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Theatrical & Entertainment News History.
Old news items related to Bay City. (Page added June, 2010)

Preface - There isn't much documentation to be found on the history of local theater, yet what exists, leaves an impression theater (entertainment) related to Bay City's past would have been a very interesting experience. The following are what we've found covering a variety of items that you may find interesting.

1881 – Fisher Opera House.

Musical Courier

Bay City, Mich., September 5, 1881.

-- The Fisher Opera House at West Bay City, Mich., was burned on Monday night of last week. Loss $20,000; insurance, $6,000.

-- Bay City, Mich., September 5. -- The dramatic season was opened August 25 by Sol Smith Russell in “Edgewood Folks.” September 10, Augustin Daily's Fifth Avenue Company will appear in “Needles and Pins,” with a matinee Saturday afternoon. September 15 we are to have “Hazel Kirke,” followed by the Hess English Opera Company. The sale of reserved seats has been changed from the post office to Van Syckle's music store, -- “an agreeable change,” so the ladies say.

  • Note: The Fisher Opera House was built by S. O. Fisher and H. H. Norrington, in 1876, a year later Fisher bought out Norrington's interest. After the fire in 1881 Fisher built a new block in 1882, which included a new opera house, it also included council rooms for West Bay City. -- [History of Bay Co., MI. 1883]

    1885 – Harry Watson, of West Bay City.

    The Michigan Argonaut, Vols. 3-4. (Univ. of Mich.)

    A decidedly fine entertainment is offered at the Opera House next Thursday evening, October 9th, and which introduces some unquestionably good talent. Mr. Harry Watson is without doubt one of the leading Dutch comedians now on the stage. He is ably seconded by Mrs. Watson, and several other variety and specialty artists. The fun is continuous and always clean and neat, never stepping beyond the limits of strict propriety. The jokes are new and fresh, and are sure to produce wrinkles in the faces of those present. Altogether we can promise a very delightful entertainment.

    1886 – Edwin Booth at Woods Opera House.

    September 20, Edwin Booth to appear at opera house, Bay City, Mich.

    1886 – Fire at Bay City Opera House.

    The Chronicle Weekly Journal

    Fire losses: Bay City, Mich., Opera House; loss $50,000; insurance $13,500.

    1886 – Woods Opera House at Bay City.

    The Theater

    The McCaul companies. The week of September 6 will be spent in Hamilton and London, Canada, and Bay City and East Saginaw, Mich., in each of which cities they will inaugurate the amusement season, and in Bay City will be the first attraction of the new Opera House, just completed.

    1887 – Show at Woods Opera House.

    The Michigan Argonaut, Vol. 6.

    No actor ever received the greeting on his initial appearance in Bay City that was accorded Charles Erin Verner at the opera house last night. There was standing room only, from parquette to gallery. In fact, it Was the largest house of the season. And “Shamus O'Brien” was deserving of its hearty greeting. No Irish drama ever seen here was so thoroughly enjoyed as was that of “Shamus O'Brien.” “The Ivey Left” and “My Geraldine” must give away to Verner's. The company is a strong one, evenly balanced, and the way they worked last night to please, proved that their best efforts were being put forth. The play is not too highly colored to be realistic. Some of the climaxes are sensational but they have to be. The audience demands that they be there.

    Mr. Verner became a favorite as soon as his jolly, good natured face was seen in the first act and he grew in popularity as the play progressed, for he is about as clever an actor as is ever seen. -- Bay City Tribune.

    1892 – Buckley & Clay, theater managers.

    History of Saginaw and Bay Counties, Mich.

    Page 403. (Bio. Frank J. Buckley, father John)

    The father of our subject was a contractor and builder of salt blocks in Syracuse, N.Y., and came to Saginaw to carry on the same line of work and put up some of the first blocks that were there located. In 1873 he engaged in the theatrical business with Samuel G. Clay and built the Saginaw Theatre and afterwards the Bay City Opera House which he put up in 1885, and which was afterwards sold to a stock company. He was theatrical manager for eighteen years and the only man who ever made a success of that business in the Saginaw Valley. He died in December, 1890, at the age of fifty years at Bay City, where he had long made his home, although he had acted as manager of both Port Huron and St. Louis, Mich.

