 17, 1920

A company composed of Alton business men, and capitalized at $75,000, will be incorporated under the laws of Illinois for the erection of a theater at Third and Market streets, on the corner west of the Illini Hotel. A meeting of the local business men was held last night. It was decided to boost the capital to $75,000. It had at first been intended, the Telegraph was told, to incorporate the company with a capital of $50,000, but in order to make the erection of a modern playhouse a certainty, the capital was boosted. All members of the company, it was said today, are Alton businessmen. It was also said that all stock of the new company has been subscribed. It is planned to erect a fireproof theater of the modern type. It will be a moving picture and vaudeville house. The policy of the theater will be similar to that of the theaters of other cities where vaudeville and movies are shown. The theater, it is said, will be a beautiful structure and will be one of the prettiest amusement houses in southern Illinois. High Class vaudeville and movies will be booked for the theater, say the men behind the proposition, who declare that Alton is large enough to support another first.

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NEW THEATER TO BE NAMED BY PUBLIC (Later Became Grand Theatre)

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 25, 1920

The public will be given opportunity to choose a name for the new motion picture house to be erected by the Alton Amusement Co., at Third and Market streets. It was said today by L. J. Hartman, one of the directors, that the members of the board had decided to call for suggestions of names, and to the one offering the prize winner would be awarded a three months pass to the theater when finished. The Alton Amusement Co. has taken an option on the property of George F. Kirsch for a period of five years, the price named as the sale price being $85,000, and the company will have fifteen years to pay it off. It is the plan of the owners of the theater to purchase the property as they said they would not consider continuing under a lease. The statement was also made that the plans for the new theater will be completed tomorrow. It will be absolutely fire proof, it was said, and will have five offices on the second floor on the Market street front, and one small business room on the ground floor. The plan is to show no vaudeville, but there will be high class pictures and a high class orchestra.

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POSTPONE NAMING NEW THEATER  (Later Became Grand Theatre)

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 3, 1920

The directors and the building committee of the new theater that is being erected at Third and Market streets today announced an extension of time for giving of suggestions for a new name for the new motion picture house. It was said by L. J. Hartmann that a number of suggestions had been made, but it was desired to give further time to those desiring to have the privilege of naming the playhouse and winning the prize offered. The time was extended to next Wednesday. B. W. Plummer was selected for orchestra leader. It was said by Mr. Hartmann no manager has yet been chosen. The arrangements of seats was approved last night. The seats have been bought. Pictures are being contracted for, too, though the earliest it is hoped to have the theater ready is some time next November.

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DR. STOCKER TO HAVE 2ND FLOOR OF THE GRAND THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, July 29, 1920

Announcement was made this morning that Dr. A. Don Stocker would occupy the entire second floor of the new theater building which is being erected at the corner of Third and Market Street. The building will be ready for occupancy about the first of November. Dr. Stocker is an extraction specialist. Dr. Stocker now occupies quarters on the third floor of the Commercial Building, and while the present rooms are admirable for general practice, the requirements of an office for specialization in extraction and X-ray work are somewhat different. The suite will be built according to Dr. Stocker's own plans, which have the suite will cover a floor space of 1135 feet, and will consist of twelve rooms and two 25 foot hallways, divided into two departments, examination or consultation and operations. The examination or consultation department will consist of the following rooms, connected by a private hallway; anti-reception room and business office, main reception room, X-ray room, private office, ladies' dressing room and X-ray developing room. The operating department will be distinctly sanitary, with floors of tile, with marble baseboards and sanitary walls. The hall of this department will have arched ceiling. The department will include two operating rooms, two retiring rooms, nurses' room, and toilets.

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700 BULBS FOR NEW GRAND THEATER SIGN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 12, 1920

The electric sign for the Grand Theater, being erected at the corner of Third and Market streets, will contain 700 light bulbs, according to John Jianakoplis, one of the owners. The sign, he says, will be the largest in Alton, and as large, if not larger, than any..... [unreadable].

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CONTRACTS LET FOR IMPROVING HIPPODROME

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 14, 1920

Manager Sauvage has awarded the contract for extensive improvements at the Hippodrome. He said today that the contract for the interior decorations have been let to the Andrews Decorating Co., and will cost $2,300. In addition, he has let to Fred Buck the contract for painting the exterior of the building. The seats in the Hippodrome are to be upholstered again, this time in an imitation leather, the product of the Western Cartridge Co. This company is making in its Springfield plant a leather known under the trade name of Westex, which Mr. Sauvage decided to use. It is new on the market, but is said by experts to be one of the very best of all the imitation leather goods with which it must compete. The orchestra is being reorganized and strengthened. A. J. Barron, flutist, formerly with the Hippodrome, has returned, and will resume his old post. Mr. Sauvage says that he will have a high grade orchestra this year that will be a great feature in the Hippodrome. He has also contracted for some expensive illumination for the building and will make the place a blaze of light.

