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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Advanced Vaudeville: 1912

Advanced Vaudeville: 1912

Detroit circa 1912. "Griswold Street from Capitol Park." Home of the Miles Theater and "Advanced Vaudeville" -- you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll need a slide rule and a thesaurus. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Capitol Square

This is a recent photo I purchased of the square from the opposite angle. I'm wondering if anyone can date it. You can see it larger at Tattered and Lost Photographs. I'd love to know more about the image.

Minnie Schoenberg Marx

tterrace, did you know that Al Shean was an uncle of the Marx Brothers? His sister, Minnie, was the mother of that incredible group. She tried to turn her boys into a respectable, well-mannered, singing group. Fortunately, she was only minimally successful at that endeavor! I wonder if they played the Miles Theater?

Jeff, thanks for the definition of "Advanced Vaudeville"!

Houdini Played Here

As Griswold Street stretches towards Canada and the Detroit River, one can spy the marquee for the Garrick Theater on the left, ... it's in the first block south of Capital Park.

The Garrick was another famous theater in Detroit, and could lay claim as being the last place Houdini performed, Oct. 24, 1926. He took the stage with a 104 fever; after the show he returned to the Statler Hotel on Grand Circus Park, where the house doctor diagnosed a ruptured appendix. He was rushed to Grace Hospital in the early hours of the 25th where he died Oct. 31, 1926.

The Garrick was torn down for the David Stott building in the late 1920s.

Houdini, has not expressed an opinion on the demolition.

RE: Relaxing in the park

The park is still there, but it's a lot less green.
It's still being utilized by people from the looks of it.
As far as thriving shops and theaters...well, there's room to grow!

View Larger Map


Future additions to the skyline in this view: the mighty Penobscot, the David Stott and the magnificent Guardian Building. Capitol Park has certainly seen a lot of change and is currently being restored to again be pedestrian-friendly.

The Mayor is dead. Long live the Mayor

William Richert, mayor of Detroit, died on June 16, 1912. Possibly why the half-staff flags.

[And let's not forget the Titanic. - Dave]


Who was being mourned in Detroit circa 1912?

Relaxing in the park

Why did we ever give up spaces to relax and read a paper downtown outdoors? We've lost so much with air-conditioned cars and buildings. Maybe I overstate, but this park looks so inviting, and "planned" for pedestrian use. Shops and theaters surround the park. Just a wonderful gathering place. Wish more towns and cities had them centrally located for everyone's benefit.

Miles to Go

The Miles was demolished in 1927 along with other buildings to its left to make way for the Griswold Building, which was completed in 1929. The theatre switched from vaudeville to movies in the early 1920s. Sources indicate the 1000-seat Miles installed a two-manual, 29-rank Hillgreen-Lane organ at a cost of $9,600 in 1921, which was an unusually large pipe organ for a theatre that size.

Some there, most not

The two buildings at right center are still there; the others have been replaced. Capitol Park was converted to an outdoor bus terminal and is nearly all concrete today. I remember waiting for the Grand River streetcar at that location in the 1940s.


I'll bite

Mr. Gallagher: "Who was that cosine I saw you with last night?"
Mr. Shean: "That was no cosine, that was my tangent."

Advanced Vaudeville

Wow--am reading Rick Altman's terrific book "Silent Film Sound" at the moment, so I have just learned that "Advanced Vaudeville" was actually another term for movies c. 1910, or for a vaudeville program combining movies, performers, and illustrated songs. No slide rule required!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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