  • Woods Opera House at Bay City.

    1892 – Theaters in Bay City.

    Theatres in the United States

    Bay City, Mich.

    - Grand Opera House. Seats 1,000, Messrs. Clay, BuckleyPowers.
    - Wood's Opera House. - Seats 1,400. Managers, Messrs. Clay and Buckley.
    - New Opera House - Seats 1,600. Manager, James Antisdel.

    1904 – Washington Theater, J.W. Daunt.

    Julius Cahn's Official Theatrical Guide

    Bay City, Mich. -- Washington Theatre. Woods Opera House Co., Ltd, owners. W. J. Daunt, mgr. Seating capacity, 1,600. Width of proscenium opening, 38 ft. Height, 31 ft. Depth footlights to back wall, 4 ft. Between side walls, 62 ft. Between fly galleries, 50 ft. State to footlights 4 ft. Between side walls, 62 ft. Between fly galleries, 50 ft. State to rigging loft, 57 ft. No groves. Depth under state, 8 ft. 6 in. Traps, 1 center and 1 each side. Theatre on ground floor. Paper required, 9 stands, 60 3-sheets, 250 lithos. Ed Till, mgr. of stage and bill posting.

    1907 – Actor, William B. Mack, of Bay City.

    The Actors' Birthday Book

    William B. Mack.

    An actor who as come conspicuously before the New York public in recent seasons, William B. Mack is fast gaining an excellent reputation as one of our best character actors and many bright prophesies are made for his future. He was born in Bay City, Mich., and served his stage apprenticeship in various traveling and stock companies, finally joining the forces of Clay Clements, with whom he appeared in “The New Dominion” and “A Southern Gentleman.” After this he was with Walker Whiteside in repertoire for several seasons, and then came his Broadway debut, the season of 1902-03, in the support of Mrs. Fiske, playing Simon in “Mary of Magdala.” Mr. Mack remained in the support of Mrs. Fiske until December, 1906, and many were the successes that came to him while in her company. It was the night of October 5, 1903, that saw his first big triumph, when he played Tesman in “Hedda Gabler,” all the critics giving him praise for this portrayal, and a year later he knew additional fame for his Schram in “Leah Kleschna.” Among some of the other roles that Mr. Mack played under the Fiske management wer Guiseppe in “Divorcons,” Phil McDonnel in “A Bit of Old Chelsea.” Dr. Rank in “A Doll's House,” Pitt Crawley in “Becky Sharp,” Didier in “The Eyes of the Heart,” Father Bertrand in “A Light from St. Agnes,” Mr. Trowbridge in “Mary Versus John,” and William Sudley in “The New York Idia,” a most versatile list of roles. After deserting the Fiske camp, he played Stephen Roland in “The Truth,” supporting Clar Bloodgood, and was then with Alia Nazimova, playing his former role in “Hedda Gabler.” An actor who has accomplished a great deal, Mr. Mack, unless the predictions of wiseacres go astray, will be a leading light among to-morrow's greatest character actors in this county.

    1909 - New Wenonah Theater.

    The Moving Picture World

    Bay City, Mich. -- The “Wenonah” is Bay City's newest moving picture theater, and is one that ranks among the best picture house in the United States. Its seating capacity is 300, and the manager, Mr. Leahy, was more than surprised to see the large audience that attended his playhouse opening night.

    1911 - Charles D. Burnham dies at Bay City.

    Monarchs of Minstrelsy from "Daddy" Rice to Date.

    Charles D. Burnham, an old-time comedian, was with Green's Mocking Birney Minstrels in 1871, also various other company's. He married Miss Jennie Davis at Kingston, Canada, January 5, 1872. He died at Bay City, Mich., August 1, 1902.

    1913 Aug. 21 - Showing in Bay City theaters.

    The Moving Picture World, Vol. 25.
    Page 1341.

    "The Call of the North" played a return date at the Aladdin theater in Bay City.

    The Bijou at Bay City, is being redecorated. Pink predominates in the interior and tan in the lobby.

    The Wenonah Beach Casino, at Bay City showed to grocers and butchers at a picnic, films of their outing, held the year before.

    1914 - Actor, William B. Mack.

    Who's Who in Music and Drama

    Mack, William B. -- Actor.

