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About The news-herald. (Plattsmouth, Neb.) 1909-1911 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 30, 1909)
VU1 Wilbur DNesbit.
m a g a
stories dealing with the
nmouni of money expended by the public In lr
M-nrch ;cr amusements, and the aggregate In
dollars, running well up toward f 20,000,000 for
a Mngle season's theatergoing, I a fairly re.
sellable estimate. ',y hat . 'It' costs to provldo
these theatrical amusements for a year, a
month, a week, or even n day, la n subject,
however, ot such Indefinite conjecture that It
has not yet pot Into type, or, If It hat), In such
a desultory nnd fragmentary way, and with so
much omitted and so much taken for granted,
that the figures cannot be tuid to have tarried
much conviction. It Is practically Impossible
to estimate exactly what amount of money tho
theatrical producers .of America expend In
their efforts to eater to the vast clientele
which looks to this' form of amusement for
relief from the dull cares of the dally routine
or the hluhly charged nervous wenr unil tear
of a swift commercial era, but averages are
possible. Ami, thongti lacking somewhat In
dellnltciiess, they tell ,a story of vott treas
ure all being poured through practically tho
one channel of enterprise.
To any one who has not stopped to consid
er the number of theaters required In a great
country like this, the number of people em
ployed, the multifarious business enterprises
directly or Indirectly affect
ed by the unceasing de
mand for theatrical' .amuse-1 :
ment, the figures nt.'' .first
sight ma;,' seem well-nigh .in
credible. Hut It , may be
borne In mind that any fig
ures quoted hero represent
S, Cleveland S, Columbus .1, Cincinnati 11, De
troit 8, Chicago 27, St. Louis 11, Milwaukee 8,
St. Paul G, Minneapolis 10, Umr.hu 4, Kansas
City 8, Denver 4, San Francisco 7, I.os Angelo
7. .New Orleans !, Louisville 5, Indianapolis i,
Number of Theaters In Kuch State (List
Joes not Include theaters In cities mentioned
abovcj Alabama 27, Arizona 12, Arkansas 19,
California (!;!, Colorado 30, Connecticut 34, Del
aware 4, Florida 19. Georgia 33, Idaho 2G, Illi
nois 12'!, Indiana !).", ludlttn Territory 7, Iowa
124, Kansas 81, Kentucky W, Louisiana 21,
Maine 27, Maryland 20, Massachusetts 70,
Michigan MX, Minnesota 07, Mississippi 2fi, Mis
souri fcl, Montana II, Nebraska 70, Nevada 10,
New Hampshire 22, New Jersey 211, New York
150, North Carolina 4G, Ohio l;M, Oklahoma 17,
Oregon 22, Pennsylvania 111, Uhodo Island 11,
South Carolina 27, South Dakota lit!, North Da
kota 16. Tennessee 31, Texas 90, I'tah 39, Ver-.
mont 20, Virginia 42, Washington 22, West Vir
ginia 29, Wisconsin C7, Wyo
ming 13. -Here,
then, wo have tin aggre
gate of 2,H
t'h e a t o r s of
one kind or
It Is a pe
that even the
Now, when it Is remembered that In
tho various estimntes and summaries
the activities of only the three most
nctivo producing organizations have
been considered, and that there are
nt least a dozen firms operating In New
York nnd Chicago who make from
iifiiftfinrTiM ' mr'TiiwVTH
" W lilllll
an average ar
rived at only
consulta 1 1 o n
three or four
of the most
persist e n 1 1 y
tions In A mer
le n ; they
fore, be ac
cepted as rea
worthy. In round bgures there Is Invested In
theatrical ventures In this country about $ 100,
ouo.ouo. Does this sum seem excessive?
Then remember tho TWde expanse of tor
litory represented by the words United States
of America, and try to realize that practically
every city and hamlet in tho land has its the
ater or opera house, that in every case the ac
cessibility of the theater Itself is a matter of
supreme Importance, and that this fact nt
once necessitates the expenditure of high rent
als or the purchase of high-priced properties
that the operator of a theater, In fact, must ex
pect at the very outset to pay the maximum
of property values, whether he leases or buys.
In New York, for Instance, the ttlalto has
steadily moved uptown, keeping pace with tho
city's growth northward, and to-day the costli
est theaters In the world are centered about
Times Square In ltrondway and In the adja
cent liide streets within a radius of half a
dozen blocks from the point of 'supreme com
Main street In the average American village
would not bo Main street.' without Its theater
or "Opera Douse," nnd there can be no' doubt
that In these' smaller communities, as In the
great metropolitan cities, the. theater property
will be found listed nmongjhe most vnluablo
holdings in realty.