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BRICKS WARM FROM THE KILN FOR [GRAND] THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 8, 1920

One reason that the new Grand Theater walls went up so fast was that there was no delay in material deliveries, and one reason of good material deliveries so far as bricks are concerned was the activity of the Alton Brick Co. in handling the bricks. The brick supply ran very low at times, and bricks were taken red hot from the kilns at the brick company plant, loaded into trucks and brought down to the theater. When the bricklayers got them they were still warm. Had it been cool weather, the bricklayers would have enjoyed it, but as it was the thermometer was playing around a hundred, and the hot bricks only added to the heat of the job. But the walls kept going higher and the hot bricks was what caused them to keep on going up higher.

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TEMPLE OWNERS WANT ALL PROPS BROUGHT BACK - SAUVAGE SAYS TOOK HIS OWN

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, September 10, 1920

Indications there would be litigation over the title to the stage "properties" that had been in use in Temple Theater was given yesterday when William Sonntag, acting for the Odd Fellows Temple Association, served a notice on William M. Sauvage, the former manager of the theater, to return certain articles he had removed from the place. It is understood that Mr. Sauvage has not assented to return the property, as he claims to have bought and paid for it, and that under the terms of the lease the property, he says, belongs to him. The removal of the property from the Temple by Mr. Sauvage when he vacated, August 1, makes it impossible to use the theater without heavy expense and some delay being entailed in providing new stage settings, scenery, and other equipment, including the necessary accessories for handling the curtains and scenery. The former manager is said to take the position that these properties always belong to the manager, but that in the lease he was required to furnish them. He left a curtain and certain possessions of his for which he paid, he said, because he did not care to cause the heavy expense and inconvenience to the owners of the theater to replace them. Among these was a switchboard which Mr. Sauvage said he bought and paid for, but he said that if he had removed it the owners of the theater would have been put to the expense of thousands of dollars to replace it. The indications are that with litigation in sight over possession of the stage properties, it will hardly be possible to reopen Temple Theater for some time. No manager has so far been secured for the theater, though the time is at hand when the theatrical season usually has opened. It is understood that it would take time to get the stage settings and equipment needed to make it possible for the theater to be opened for the year. The owners of the Temple Theater, it is reported on good authority, plan to enforce their claim on the stage properties in the courts, and the demand that has been served on. Mr. Sauvage was to pave the way for such litigation.

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GRAND THEATER OPENING SET FOR THANKSGIVING

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 15, 1920

The Grand Theater will be ready for its opening on Thanksgiving day according to the contractor, H. H. Unterbrink, who has been rushing the construction work night and day. All day Sunday crews worked in the theater building putting in concrete floors and they carried their work on through Sunday night, and day crews came on today and were finishing the work. The decorators have been rushing their work and have nearly finished it. Contractor Unterbrink said that almost all the furniture, including the seats, has arrived. He said that he has given the owners of the new theater word that so far as he is concerned they will be able to open the theater on Thanksgiving day, and that it will be up to them to get installed equipment for which he is not responsible. The new fire proof theater is owned by a syndicate of business men. They plan to have a good orchestra and to put in their house the best of pictures. When they planned the building, they expected to get it built and opened for far less money than they have found is necessary to make the theater fire proof and equip it as they decided to do. Until recently it appeared there would be no chance of getting the building ready to receive its first crowd on Thanksgiving day, but when the owners insisted that this be done the contractor began rushing work by working more than one shift and speeding up in every line where additional energy could be applied. The equipment for the building was shipped and the announcement made that everything was in readiness to be placed as soon as the contractor could make ready to receive the equipment. Within a few days the greater part of the decoration work will have been completed. Simultaneously, the installing of the seats and the curtains and screens will be finished and the theater will be turned over. Some delay in the heating plant has caused some disappointment, but this should be ready on time. The new theater will be a handsome improvement to the neighborhood where it stands, as its owners are fixing up the surroundings in tidy shape.

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PAINT DELAYS GRAND OPENING ABOUT A WEEK

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 23, 1920

So that paint may be dried properly, the opening of the Grand Theatre must be deferred about a week, though the contractor and the owners of the building have not yet been able to agree on the date. The contractor, H. H. Unterbrink, refuses to give his assent to opening in less than a week after Thanksgiving day, as he says he wants the paint to dry properly. The owners are desirous of anticipating the date as much as possible, because they say, they have engaged pictures for a Thanksgiving day opening and have also engaged their help to begin at that time. The contractor insists however, that the decorations must be given a chance to dry out so that the public won't smear the paint when the opening takes place, and today there the situation was. Outside of the painting and decorations, the theatre would be ready, with the exception of some little details of the heating plant, but the contractor says that the painting being done must be given a chance to harden as each successive coat goes on and that it can't be hurried this kind of weather.