    Born Bay City, Mich; ed. In native city. His firt theatrical engagement was in the support of Harry Townsend, a Shakespearian actor popular in earlier days of Am. Theatricals. Concluding this engagement he appeared on tour with a number of small cos., presenting a wide range of plays, eventually appearing with Clay Clement, with whom he remained two seasons, appearing in The New Dominion and A Southern Gentleman. After a seaon in California stock cos., appeared with Walker Whiteside on tour, making his New York debut as Simon, with Mrs. Fiske in Mary of Magdals, Manhattan, New York, Nov. 19, 1902, with whom he appeared on tour, appearing also as Tesman in Hedda Gabler, as Schram in Leah Kleschna, as Giuseppe in Divorcons, as Dr. Rank in A Doll's House, as Father Bertrand in A light From St. Agnes, as Pitt Crawley in Becky Sharp, as Phil McDonald in A Bit of Old Chelsea, as Didlier in The Eyes of the Heart, as Mr. Trowbridge in Mary vs. John, as William Sudley in The New York Idea, and other important roles in her rep., 1902-06. His next engagement was as Stephen Roland with Clara Bloodgood in The Truth Criterion, New York, Jan. 7, 1907, after which he repeated many of his form parts in the support of Mm. Nazimova, when that actress made her first appearance in English at the Bijou, New York, Mar. to June, 1907. He also appeared as Helmer, with Ethel Barrymore in A Doll's House, and thereafter appeared as Dick Richards in Society and the Bull Dog., Daly's New York, Jan. 18, 1908, and in Brewster's Millions, on tour, 1908; as Marsh in Via Wireless, Liberty, New York, Nov. 2, 1908; with Mabel Taliaferro on tour, 1909; in the Spendthrift (then named Waste), on tour, 1909; as George Cowper in The Gamblers, Maxine Elliot's, New York, Oct. 31, 1910; as The General with Dustin and William Farnum in The Littlest Rebel, Liberty, New York, Nov. 14, 1911; as Jose Garson in Within The Law, Princess, Chicago, Apr. 6, 1912, later Eltinge, New York, Sept. 11, 1912. Permanent address: The Lambs, New York.

    1917 – Harry Watson, of West Bay City.

    Photoplay

    A.G. Chicago – Yes, Bill Hart told us he shook hands with you. He thinks you're an awfully nice gal. Harry Watson (Musty Suffer) isn't that bad looking in real life. He is a native of West Bay City, Mich., and traveled with the circus before going into vaudeville.

    1917 NOv. 13 – Fire Wenonah Theater, new theater.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 11.

    WENONAH TO REBUILD.
    Work has already started on the reconstruction of the Wenonah theatre, Bay City, recently damaged by fire. It will reopen early in December.

    Page 31.

    NEW BAY CITY HOUSE OPENS SOON.
    The new Davidson theatre, Bay City, of which will be manger, is due to open within the next 30 days.

    1917 Dec. 11 - Manager change at Bijou.

    Michigan Film Review

    BUTTERFIELD THEATRE NEWS.
    Col. W. S. Butterfield announces the following transfers made in managers on his circuit of theatres; F. Gale Wallace from Bijoy, Bay City, to the Majestic at Flint, and Charles Leach from the Jeffers-Strand, Saginaw, to the Bijou, Bay City.

    1917 Dec. 17 - Bijou pictures 6 days, vaudeville Sundays.

    Michigan Film Review

    BUTTERFIELD IN DETROIT.
    Col. W.S. Butterfield, of the Butterfield Circuit of Theatres in Michigan, was in Detroit last week back from New York where he looked at several big film attractions which he will likely purchase for the state. He was confined to his hotel for several days while in New York with a bad cold.

    Out of Bay City and Ann Arbor, and all of his threatres are doing nicely and business seems to be about normal.

    In Ann Arbor the Majestic is playing vaudeville three days with pictures three days. About 25 per cent of the college students have gone to war which has put a crimp into the business.

    The Bijou in Bay City will play pictures six days and vaudeville on Sundays.

    Col. Butterfield has a new theatre in Battle Creek that will seat 1,450, cost about $100,000, and open about Sept. 1, 1918. It will play pictures.