In Chicago there arc 27, .Haltlmore ft, Wash
ington 8, TiufTulo 7, Cincinnati 11, while prac
tically every one of the larger cities through
out the country has nn nverago ot from three
to five theaters, and though for tho time being
many of them are given over to moving picture
shows, they nil represent an aggregate of enp
ltal invested for the sake of providing amuse
nn nt for the public. Moreover, In every state
of the union the smaller towns as well as the
capitals and metropolis are well supplied with
temples to the muse. The following table gives
an approximate of the number of. places In
each state where regular attractions are
booked, though there are simie of tho number
undoubtedly that are merely public halls rath
ei than well equipped theaters. Hut It must bo
remembered aho that innumerable minor
towns have halls where theatrical entertain
ments are given, nnd those are not comprised
In the booking schedules.
I'rluclpal (Tiles; Number of Theaters. New
York 75, Mrooklyu 23, Jersey City" 4, Hobokenl,
Newark 8, lloston 15, Providence 6, Philadel
phia 23, Hulilmor 9. Washington S. Buffalo 7.
Km neuter 5, Albany 5, ryrticuM 3, riMsbui'R
puritanically Inclined farmer with a head deau
set against tho theaters, Is often, though he
may not know It, tinder obligations to the the
ntrlcal producer for the profits that enable him
to "lift the mortgage from the old plnee." For
- the scenery there Is required lumber, from
which the frames to hold the cttnvas are made,
bringing a profit to the lumber yards, then to
the mill, nnd finally back to tho lumberman or
farmer who owned the standing timber. Hun
dreds of thousands of square yards of canvas
nnd linen are used lo cover these frames, and
hero the returns, first to the dealer, event
ually reach Ihe manufacturer who sold hltn the -material,
and ultimately get to tho men who
grew the cotton and flax the farmer once
again. Immense quantities of hardware are
also used, with the resultant profit to the deal
er, the manufacturer, nnd the miner, and from
many sources the wage earner, had he the
mind to do so, might ultimately trace his earn
ings to tho door of tho theater.
In Klaw & Krlangcr's production of "Men
llur," for Instance, one of the largest of all
theatrical organizations, for which an entirely
new equipment is being mado this season,
over five miles of rope are used for hoisting
and lowering the scenery, and another class of
people derive their various benefits from this
need of the producer. There are used also
thousands of yards of Invisible netting and
giiU7.es. All of this was Imported formerly,
but most of It Is now manufactured In this
country. Last, but by no means least, over
2.000 costumes are used In "Hen Hur" alone.
The lowest estimate of a good one-night
stand house Is $100 n week, and this Is pos
sible only when the local mnnnger can get
free labor for the running of the stage, as In
towns where boys nnd young men will quali
fy as grips in order to have tho privilege of
seeing the shows. In such cases they charge
nothing for their services.
The regular stage staff of a theater for a
small show consists of six fly and gallery men,
two property men, two electricians, two car
penters and six grips. The carpenters and elec
ttlclans get from $25 to $30 a week, tho grips
get from $1.00 to $1.50 a night.- This Is only
for a small show. In a large spectaelo like
"Little Nemo.V for Instance, 40 property boys
alono wove required. "The Sins of Society," a
large, spectacular melodrama which Klaw &
Krlanger produced In Chicago In the spring,
required 35 stage hands, 21 clearers, 14 elec
tricians, extra wardrobe women, nnd enlarged
orchestra. The regular acting staff was sup
plemented, moreover by 120 men supers and
60 or more women supers. These people get
nn average of f0 cents n night, and ns there
are numerous shows on tho road which re
quire from ten to fifty "extra people" another
large sum of money Is expended in Items not
covering the actual acting cast.
Uefore the curtain line for tho average at
traction an orchestra lender nnd an orchestra
of ten men are required. The leader gets $30,
and tho others $25 a week.
live hundred tailors, seamstresses, dress
makers, buttonhole makers, nnd bootmakers
draw revenue from this department alone,
which must still depend upon occasional out
side concerns In times of special pressure,
when many shows are making ready for th
season. If armor Is required, It Is Imported.