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GRAND THEATRE HAS BIG OPENING TO THE PUBLIC

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 4, 1920

The new Grand Theater at Market and Third streets was opened to the public at 2 o'clock this afternoon. The day could hardly have been more discouraging for an event of the kind. The management of the theater was unwilling to see anything bad in the outlook, as he was confidently expecting a big business on the opening day, regardless of weather conditions. He felt that the public would turn out to see the new playhouse regardless. The finishing touches were still being put on the place up to the time of opening. Little details here and there remained to be finished. The lighting arrangement in the front was the most important work that had to be finished up, the management having planned for a perfect blaze of light on the front of the Grand. The new manager said that Market street is not very well illuminated, otherwise, and he intends to make it light as day. A good program of pictures had been arranged for the afternoon and evening. As recognition of the opening there were some handsome floral pieces sent by friends of the owners and the management with their best wishes, and the new theater looked like a flower shop. The new theater has a big orchestra which made its bow to the Alton public today, and which will be in service constantly. The owners and managers of the theater believe that the desire for amusements in Alton is ever on the increase, and they think that the Grand will enjoy steady popularity. The handsome floral offerings sent by friends attracted much attention, due to their great beauty. Among the pieces received were many from St. Louis friends to Manager Oberstolz. Flowers were received from Alton Brick Company, Board of Directors, Alton Evening Telegraph, Princess Theater, J. J. Rielley, owner, George Palmer Electric Company, H. H. Unterbrink, Famous Players, Universal Film, Standard, Krug's Floral, Alton Daily Times. Miss Bertha Edwards, assisted by Mrs. W. A. Clark of Ouatoga Theater, was in the ticket office selling tickets. Francis Mills was at the door. Berg Plummer's Orchestra was a big feature of the opening. Fred Boem was stage manager. The Misses Nellie Neil, Julia Selhime, Helen Thomas, Ruth Simpson, Vera Kimmel, Velva Whecler, Eunice Crouse and Vera Herman were the ushers. The Western Military Acvademy attended in a body, and were the first to enter the Theater.

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SUNDAY MOVIES WILL BE BANNED IN UPPER ALTON - NEW OWNER OF OUATOGA WILL NOT PERMIT SABBATH SHOWS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 13, 1921

The Ouatoga theater, Upper Alton's only movie house, has been closed and every indication is that it will remain closed as far as theatrical purposes are concerned. The new owner of the property, Frank Hussey, says there absolutely shall be no Sunday picture shows in the Ouatoga while he is the owner, and his position in this matter has caused all negotiations for the lease of the theater to be called off, as those who would like to conduct the theater business in the Ouatoga claim it would be useless to attempt such a thing if the best night of the week in the movie business must be sacrificed. W. H. Weigler of Staunton, who managed the Ouatoga theater a short time for W. A. Clark, before the latter sold the property, has closed up the theater and has left Alton, as he could make no agreement with the owner as to the Sunday night shows. Mr. Hussey said the theater was run one Sunday night after he had taken possession of the property on the first day of August, but Mr. Weigler was the manager of the theater at that time and he did not desire to cause any trouble as to the one night's run when the old manager's lease had not expired. After the one Sunday night, Mr. Hussey made it known to Weigler that the place positively could not be used on Sunday night for a theater. W. M. Sauvage was carrying on negotiations with Mr. Hussey for the lease of the Ouatoga. It was stated that Mr. Sauvage was very anxious to get hold of the Ouatoga, and it was good news to Upper Alton people generally when it became known that the  [sic] was considering taking over the Ouatoga. The Sunday night question, however, blocked the whole deal. Several other people have been in Alton during the past ten days to lease the Ouatoga and to put up a first class picture house in Upper Alton, but the Sunday night question was a dead ender, and all negotiations for the lease of the show house are off. W. A. Clark, the man who built the Ouatoga and who has been conducting the business for a good many years past, sold the theater along with the business corner to Mr. Hussey, the purchaser taking charge the first of August. Mr. Hussey bought the property for investment. He is the son of a Baptist minister, the Rev. Simeon Hussey, was raised in Upper Alton, and is a Shurtleff college graduate. The young man is a teacher in Grover Cleveland high school in St. Louis. He is said to be among the leading instructors in the city. Hussey said today that his position on the Sunday question would no doubt result in the abolishing of the Ouatoga in Upper Alton. In fact, Mr. Hussey said, he has already made plans for using the property for other business purposes. The closing of Upper Alton's picture house is causing much comment there. Business men in that section of the city consider it a serious blow to the Seventh Ward. Programs were given on Wednesday and Saturday afternoon at the Ouatoga for the Western Military cadets and the picture show served to keep the cadets in Upper Alton on these two afternoons when they are out of school, officials of the institution not permitting the cadets to go down town or to get on a street car or other kind of carrier. With this rule in vogue, the Upper Alton business houses get the patronage of the cadets. With the cadets to go down town to a show, this will take the ice cream and candy trade of the cadets down town too, it is asserted. Hussey says he has been approached by numerous Upper Alton people who are very much interested in keeping the picture house going in the Seventh Ward. He says he feels that many owners of amusement places that are run on Sunday would like to close up their _______ on that day if all the others who run those places would do so, and he says he's going to be one of those who closes up whether the other fellow does or not. Mr. Hussey says he believes the time is not far away when the blue laws will go into effect the country over. He says he has offered many inducement to those who wanted to run the theater to run it through the week with no Sunday show, but he says they are all afraid of the proposition with no show on the night of the week they consider the best.