    1917 Dec. 25 – Family theater.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 108.

    Caught on the Fly.
    The Family Theatre in Bay City has looked up the entire list of State Film Company special features.

    1918 Mar. 12 - Alladin manager heading south.

    Michigan Film Review. Page 217.

    LEAHY GOES SOUTH.
    R. P. Leahy, of the Alladin theatre, Bay City, leaves this week for the south to be gone about three weeks.

    Page 226. New Regent near readly.

    NEW REGEANT, BAY CITY, NEARLY READY.
    Fred Williams, promoter and manager of the new Regent theatre, Bay City , says the house will open about April 1st. The premiere attaction will be the "Auction Block," a Goldwyn picture. The theatre wills seat about 1500 and will be very beautiful and artistic. Mr. Williams has signed a Goldwyn francise for 13 pictures after having seen most of them. He will play each Goldwyn for three days.

    1918 Mar. 26 - Leahy returning in few weeks.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 260.

    Dick Leahy, of the Wenonah and Washington-Strand theatres, Bay City, writes that he is enjoying his southern vcation and that he will be back in a few weeks.

    1918 April 2 - Family theatre has new owner.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 274.

    The Family at Bay City changed hands, last Saturday and is now owned by W. A. Cowans. W. D. LaTour was the former manager and owner. Cowan is new man in game.

    REGENT, BAY CITY, NOW OPEN.
    The new Regent theatre, Bay City, Fredd B. Williams manger, was formaly opened last Saturday night to tremendous crowds. "The Auction" was the attraction. The Regent theatre cost $750,000 and seats 1,400. There are 486 seats on the lower floor, 494 in the balcony and 60 in the boxes and loges. More about this next week.

  • See Regent Theater history page for article on opening.

    1918 April 9 - Simpson returns to Woodside theatre.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 306.

    LLOYD SIMPSON, recently with Vitagraph and the Dawn Masterplay, is back at the Woodside theatre, Bay City, giving it his personal and undivided attention.

    1918 April 30 - New media for Wenonah theater.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 335.

    Dick Leahy, of the Wenonah theatre, Bay City, has booked the Free Press Weekly, being produced by the Metropolitan Co., of Detroit. He will show each release two days.

    1918 May 14 - New owner of Wenonah and Washington theatres.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 361.

    STEELE BUYS LEAHY INTEREST.
    James Steele, division manager for Paramount has purchased the interests of Dick Leahy in the Wenonah Theatre Co., operating the Wenonah and Washington theatres, Bay City. Mr. Watson is already managing the houses and doing the booking. Mr. Leahy has made no announcement as to his future intentions. Mr. Steele has quite a chain of theatres, one that will shortly open in Detroit, seating 2,000; one in Findlay, Ohio; one in Indiana and several in Pittsburg. However, these are his own theatres and not Paramount.

    Page 374.

    "LONG MAY IT LIVE."
    Bay City, Mich., May 8, 1918.
    Michigan Film Review.
    Friend Smith: Enclosed find check for $2.00 for 365 days' subscription to the best little Boosting Trade Magazine on the market. Long may it live and prosper.
    FRED B. WILLIAMS.

    1918 May 28 - Regent signs World pictures, Watson in Detroit.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 403.

    REGENT, BAY CITY, SIGNS FOR WORLD.
    Fred Williams, of the Regent theatre, Bay City, has signed for World pictures, and will show them two dys each. Mr. Williams has also contracted for World comedies and will show each release three days.

    Page 407.

    W.C. Watson, manager of the Wenonah and Washington-Strand, Bay City, was in Detroit last week rearranging his bookings.

    1918 June 4 - Leahy in Detroit.

    Michigan Film Review.

    Page 419.

    Dick Leahy, of Bay City, was a Detroit visitor last week. While Mr. Leahy has disposed of his stock in the Wenonah Theatre Co., he still owns the property. The theatre company is simply a leasing operating company.

    1918 June 11 - Show worth seeing at Bijou.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 428.

    Everyone Should See It.

    Headquarters 56th Co., M. S. T.
    The Armory, Bay City, Mich.
    Manager Patterson, Bijou Theatre:

    Please accept our acknowledgement of gratitude to you for our invitation to be your guests at Ambassador Gerard's "My Four Years in Germany."