In a season In New York there aro em
ployed In the various theaters and depart
ments about 200 wig makers, 800 ushers, l.nno
bill posters, 2,000 stag hands, 2no property
men, 500 scenic artists. 200 shoemakers, 1,000
musicians, 200 electricians, 5;000 costumers,
dressmakers, etc.' It Is estimated that 65 peo
ple on nn average are employed to operate a
big Iiroadway theater, and with the actors,
singers and choruses Included, It Is possibly
no exaggeration to say that such a theater em
ploys more people and pays them better than
tho largest store In a town of 100,000 Inhabi
tants. In the season there are employed In
New York about 5,000 chorus girls, Including
those who have small roles, and whom tho
showmen still regard as members of the chor
us, though they and their friends would prob
ably resent the Imputation. The average sal
ary of these girls Is $18 a week. Principals,
of course, command large sums when they can
llnd work, nnd the few favored ones may earn
nt times ns much as $1,000. The oft-repeated
statement that star nctors are better paid than
Vnited States senators, supreme court Jus
tices, governors or mayors. Is probably not un
true In certain specific eases.
The printing bill for largo cities in the case
of a big hhow like "Pen llur" will call for
$1,000 a week, and will not drop much below
that in smaller places. The salary sheet, the
live stock, the orchestra, and the printing are
tho fixed charges or a show. These are never
changed, except In case business does not come
up to expectations, In which case the shrewd
manager, us one representative put It, will in
crease his advertising the only real method
of Increasing his receipts.
Variable items are the railroad fares and
transfer accounts, the latter being the charges
for hauling tho scenery and properties, trunks,
etc., to and from the theaters to the cars. In
a broken week the local' transfer charges of
about $300 are doubled.
Tho average profit of a successful season
for a manager Is about ten per cent.
It U estimated that Charles Frohman em
ploys, directly or Indirectly, In America nnd
England nbout 10,000 persons. The extent of this
manager's enterprises may be Imagined from
tho following letter, which was recently sent
by Alf Hay man to Hollls E. Cooley, secretary
of the National Association of Theatrical Pro
ducing Managers. In response to Mr. Cooley's
request, nt tho time the theatrical copyright
was being jointly sought by all the managers,
for a statement of Charles Frohman's grpss
Investments In theatrical properties:
Mr. Hollls R. Cooley, Secretary, The Nation
al Association of Theatrical Producing
Managers, 1.410-11 Times Building, City:
Hoar Sir: As requested by you, I am here
with handing you a statement of the gross In
vestment In theatrical properties, together
with a tabulated statement of annual expendi
tures and persons employed. The statement
Involves the value of the theaters both owned
and controlled by us and are ns follows:
Annual salaries, performers and
theater employes $,750,000
Annual cost of productions (over) 400,009
Annual railroad fares 750,000
Annual printing and advertising. 500,000
Annual transfer and hauling
The foregoing statement Is, as you under
stand, not computed to a ptnny from our
books, but It Is an approximate statement and
Is reasonably accurate. If I can furnish you
with any further InfornjivMon In the premise?
plVie advlM m. Yours sincerely.
three to ten productions a season,
while innumerable companies are
operated by Individuals, the orig
inal estimate of $100,000,000 Invest
ed will seem reasonable enough.
With the New York theater occu
pying nn expensive site, and h.i'f a
dozen other theaters In process of
erection in New York, with new
theaters projected In Chicago and
vnrious other large cities,, with a
constant Increase In competition
nnd the necessity for augmented
expenditures, each linn trying to
outdo Its rival in lavlshness of pro
duction, more and more money is
being poured each year luto this
one channel of enterprise, and
more and more of It, overflowing
the confines of its original Inten
tion, filters out through various
ihannels to bring profit to Innum
erable people who would be greatly
surprised to learn to whom they
are indebted for their .wages. The strictly
practical economists might put much of tho
expenditure under the head of unproductive
consumption of wealth, since much of It Is ul
timately wasted. The same amount, for In
stance, employed In fertilizing vast acres of
barren unused land would ultimately produce
a greater communal benefit.
There Is probably not more than a fraction
of one per cent, of truth in that unpleasant
old proverb, "When poverty comes in nt the
door love flies out of the window," but it is
not to be denied that when poverty is the
first to take possession poor love has to sit
on the doorstep nnd wait.
All through the year inoa the little god
had been shivering outside many homes where
lie had every expectation of spending a cozy
nnd perfectly delightful twelvemonth. And
during the yeHr of hard times marriages fell
off 20 per cent.
In Manhattan borough alone nearly 20,ooo
persons nro going nbout In single blessedness
or otherwise, as they take It who ought
from tho statistician's point of view to have
been married lust year.
Tho statistician takes a cold-blooded view
of it, merely marking it dow n ns nn interest
ing fact to be "footed up" with other interest
ing facts. He hasn't a word to Fay about"
love's young dream nnd hope deferred and nil
the furtive tears for which those 10.000 non
existent marriages are responsible. You can't
make averages of such things as a young
man's disappointment nnd a nice girl's heart
ache. The results of hard times are always, first
of nil, fewer diamonds Imported and fewer
inarrlnges recorded. Jewels nnd matrimony
go hand In hand, ns Indications of a rising or
falling in the barometer of prosperity. .
