I often like to say that vaudeville isn’t dead, it’s hiding in plain sight. Excellent examples of this are the Loew’s Theatre chain and MGM, the latest corporate iterations of what began as the People’s Vaudeville Company in 1904, a chain of combination vaudeville theatres and nickelodeons founded by Marcus Loew. Born on this day in 1870, Loew died in 1927 — before the death of vaudeville and the heyday of MGM.
Many consider Loew’s State (the chain’s Times Square flagship theatre) to have been the “last vaudeville house. It closed in 1947. It was directly across the street from the location of two other major vaudeville houses, built by another of vaudeville’s great impresario’s whose birthday is tomorrow. So tune in then!
To find out more about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.