    Every one should see these pictures. It makes the undecided individual decided; it stengthens the impulse of our selective men who are being called to the service.

    We say to the public; "Come on! go see this, these pictures, "it will help your spines, and make you loosen up for the Red Cross.

    Respectfully

    A. B. RADIGAN, Capt.
    CHAS. D. WILLARD, 2d Lieut.

    1918 July 9 - Regent theatre equipment for sale.

    Michigan Film Review.

    FOR SALE - Two brand new first class, moving picture machines; never been used; fully equipped, motor drive and speed control. Cheap for cash. For particulars address FRED B. WILLIAMS, Regent Theatre, Bay City, Mich.

    1918 July 30 - New manager at Bijou.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 510.

    RUTHERFORD TO BAY CITY.
    James Rutherford, for three years house manager and press agent of the Miles theatre, Detroit, has been appointed manger of the Bijou theatre, Bay City, for Col. W. S. Butterfield. "Jim" was for 22 years in the amusement business, covring circuses, vauldeville and the legitimate, having been a producer, state director and actor during that time. Good luck, Jim.

    1918 - Aug. 6 - Tarzan good show at Washington-Strand.

    Michigan Film Review.
    Page 522.

    Manager Watson, of the Washington-Strand, Bay City, played "Tarzan of the Apes" to three days. Business was very good.

    1918 - Aug. 20 -

    Michigan Film Reviw.
    Page 535.

    ED BEATTY, of the Butterfield Theatres, has signed a Triangle contract to use Triangle Plays in his Bijou Theatre in Bay City for SEVEN DAYS EVERY WEEK. Mr. Beatty doesn't pick poor or even middle class pictures for any of his theatres. It would be suicide to play picturs that he did not KNOW were good.

    1918 - Aug 27 - Regent signs with Triangles, drawing good at Bijou.

    Page 546.

    The Regent Theatre, Bay City, has signed for the entire Goldwyn output for the coming season, which means the seven stars. Also "Heart of the Sunset," "The Manxman," Selexart pictures and Capital comedies, all being released through Goldwyn.

    Page 550. ASK ED. BEATTY ABOUT TRIANGLES.
    E. C. Beatty, of the Butterfield theatres, is playing Traingles all week in his Bay City house, the Bijou. They have been going so well that he gave the Triangle dates on quite a few pictures for his Saginaw theatre last week.

    Page 551.

    Regent theatre, Bay City, has signed contracts for the use of all the General Film Co., special releases -- "Her Moment," "Hypocrites," "Shame," and several more.

    1918 Sep. 24 - Washington-Strand reopens.

    Michigan Film Review

    The Washington-Strand, Bay City, re-opened Saturday, September 7th, after being close for a period of five weeks during alterations. The house has been completely redocorated throughout, the prevailing color-scheme is ivory and gold which makes a very pleasing contrast. New furniture and tapestries have been installed as well as new state setting making it one of the finest houses in northern Michigan. T. D. Harris, formerly leader of orchestra at the Criterion, New York, has charge of the orchestra consisting of nine men. The Washington-Strand, as well as the Wenonah, Bay City, are leased by the Pittsburg parties. W. C. Watson is resident manager of above houses.

    1918 – Who's who from Bay City.

    International Who's Who in Music and Musical Gazettee

    HASTINGS, George Albert:

    Bass (rant 2 ½ octaves: b. Bay City, Mich., s. Christopher Albert H.; ed. Park Sch., Bay City; stud. Wash.; unmarried. Has sung Tenando in “Trovators,” 1914; Plunkeet in “Martha,” 1915; Daland in “Flying Dutchman,” 1915; Casper in “Der Freischult.” 1916; bass parts in “Elijah” and “Messiah”; appeared with Theo Karie and Constantino; soloist Amphion Soc., 3 yrs. Schubert Club, 1 yr., Arion Soc., 2 yrs.; at present soloist St. Marks Ch. Mem. Aphion Soc.; Verein Arion. Address 702 Fisher Studio Bldg., Seattle, Wash. Home 406 East John St., Seattle, Wash.