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UPPER ALTON MAY HAVE RELIGIOUS SUNDAY MOVIES ... DEAL FOR LEASING OF OUATOGA TO SYNDICATE IS ON

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 15, 1921

A deal is on for the leasing of the Ouatoga Theater to a syndicate that owns a chain of theaters through the country, and it was stated today by George Hall of the Hall Realty Company, agents for the Hussey property, that the deal is far enough along to guarantee its completion. A poster was placed on the theater this morning announcing the fact that it would open for business Thursday. Mr. Hall, who handles the property for the Hussey family, says there is a possibility of an arrangement being made by the syndicate taking the lease to run religious pictures on Sunday night. He thinks this arrangement could be made although it is understood that the syndicate is willing to take the theater with the understanding that there are to be no Sunday shows at all. It is believed religious pictures would be a great drawing card for the theater on Sundays, and that many people would attend then who never do otherwise.

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THEATER FANS FACING A YEAR WITHOUT PLAYS - INDICATIONS ARE TEMPLE WILL NOT BE REOPENED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, August 29, 1921

Alton, which not so many, many years ago saw Richard Mansfield play Shakespeare, heard symphony orchestras, grand opera companies, saw Joseph Santley and Robert Corthell in musical comedy, and in recent years saw Margaret Auglin in one of the leading comedies of the post-war period, will, according to all indications, pass its second year without a legitimate theater. Notwithstanding early reports that the Temple Theater would again be opened, nothing, so far as is known, has been done, and Alton's theater-going public will either have to concentrate on movies and vaudeville, or go to St. Louis. A few days ago one of the leading theater men of the city vouchsafed the opinion that the Temple will not be reopened for plays. With no legitimate house running, the city will see two vaudeville theaters vying for public favor. The Hippodrome will open its vaudeville season next Monday. First class attractions, with accompanying movies, and a complete orchestra, are promised by the management of that theater. Beginning September 4, the Grand will launch a four-act policy, with the vaudeville, accompanied by photoplays. Exclusive movie houses will be the Princess and the Ouatoga in Upper Alton. This year will be Alton's second without legitimate plays. For about 30 years the Temple Theater has housed plays, and before that the old opera house in the city hall and the Root opera house.

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GRAND THEATRE - LION SHIPPED TO ALTON FOR ENGAGEMENT AT THE GRAND - HORSE BRAVELY PULLS WAGON ON ICY STREETS

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 22, 1921

The spirit of the jungle - the fear that instinctively rests in the breasts of all animals for the king of beasts, the lion - prevented an express wagon being overturned this morning and probably prevented the running at large of a lion. The lion was shipped to Alton for an engagement at the Grand. It was hauled from the express office on Front street to the theater. The horse drawing the express wagon was restless from the time the lion was placed in the wagon. The horse did not see the jungle beast, but he knew, as all animals know, that his enemy was near. The horse had never seen the jungle, had never probably ever run wild on American plains. He was a completely domesticated animal. But he had in his breast the fear given to him by heredity from an age centuries ago. When the horse began to pull the wagon carrying the lion, the ice did not daunt him. He knew but one thing, and that was to flee from the enemy of his fathers, the king and terror of the jungle - the lion. But the wagon came too, and the lion was always near. When the wagon had been pulled up Market street close to the theater, the driver with difficulty forced the horse to turn. The street slopes considerably at that point, and the wagon skidded to the curb. It struck the curb and seemed about to turn over. The lion's cage, it seemed, would be broken open and the beast released. But the horse still was in fear of the lion. He made an effort to do but one thing, and that was to flee. So he made a mighty effort to go forward, in spite of the slippery ice. And he succeeded. The wagon was righted, the lion was not released. Soon the cage was unloaded and the horse resumed his tranquil existence.

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GREAT FEAT TO BE PERFORMED OVER WIRELESS [RADIO] AT ALTON GRAND

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 11, 1922

Manager Reilly of the Grand Theater has arranged to bring Prof. Vishnu, one of the greatest living hypnotists to this city on next Monday and Tuesday, to perform this almost unbelievable feat, the greatest feat of the modern age, the casting of a hypnotic spell over a person via radio. Only twice before has this been fully accomplished, at Atlanta, Ga., and Kansas City, Mo. Alton will be the lucky third on Monday night. Miss Dolly Wecher will receive her sleep stuff through the ether waves detected by a large radio receiving set that will be in operation on the stage of the Grand. They will be sent out by Prof. Vishnu who will be in the broadcasting station in St. Louis, 24 miles away. After she dozes into fairyland, she will be placed on a stretcher and taken to the window of one of Alton's leading merchants, where she will remain in her comatose state 24 hours. On Tuesday evneing, she will be carried back to the Grand and placed on the stage in front of the receiving set and an unusually sensitive radio equipment will be used so that the audience will be enabled to hear every word of Prof. Vishnu as he speaks his hypnotic words miles away.

