Thursday, December 10, 2009

Theatre Royal, Adelaide, August 17th, 1907

It's amazing what you can stumble upon at garage sales and the like. This programme cost me a whopping $0.20, incredible when you consider that I've dated it to circa 1907. That might not be a massive date, all things considered, but for a disposable paper item such as this, printed on not the best paper stock around, it's very impressive indeed.

The programme details a full night's entertainment, ranging from what I believe was the debut of Marshall Crosby, through to a motion picture, with the entire evening being hosted by Leslie Harris. I've managed to tie the date down to August, 17, 1907, by virtue of this entry in Marshall's bio. "Although he had sung at school and won at an eisteddfod, Crosby had no thoughts of a theatrical career until he auditioned as a baritone and joined Leslie Harris's company as 'Marshall' Crosby. He appeared at the Theatre Royal, Adelaide, in August 1907 before touring with Henry Clay and Harry Rickards in vaudeville." A bit of research and the date is revealed. I am impressed with the quality of the programme, it's in excellent condition, no tears, no writing and just a slight bit of general wear. Indeed I've seen programmes from the 1990s that have suffered more than this one. It's been well looked after, and it'll remain as part of my own collection of theatre and movie memorabilia for the time being. But here's some lovely, high res scans for all to enjoy. Now, the question is, does anyone know anything about the movie shown, Living Paris? I can't find a reference to it anywhere. And who was Sudholz? I love a mystery or three.

The Theatre Royal, located on Hindley Street, according to the Morlock Library here in Adelaide, was built on 1878 and eventually demolished in 1962 when it was replaced by a car park. Such is the price of progress. History was lost that day. For those who keep score, many, many famous people and outright legends performed there, including Mark Twain, who did his bit there in October, 1895. Legend also has it that the first motion picture shown in Adelaide was at the Royal, back in 1898. Now, it's just memories and photographs. We really don't value our heritage here in Australia, well, nowhere near as well as we should.

The poster, from the year before, comes courtesy of the State Library Of Tasmania.

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