    WERLEIN, Elizabeth I:

    Singer, patron: b. Bay City, Mich. d. Henry H. and Maria Louise (Smith) Thomas; ed. In Europe; stud. Singing w. Antonio Baldelli and Jean de Reszke in Paris. Active patron of music, sec.-treas. New Orleans Philharmonic Soc., an organization of 2,000 mem. (largest in the southern U.S.). Address: 228 St. Charles ave, New Orleans, La.

    MUELLER, Therese von Nostits:

    Pianist, lecturer, teacher; b. Port Huron, Mich., May 30, 1877, daughter of John J. and Hermine (Liersch) von Nostitz; niece of Johannes Wolff von Ehrenstein, blind pianist and composer, of Dresden; educated pulbic schools, Detroit, Mich., student piano with Franz A. Apel, Julius V. Seyler, Harold Henry; married Adolph F. Mueller, Detroit, July 12, 1901. Began teaching when 15 years-old; played and lectured throughout Michigan; accompanist for Marie Herites, Bohemian violinist, 2 years, and many other artists in Bay City and Detroit. Vice-president Michigan Music Teachers' Association, 6 years. Address: 610 N. Sheridan St., Bay City, Mich.

    COOKE, James Francis:

    Editor, teacher, organist, conductor; born Bay City, Mich., Nov. 14, 1875, son of George Anderson and Caroline Barsheba (Johnson) C.; educated public schools, Brooklyn Boys High School; studied with Walter Henry Hall, R. Huntington Woodman, E. Ebberhard in America, Herman Ritter, Max Meyer-Olbersleben in Wurzburg Cons., Germany; married Betsy E. Beckwith, singer, April 12, 1889 (1 son). Began teaching in New York at age of 13; made debut as pianist together with wife (as singer); gave numerous recitals; taught piano continually until age 33, inventing various original methods; taught singing 10 years; organist in Brooklyn churches and conductor of choral clubs; has given numerous lectures, and written extensively in English and German, now writing in Italian; became editor of “The Etude,” 1907. Has composed piano pieces and songs. Author: “Standard History of Music”; Great Pianists on Piano Playing”; “Mastering the Scales and Arpeggios.” President Philadelphia Music Teachers' Association since 1911, Writeabout Club; treasurer Presser Foundation; chairman music, Shakespeare Festival, 1911; member Philadelphia Art Club; president Drama League of Philadelphia. Address: 1712 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, Pa. Home: Lianberris Road, Bala, Pa.

    1919 – Harry Watson, Jr.

    Comedians All, by George Jean Nathan

    Harry Watson, Jr. -- That Mr. Harry Watson, Jr., is one of the finest comic artists of the American state is demonstrated anew with each successive year. An alumnus of the same burlesque troupe that graduated that other excellent comedian, Mr. George Bickel, Watson's authentic talents, like those of his colleague, have long been overlooked – or if not entirely overlooked, greatly disparaged – by annalists of the stage who vouchsafe to low comedy merely a casual and then grudged attention. Yet the fact doubless remains that this Watson is an actor of uncommon quality, not a mere slapstick pantaloon, an assaulter of trousers' seats, a professor of the bladder, but a mimic of exceptional capacity, a pantomimist of the very first grade and a comedian of real histrionic parts. Watson's depiction of the tenth-rate prize fighter, with it suggestion not simply of such obvious externals as speech, walk, et cetera, but with its subtle revelation of the pug's mind, thoughts and general singularities, is as admirable a bit of acting as the native stage has conceded in years. The thing is searching, vivid, brilliant; it measures with the best work, in more exalted dramatic regions, of such capable actors as Arnold Daly or the late Robert Fischer or Ditrichstein. To see it is to look into the soul of the cheap bruiser as that soul has rarely been transcribed to paper. The half-droop of the one eye, the intermittent Maude Adams toss of the neck, the setting of the far right tooth, the disdain of the lip, the nervous knee – these Waston negotiates with a diplomacy as far removed from the usual and patent tactic as his negotiation of the portrayal of the telephone commuter is removed from the level of the vaudevilles.