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"CAMEO GIRL" HAS BIG HOUSE ON FIRST NIGHT AT THE TEMPLE THEATRE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 21, 1922

"The Cameo Girl," given under the direction of Torrey McKenny for the benefit of the Alton Young Women's Christian Association, was presented last night to a crowded house at the Temple. The theater did not betray, in its appearance, that it had been a place of silence and darkness for so long, when the curtain rolled up on the first act of the play. The lack of stage settings had been made up by using some costly drops belonging to the company which has had charge of training the participants in the play. The preparation of the play had been short, and all who saw the first performance agreed that the very best advantage had been taken of the time, and that some great results were obtained. This was in part due to the fact that among those who took part were some of unusual talent. "The Cameo Girl" is a musical comedy without a serious thought. It is to amuse, not to instruct. It calls for much better talent in comedy, and it also needs some good singers, and both of these qualities were abundant in the show last night. The leading musical parts of the play were taken by Miss Adele Hildebrand, Miss Florence Rose, and Hal Redus. There were other musical numbers of the more pretentious sort, given by Mrs. Lucia Manbeck, Miss Ada Colgate, Winfield Farley, Miss Hildebrand and Miss Rose, carrying the two leading musical parts elighting their audience and displaying talents which are of no ordinary kind. Miss Hildebrand, especially, coupled with her singing and ability to dance, made a great hit. Miss Rose's part, rendering of one song with Hal Redus, "My Nursery of Love," drew for her a great bunch of roses in the last act of the show. The comedy end of the show was entrusted chiefly to Dr. James Coleman and Miss Maude Gillham, together with a funeral kind of comedy that was very effective, by the three so-called wise men, impersonated by Jesse R. Brown, Dr. Harry Middleton and Washington McDonald. Hal Redus sustained some of the most important male solo parts. The play is full of chorus numbers, and there was a great abundance of chorus members. They varied from tiny tots on up the scale. The dancing was of a high order, and at times brought forth uproarious applause from the audience. One noteworthy feature of the show was that there were no long waits. The show was pushed along with pep and the hour of closing was not late. It had started on time and it ended on time. A crowded house is insured for this evening, not only because the advance sale had been vigorously pushed, but because the merit of the show was such as to make it popular.

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OLD FILM SHOWS ALTON 10 YEARS AGO

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 31, 1922

James J. Reilly, motion picture house manager, is considering running over an old time homemade picture, which he thinks may be of interest to many Alton people. Mr. Reilly, a few days ago, dug out of a store room a film he had made when the steamer "Alton" was brought to this city. He had a motion picture man come here to make the film and he took crowds of children as well as crowds of grown people. He was saying today that he does not doubt that among the faces showing plainly in the picture are faces of boys and girls and others who have died, and whose families might be interested in seeing the motion picture. He says that there are many who have grown to be men and women now who would be interested in seeing their own faces as they were in childhood. He believes that when he gets ready to show that film, it will pack whatever picture house he decides to show it in. The thought struck Mr. Reilly as he was running the picture through, that there were many people in Alton who would perhaps be gladder to see it now than they were to see it when it was originally shown. The faces are distinct, he says, and there are hundreds and hundreds of them pictures who could easily be recognized. He further plans to keep the film and as long as he stays in business he will show it at stated periods, perhaps once every five years. As the persons pictured in it grow older, or as more and more of them pass away, he thinks that the film will have added value to the families who may wish occasionally to see the film picture of a member of the family circle who has died. In the film are pictures of the Alton High school football team of 1912, when it won the Southern and Central Illinois championship. Walter (Punk) Wood, now Shurtleff coach, was captain of the eleven, and Tom Henry, now in the army, was fullback. Other players were Harold Dodge, Lynn and Louis Beiser, Bert Busse, Edgar Degenhardt, the late Bert Russell, Courtney Perrin. One of the features of the film is that part showing the fire department in action. The hose wagon were run south on Henry street and turned west at the Sixth street corner, where the views were taken. Alton had no motor trucks then. One of the originators of the film was George H. Mosser, first secretary-manager of the Board of Trade. Mosser is shown in the film, and when the film was first shown at the Princess, Mosser was the "announcer."