It was one of those moments when after
dinner comfort nnd n pervading atmosphere
of congeniality and well being are conducive
to a flow of Intellectuality. Smith, casting
about for a topic that might serve as a ve
hicle for a flight among the upper spheres,
hit upon a happy thought.
"How remarkable It Is that after Michael
Angelo Italy produced so few great archi
tects." ho remarked.
Jones heard with a sinister smile.
"Why, what's the matter with Lanuilie?"
"Well, Lanuche hardly added anything to
the art. should yon sny?" said Smith.
"Then there's Teruche," commented Jones.
"1 have always regarded Teruche as rather
decadent," was Smith's response, accompanied
by a lofty wave.
"Oh, distinctly fourth rate."
' There still remains Skabuche," suggested
Smith turned a fishy eye upon each member
of the group and Inst ot all upon Jones. And
then tamo the explosion. When tho merri
ment had subsided somewhRt Smith enme to
ine snatch manfully.
"Waiter:" he railed.
Grandpa had u wooden lrx
Anil throughout his life In- linastej
I None could take 1dm dow n a pen
' For few men like In- weiv puMi-d.
(iiandpii wore an auburn win
And his laiusrhoM always divadcd
List some nne Hit: wig hiIk'U t"'i.i?
And thus make grandpa ii d-lieaded.
One of Kianda"s eyi-R was ulass,
Its expression wan disdainful
Thus it was it came to pass
People thought Ills looks were pane
lul. (jiandpa's artifii ial le Hi
Olti-n holpi 1 tho poor old sinner;
When deceit lie was beneath
lli- would senil his teeth In dinner.
Grandpa's cars were slow to hear
And lids caused h! ill lot of Rurrnw.
If you'd sny, "Let's have a beer,"
He'd not eati-h it till to-morrow.
fiianilpa's Minimi h once played oh!.
For It truly needed rest lux.
When his living wan in doulil
Me observed that he'd dfKi-stin.tr.
(Iramlpa ciiiriett luuiiy a near
: And his spine was known to laek
. So he'd m-vt-r go to war
: For ho didn't have the backbone.
He could quote from good old Hor
Uut when for it loan we'd long
Ho would seldom coukIi up for us.
Some of the fixed stars have been
appearing every night for 50.000,000
years and this without being fea
tured in n Clyde Fitch play.
When a fly settles to the ground
the whole earth rises to meet It. ThH
is more readily believed when we
think how suddenly tho whole earth
rises to smite a man who falls on the
A fox terrier six inches high nnd
one foot long can dig a hole three
feet, deep in one minute. To dig the
Panama cunnl In one month would
only require a fox terrier 8!) feet Ions
and ten feet high.
Ordinary thought moves in waves
that radiate nt the rate of SO fet per
second. When a man bumps into a
chair in the dark his thought surges
in billows that radiate at a speed of
l0 miles per Kreond.
An instrument has been Invented
that will measure the light and heat,
of stars that are invisible to the
naked eye. It Is of similar count ruc
tion to a gas meter.
Tho pearl Is caused by something
an oyster cannot cough up. It Is often
bought by something that r. lobster
A woman shopping for a dress con
sumes S.OOO foot-pounds of energy nn
hour. Her husband, when he gets the
bill, consumes 93.G10 pounds of foot
energy per minute.
A soft boiled egg contains more en
ergy than a pound of beefsteak. A
soft, spoiled egg contains energy
enough to clear a stage.
If all the useless questions asked in
the world In 24 hours were repre
sented by Interrogation points nnd put
In line they would extend ten feet
beyond the orbit of Neptune.
If nil the cigars smoked In the
world each day were rolled into one
the man smoking it. could light It on
the center of the sun and use the
moon for an ash tray. He would be,
In proportion to tho cigar, so tall that
he would have been dead and burled
ten thousand years before he heard
his wife telling him that ho'was smok
ing too much.
Caesar's Little Jest.
"All (!aul Is divided Into three
parts," wrote Caesar. Putting down
his pen he smiled sagely and re
marked: "They'll have lo use a lot of loga
rithms and the differential calculus
to figure out the Latin Quarter
Gentlemen's Bay Windows.
Asaucl Stickney, we are Informed
by the local papers of Clinletbore, O.,
Is thinking of building a new b.iy
window lor himself this spring. Gen
tlemen who aro foitunnte enough to
have buy windows nre usuuliy careful
to remodel them ns the fashions
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