Unique Theatre Program has a Unique Feature

      As vaudeville entered the twentieth century, it worked hard to present itself to the public as wholesome family entertainment. During these years, actresses were regarded as little more than prostitutes and performing on stage was considered shameful. Many Americans viewed both vaudeville and silent movies as immoral, profane, or lewd, something that explains why, on the reverse of this program, theater management took pains to write, “A strictly moral family theatre” and “Polite Modern Vaudeville.” And they offer a special price for children.

      The Unique Theatre in Los Angeles had one feature I haven’t seen anywhere else: Amateur Night every Thursday. Can you make out the last act listed at the bottom of the program where it says Thursday Night: the Amateurs?

      Underneath that it says, “Persons desiring to adopt the Stage as a Profession, may have an opportunity to appear behind the footlights by making application at Box Office not later than Wednesday of each week.”

      Must have been something like American Idol!

      Little is known of the Unique Theatre; it was gone by 1910, when another building was constructed on that site.

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Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  
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