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LEASE ON ALTON TEMPLE THEATER SIGNED, WILL BE OPENED

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, February 3, 1923

Announcement was made today that negotiations for a lease on Temple Theater had been closed by the Odd Fellows Temple Association. The new manager of the theater is to be James M. Drake of St. Louis. He plans to open with motion pictures and will also have the legitimate drama. Members of the Temple Association said today that they were told by Mr. Drake that he expects to get the theater open soon. He plans to have some work done in the theater to make ready and this will take a little time. He plans to get the theater started at the earliest possible date. The Temple has been closed for going on to four years. It was occupied for nearly thirty years by W. M. Sauvage, who gave up his lease there to devote all his attention to the Hippodrome. The reopening of the Temple, it is expected, will make the place available for any entertainments or meetings that may be desired without so much trouble as has attended its use since the time it was closed.

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ALTON GRAND THEATER NAMED IN SUIT OVER NEW SONG

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, June 27, 1923

The Alton Theatre Co., owning the Grand Theatre, are being sued for doing something they say they did not do. A damage suit for $5,000 has been filed against them by a publishing concern in New York City, whose name will be published at so much per line for advertising, on the allegation that the Alton Theatre Co., permitted to be played in their theatre on a certain date a certain song, whose name will be published at so much per line, and the parties filing the suit are the owners of the copyright on that song. Well, to make a long story short, it appears that the orchestral leader, Berg Plummer, never heard of the piece, did not play it at that time or any other time, and the belief is that the New York firm is seeking some publicity for its song, and chose that way to get it. The owners of the Grand theatre are notified to appear in the United States district court and answer the summons directed against them, in which the publishers of the song in question charge that by the unauthorized singing of that song in the Alton theatre, the publishers were damaged $5,000 worth. The Grand theatre owners say it will be a show down and the theatre owners will make the publishers prove up their charges in court. They don't intend to settle any other way.

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ALTON HIPPODROME TO OPEN NEW POLICY MONDAY, SEPT. 3, 1923

Announcement of the winter policy of the Hippodrome was made today by Manager Sauvage. Beginning Labor Day - next Monday - the daily program will include four acts of vaudeville, a feature picture, comedy news and short subjects. Vaudeville will be from Western Vaudeville Managers' Association, with which the Hippodrome is affiliated, and the Junior Orpheum Circuit. St. Louis theaters affiliated with the same bodies are the Orpheum, Columbia, Grand and Riaito. The program will run from two and a half to three hours, Mr. Sauvage said. The theater is being redecorated for the fall and winter season. The interior has been redecorated in old ivory with a marble base. The pipe organ has been redecorated in old ivory and the keyboard has been moved to the left of the orchestra pit to make room for new members of the orchestra who will be added. The Gratian Organ Co. is adding new pipes and parts to the organ. New velvet carpets are being laid in the auditorium and the seats are being covered with stripped slip-covers. New seats have been placed in the balcony. New stage effects have been added. The exterior of the building has been repainted, with the color scheme cream and chocolate. The lobby also is being redecorated and new lights are being added. The Hippodrome virtually will be a new theater when the fall and winter policy is inaugurated next Monday. The same prices that prevailed last year will be in force: matinee 25 cents, nights 35 cents.

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ALTON GRAND THEATER INCORPORATED FOR LEASING

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 7, 1923

John Jianakopolis, manager of the Grand theater, today explained the incorporation of the Alton Grand Theater Company for $5,100 by saying that it was a move to prepared for leasing the theater to someone else. Mr. Jianakopolis said that he had been considering several proposals to lease the theater, and in order to get the management into legal position to transact business, he had incorporated. The incorporators are given as John J. Jianakopolis, John Pano and John Karran. Each carries $1,700 stock in the new corporation. Mr. Jianokopolis said today that he is trying to bring to Alton a representative of the International Union of Musicians to settle the trouble in his theater. Last night he gave a musical comedy with a few musicians who came here with the company, and there was a rule that would prevent them playing in the Alton house, regardless of the refusal of the local musicians to work when they could not reach an agreement with the management as to the new schedule of hours they were asked to work. The management of the Grand Theater said that his purpose was to cut out the unprofitable business and by so doing reduce the expense of operating the house. The matinees, he planned, to cut out except on Saturday and Sundays. He failed to reach an agreement that was satisfactory all around with the musicians and so the musicians quit work. There are several parties who have had under consideration the leasing of the property from the present lessees. The present arrangement at the Grand is a partnership between the three men named as incorporators of the new Alton Grand Theater Company. As partners there might be some question as to their ability to transfer a lease, but as a corporation some of the difficulties of such a change would be obviated. The Grand was being operated today without musicians, operators or stage hands. Mr. Jianokopolis was operating the picture machine.

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ALTON GRAND THEATER MANAGER GIVEN ORDER TO MOVE

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, November 21, 1923

While negotiations were being made yesterday afternoon for the transfer of the lease of the Grand theater from the management to a firm of St. Louis men who operate a chain of picture houses, there was an interruption when Constable Hoffman formally served notice on John Jianakopolis that he had, no lease to transfer. The notice was given by the corporation owning the Grand Theater, who claim that Jianakopolis, by neglecting to do certain things, had rendered his own lease on the property null and void. Among those things they claim Jianakopolis failed to do, was to make payments he was supposed to make and in addition he failed to purchase an insurance policy to protect the property against damage suits. The corporation owning the Grand Theater have had negotiations under way for the sale of the property, but were unable to reach terms with Mr. Jianakopolis, who holds a lease on the theater, and was insisting that his terms be met before he would consent to the change. He is also a large owner of stock in the theater as well as being the possessor of a lease which has several years to run....