    For some reason or other, the work of such comedians as Watson is held generally in artistic and critical disesteem. Why, God and the Evening Post alone know. For among these comedians one finds a senitiveness, an eye to human nature and a schooling in projection that one encounters with extreme rarity on the dramatic stage. The scorn these fellows suffer is part of our native theatrical snobbery. In England, George Robey is recognized for the artist he is; in France, Germain and others like him have received their portion. But in our country the actor is rated not so much according to his intrinsic ability as according to the ability of the playwright who supplies his roles. And yet such a comedian as Bickel remains at bottom a more susceptive and penetrating comic artist than any half dozen Leo Carrillos, and such a comedian as this Watson a more striking adventurer in the gallery of human nature and its portrayal than any double dozen of Russ Whytals, Robert Edesons, Richard Bennetts and Howard Kyles.

    1921 – Play copyright, Richard P. Leahy.

    Catalog of Copyrights

    Mario Tiber; a play in 4 acts, by R. P. Leahy. 163, [1] p. 4to. Typewritten. [4292] (c) 1 c. Feb. 17, 1921; D 56838; Richard P. Leahy, Bay City, Mich.

    Snobs (The); or, Hadley's party, a comedy in 5 acts, by R. P. Leahy. 2 p. 1., 108 p. 4to. Typewritten [4375] (c) 1 c. Jan. 13, 1921; D 56587; Richard P. Leahy, Bay City, Mich.

    1922 - Leo L. Niedzielski, playwrite.

    The Michigan Alumnus, Vol. 28, 1922

    Some notes on the Union Opera. Perhaps the most trite and overworked phrase periodically crammed down the throats of Michigan students and alumni is “the Union opera will be bigger and better than ever this year.” There are times, though, when time-worn expressions are the only ones which will really do justice to the occasion, and the Union feels that this year's production, “Make It For Two,” written by Leo Niedzielski, of Bay City, will meet all the requirements.

    1942 - Tony's Amusement Park.

    Billboard – September 19, 1942

    Tony's Amusement Park, operated by Tony Giffel and located on a 29-acre track a mile south of Paraleon, enjoyed a 100 per cent increase in business over the last year. Spot has three rides, two refreshment stands, a Penny Arcade and a small zoo, and will remain open until October 1.

    1943 Mrs. Vina Ruth Dykman, death at Wenonah Hotel.

    Billboard - Aug. 21, 1953.

    THE FINAL CURTAIN.

    DYKMAN, Mrs. Vina Ruth Cox (Midge) widely known palmistry booth operator with Mighty Sheesley Midway, suddenly August 10 in her room at Wenonah Hotel, Bay city, Mich. She had called other members of the shows on Monday to tell them she was ill and would be unable to appear on the midway. She had been employed this season by Mrs. Lena Gamble as a reader in the palmistry booth. Mrs. Dykmans's husband, who is ill in a Miami sanitarium, and her mother survive. Burial in Bay City.

    1944 - Actor, Fred C. Jenks dead.

    Billboard - Feb., 1944

    THE FINAL CURTAIN.

    JENKS, Fred C., 73, former circus clown and vaude performer at his home in Saginaw, February 14. He retired 25 years ago. Born in Bay City, Mich., he ran away from home when a boy and teamed up with Harry Watson, Saginaw native, who later became one of the leading comedians of his day. The team of Watson and Jenks, comedy acrobatic dual, later became a trio., Bickle, Watson and Jenks, playing small teathers and on wagon show tours thru Michigan. The team toured with Matt Wilson's McConkey's and Andrews', and Stowe Bros.' Wild West shows. Jenks married Grace Burk in 1891, and formed the team of Burk and Jenks. They appeared with Sun Bros.' Circus and later on the Pantages and other vaude circuits. In 1910 they joined the Ringling Bros' circus, as a clown and equestrienne, respectively. They also trouped with the Barnum & Bailley and Hagenbeck-Wallace circuses. Jenks produced his own Honey Bunch Ministrels at one time. Survived by his widow. Interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Saginaw, February 16.

    1951 - Wenonah Beach Casino, Harry Jarkey.

    Billboard - Jul. 15, 1950.

    Harry Jarkey, nitery emsee, has started a daily spin session on WSAM, Saginaw, Mich., in conjunction with his annual summer engagement at Wenonah Beach Casino, Bay City.

    1951 - Tony's Amusement Park.

