Monday, January 24, 2022

Burns Theatre Vaudeville - Part One


Hey all! Over the weekend I attended the Denver Postcard and Paper Show, and scored and amazing cache of 1921-1923 Colorado Springs vaudeville programs and handbills, from my friend Susan Backer (Facebook link). This is one of the most amazing collections of Pikes Peak-area entertainment ephemera I have ever seen.

All are from the Burns Theatre, which was located at 21 – 23 East Pikes Peak Avenue. The venue was built in 1912, and remained a vaudeville staple until 1927, when it was converted into a movie house (and later known as the Chief Theatre). It was torn down in 1973. 

There are so many programs and handbills, I'm going to have to divide it into two posts. 

Most mention Pantages Vaudeville. The Burns Theatre was included in what was called the "Pantages Circuit," which included venues around the United States, which booked and rotated touring acts on long-term contracts. A few show some silent film titles.

(Click each to enlarge) 

March 1-2, 1921

Acts: "Private Property" (Musical Comedy), Walton & Bryant, Robert Swan, Mabel Blondell, Kennedy & Francis, International News, Burns Orchestra. Also mentions Chas. Ray in "19 and Phyllis."

September 12-13, 1921

Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, Baby June Hovick and Pals, Tim Whelan & Priscilla King, Sidney Stein & Billy Smith ("The Brazilian Diplomats"), A Japanese Romance (Nace Murray). Back of program mentions "The Scoffer" (Rhea Mitchell, James Kirkwood, Mary Thurman, and Philo McCullogh), and "Nobody" (Jewel Carmen).

January 30-31, 1922

Acts: General Pantages Vaudeville ad. Also includes Sessue Hayakawa ("Five Days to Live") and Norma Talmage in "The Wonderful Thing," and Ben Turpin in "Loves' Outcast."

February 6-7, 1922

Acts: Mlle. Paula - Aerial Gymnast, Roland & Ray, Neil McKinley, House of David Band, Grace Darmond, Joe Scheftell's Creole Fashion Revue NOTE: "Next week's vaudeville bill will include Ethel Barrymore" 

October 23-24, 1922 
Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, Page & Green, Ward & King, Crane Sisters, "Indoor Sports" (Warren Warren, Bonnie Beck, June Floodis, Billy Green), The Caledonia Four, Jarvis Revue (Will Jarvis), Serenade (George Walsh). Also mentions the Georgia Minstrels and "The Emperor Jones" (Charles Gilpin)

April 2-3, 1923
Acts: Burns Orchestra, International News, The Artist's Dream (Lew Kessler, Joyce Lands, Florence McClurg), Catherine Van Digriffe Unger ("The Littlest Prima Dona), "Just in Time (Mr. Walter Law, Betty Marvin and Ray Gallagher), Mr. Cleveland Davis, Rinaldo Brothers, Helen Hamilton and Jack Barnes, Aleko, Panthea and Presco; Jack Goldie, Jack Patton and Loretta Mark

Stay tuned for eight additional programs, posted next Monday.

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