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ALTON HIPPODROME HAS SPECIAL SHOW FOR FIGHT PICTURES             Dempsey-Firpo Movies to be Shown

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, December 10, 1923

Announcement was made today by Manager Sauvage of the Hippodrome that the moving pictures of Dempsey-Firpo bout for the championship of the world will be shown at that house next week. An innovation is being planned by Manager Sauvage for showing of the picture. In order not to interfere with the regular show, which now fills the full time, the fight pictures will be shown at 10 a.m. and at 11 p.m. One showing then will be before the regular performance, and the other after. Showing of the fight pictures will not interfere with the regular program, and will be separate in every way. The pictures of the Dempsey-Firpo bout are said to be among best fight pictures ever taken, slow motion pictures showing some of the more important parts of the bout. One point shown clearly, it is said, is Dempsey's falling from the ring after being hit by Firpo. Manager Sauvage announced that 55 cents would be the admission charge for the fight pictures. They now are showing in Chicago and will open here the same day that the showing begins in East St. Louis, next Monday. They will run for a week here.

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SAUVAGE ENDS FIFTY YEARS IN THEATRES

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, January 12, 1931

After a half-century in the amusement business, during which he rose from a boy usher to acquaintance and association with some of the world's outstanding producers and performers, William M. Sauvage, former mayor of Alton, has retired. His retirement had been hinted for several weeks but not until today did Mr. Sauvage admit that it had transpired and that the man whose name has been synonymous with the theatres in Alton had actually come to the place to which he had looked forward for years - to retire. Retirement had been in the mind of Mr. Sauvage since completion of the negotiations by which his two Alton theatres - the Grand and the Hippodrome - joined the Great States (now Publix) chain. Mr. Sauvage still remained in a directorial position and was the Publix representative for a large section of Illinois, but once ownership and complete control had passed from his hands, and he was no longer arbiter of the amusement business, the veteran theatrical man began to think "50 years is enough," and concluded to "turn it over to the younger ones." Retirement of Mr. Sauvage ends the active career of a man who conducted the Temple as a "legitimate" theatre when the theatre - particularly the "road show" was in its hey-day. Many great stars were brought here by Mr. Sauvage - Walker Whiteside, E. H. Sothern, Alexandra Salvini, Margaret Anglin, Bert Williams, Al G. Fields, to mention only a few. Symphony orchestras, opera companies, great productions - he brought here many times at the loss of money, but Sauvage loved the theatre and suffered blows at his pocketbook just so he could say he had brought a great troupe to Alton. Once an express wagon driver, whose foot was cut off by a train, he entered the theatre business as a boy and rose to a high place. Sauvage, as a boy, had served in a menial capacity in the old city hall, which was the "opera house" of Alton for years. There he was an usher. Later, he went to the Root's "opera house" on Belle street, which became a rival of the old city hall "opera house." He remained as an usher there. When Mr. Sauvage lost his foot in a railroad accident, he had to do something that was within his ability to get around. He became treasurer 40 years ago at the new Temple theatre under B. H. Wortmann, the first manager, and sold tickets there. In 18 months, Mr. Wortmann had retired, unable to make the Temple theatre pay, and Mr. Sauvage became the manager. Alton was not ready for a regular theatre, and Mr. Sauvage did not make a success of it, either, though he stuck it out for some years. He always had confidence that Alton would be a good amusement town, so when he left to take a place as road manager for a hypnotic show, he always reserved the right to come back. The theatre here went to lower financial depths in his absence. He came back, finally and resumed the position of Temple theatre manager. He stayed on and made a success of it. Later, he realized the possibilities and started the first motion picture show in Alton, making a great success of the venture. He continued in the legitimate line at the Temple as long as he could, but high costs of putting on shows, the rapidly dwindling number of available shows, and other factors, caused him to give it up. Still, he occasionally signed up some good road show and let it break in on his picture show programs. He still sighs for the good old days of the legitimate theatre. He operated first the Lyric, the little motion picture show, then enlarged it into the Hippodrome. When the Grand theatre failed, he took that over and conducted both the Grand and the Hippodrome. Then came the sales to the chain theatre organization, in which Mr. Sauvage was retained as local manager and adviser. Now he is out of the theatre altogether, the change taking effect Saturday night. "I think I need a rest," Mr. Sauvage said, "after 50 years of active service in the amusement business of Alton. I have met and known intimately some of the greatest stars in the theatrical business. The list I have brought to Alton is a long one and includes many who perhaps not famous at the time, later rose to fame and fortune. I always did my best to elevate the stage in Alton by bringing in big stars when I could get them. I oftentimes lost money in doing it, as the patronage would not cover my guarantee and expenses, but I kept on, hoping the time would come when I would prosper. The most expensive star I ever brought here, Richard Mansfield, played to a small house and it cost me hundreds of dollars for the seat my wife occupied. I didn't go in to see that show. It was costing me too much." Mr. Sauvage is being succeeded by John Mitchell, who is being promoted from the Edwardsville house. Russell Sauvage, son of W. Sauvage, is remaining as assistant to the city manager. The management takes in the Grand, Princess and the Wood River theatre. The Hippodrome has been closed and dismantled and probably will not be reopened as an amusement place, at least by the present leasees.