    Billboard - Mar. 10, 1951

    FOR SALE

    Reasonable. 8 Car Kiddy Jeep Ride, used
    3 months, perfrect shape, Air Tires. Can be seen at

    TONY'S AMUSEMENT PARK

    R. F. D. 25, Bay City, Michigan.

    1953 - Death of Anthony Giffel (Tony's Park).

    Billboard - Nov. 14, 1953

    The Final Curtain.

    GIFFEL, Anthony,
    Michigan amusement park and coin machine operator, October 27. He was owner-manager of Tony's Amusement Park on Saginaw Bay adjacent to the Bay City State Park for many years. He was one of the oldest juke box operations in Central Michigan, making his home at Essexville, and operating under the name of Giffels Music and Tony's Music. At one time he operated in the Thumb area of the State. His widow, and one daughter, Mrs. Audrey Mexicotte, survive. Interment at Bay City.



  • Related Notes & Pages
    Regeant Theatre

    Sign being removed after it was closed in 1957. The theater was located in the Davidson block at 924 Washington Ave.
    Related Pages:
    {Pictorial: Theaters}
    Theatre History
    People:
    Jenks, Fred C.
    Mack, William B.
    Thomas, Henry H.
    Werlein, Elizabeth
    People Referenced
    Bay City area...
    Antisdel, James
    Beatty, Ed. C.
    Buckley, Frank
    Burk, Grace
    Burnham, Charles D.
    Clay, Sameul (saginaw)
    Cooke, George A.
    Cooke, James F.
    Cowans, W.A.
    Daunt, W.J.
    Fisher, Sydney O.
    Giffel, Anthony
    Harris, T.D.
    Hart, Bill
    Hastings, Albert H.
    Hastings, George A.
    Jenks, Fred C.
    Johnson, Caroline B.
    LaTour, W.D.
    Leahy, Richard P.
    Liersch, Hermine
    Mack, William B.
    Mexicotte, Audrey Mrs.
    Mueller, Therese V.N.
    Niedzielski, Leo
    Patterson, Mr.
    Powers, Mr.
    Norrington, H.H.
    Radigan, A.B.
    Rutherford, James
    Simpson, Lloyd
    Smith, Maria L.
    Thomas, Henry H.
    Till, Ed
    Van Syckle, Mr.
    von Nostitz, John J.
    Watson, Harry
    Watson, Mrs.
    Werlien, Elizabeth I.
    Willard, Chas. D.
    Williams, Fred B.

    Others...
    Apel, Franz A.
    Baldelli, Antonio
    Barrymore, Ethel
    Beckwith, Betsy E.
    Bennett, Richard
    Bickel, George
    Booth, Edwin
    Buckley, John
    Butterfield, W.C.
    Carrillo, Russ
    Clay, Samuel G.
    Clements, Clay
    Davis, Jennie
    de Reszke, Jean
    Dykman, Vina R. Mrs.
    Ebberhard, Woodman E.
    Edeson, Robert
    Fiske, Mrs.
    Gamble, Lena Mrs.
    Hall, Walter H.
    Henry, Harold
    Huntington, R.
    Kyle, Howard
    Meyer-Olbersleben, Max
    Mueller, Adolph F.
    Nazimova, Madam
    Ritter, Herman
    Robey, George
    Russell, Sol S.
    Seyler, Julius V.
    Steele, James
    Townsend, Henry
    Verner, Mr.
    Von Ehrenstein, J.W.
    Whiteside, Walker
    Whytal, Russ
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City...
    Aladdin Theater
    Bay City Tribune
    Fisher Opera House
    Manhattan, NY
    Paris, France
    Regeant Theater
    Van Syckles's music
    Tony's Amusement Park
    Washington Theater
    Wenonah Hotel
    Wenonah Theater
    West Bay city
    Woods Opera House
    Woodside theatre

    Others...
    Detroit, MI
    Dresden, Germany
    East Saginaw, MI
    Hamilton, Canada
    Hess English Opera Co.
    Kingston, Canada
    London, Canada
    McCaul Companies
    Miami, FL
    Mighty Sheesley Midway
    Port Huron, MI
    Saginaw, MI
    St. Louis, MI
    Seattle, WA
    Theatre Images

    Motiograph Camera -
    The Motiograph was first used in silent films. It improved over time and was quite popular through the 1920s.











    Tyrone Power
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.