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SEEK TRUCE ON THEATER PAY SLASH

Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, May 18, 1931

Two out of three motion picture houses in Alton and Wood River, owned by the Publix Corp., may be closed as the result of a difference of opinion on the part of some of the employees and the corporation as to what wages should be. The company accompanied its demand for a wage reduction with the alternative that in case of refusal of employees to accept a cut in wages, the Princess theatre and the Wood River theatre would be closed in two weeks. The demands of the Publix corporation have been only partially met. It is understood that the ultimatum to the employees held out the hope that if they acceded to the demand of their employers to accept a salary cut, the Princess and the Wood River theatres "might" be saved. When the reduction in pay of 20 percent was demanded by the Publix corporation from the motion picture operators employed in the Grand and Princess theatres in Alton and the Wood River theatre yesterday, the men came back with a counter proposal for a 10 percent reduction as being acceptable to them, on condition. The condition was that all three theatres be kept open as now, and that the Publix corporation sign a contract on that basis for next year, beginning with the month of September. The owners of the three theatres involved demanded a cut of 10 percent only from all other employees in their service in the Grand, Princess and Wood River theatres. The operators union at first flatly refused to consider any proposal for reduction in pay, but later, when the matter was laid before them by William Sauvage, former proprietor, who is still in the Publix service as local adviser, the men said they would compromise and take a 10 percent reduction, but only on condition that there would be no closing of any of the theatres. It may be known in a few days what action the Publix people will take on this compromise proposition. It is understood that the 10 percent reduction is to apply to all the other employees regardless of what the operators may do. There has been some sharp retrenchment in the last six months in these theatres and more is said to be in sight. Publix corporation paid a big price for the Princess after having previously taken over the Grand and the Hippodrome. The Hippodrome was closed permanently and the equipment removed there from. The Princess has had spotty business, some good and some bad, but mostly bad. The Wood River theatre has not been productive of profits commensurate with the investment the house represents to the company.  The Grand theatre has been doing fairly well, but not enough to carry the load of sustaining the investment in the properties, which are, as in the case of the Hippodrome, either non-productive, or not profitable. The ultimatum to the local employees was to the effect that unless the proposal for salary reduction was accepted, the Princess and the Wood River theatre would be closed in two weeks. There are seven operators in the three theatres, three of whom are at the Grand. They draw $1.25 an hour. The theatres, as in the case of the Grand, are open 140 hours a week. At the Grand, the three operators divide the 140 hours. Four of the seven operators would be thrown out of work if the Princess and the Wood River houses are closed. The decision of the Publix organization as to the compromise action taken by the operators on the wage proposition is being awaited with interest. The same corporation demanded and obtained a reduction of 10 percent from operators at East St. Louis, where the wage scale is about twice that of the Alton-Wood River theatres.

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SAUVAGE LEASES HIPPODROME BUILDING

Source: The Telegraph, June 20, 2008 (as published June 20, 1933)

William M. Sauvage had leased the old Hippodrome building at Broadway and Piasa streets. The former mayor had leased the building, which housed the vaudeville-motion picture house, offices, and Brown's Business College. That lease had expired and the place was vacant. The building, about 75 years old, was erected during the same period as the old city hall, and had been occupied for many years by a wholesale drug store. It had twice been the home of newspapers, The Telegraph and the Sentinel-Democrat.

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CONTRACT AWARDED FOR WRECKING HIPPODROME

Source: Alton Telegraph, July 25, 1933

William M. Sauvage awarded the contract for wrecking the Hippodrome building at Broadway and Piasa streets to William Adams. Sauvage had taken a long-term lease on the property, and intended to erect a new building on the site, but had not disclosed any definite plans.

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HIPPODROME RAZED

Source: The Telegraph, August 31, 1933

The razing of the Hippodrome building at Piasa and West Broadway stirred memories of previous occupants of the building. The site had been used by the Washington volunteer fire company; a wholesale house; the Alton Evening Telegraph, and the Alton Democrat; original home of the YMCA; and retail businesses, including the Boston Store. The theater, owned by William M. Sauvage, had a capacity of 750, and it was estimated that the Hippodrome had more than 7.8 million patrons in its 18 years of operation.

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