Majestic Theater 2

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Springfield Journal Register, date of paper which originally published the following is unknown.

The Majestic Theatre at 419 South 5th Street, hailed as an outstanding addition to the legimate playhouses of Springfield, presented an impressive appearance early in June, 1907, following its opening on May 23. . . . Erected at a cost of $90,000 by Herman Pierik, it was the realization of a long-cherished ambition. The National Amusement Company, the original leasee, contracted to offer Springfield playgoers high-grade attractions at all times, with a top price of 75 cents a seat outside of the boxes. . . . The Majestic was decorated in "ivory and gold with snatches of green." The foyer was forest green walls set off by white, gilt and dark green, was quite elaborate. Inside, hundreds of lights surrounded the stage opening, with seating arrangements providing perfect vision for all. . . . The seating capacity was 1,638, with room for 150 additional seats of needed. The stage - 40 by 80 feet - was thoroughly modern. Equipment and scenery were of the latest design. . . . Legitimate attractions were presented at the Majestic for a number of years, but in 1914 it was sublet to the Orpheum circuit and became a vaudeville house. Still later - in 1927 - it became a movie house. After extensive remodeling, the Frigina Amusement Company reopened it in 1935 as the Roxy Theatre, which name it bears today.

Springfield society assembled en masse on the evening of May 23, 1907, when the Majestic Theatre opened its doors for the first time, old newspaper files reveal. Lew Fields and company, presenting "About Town," fresh from a long run at McVicker's in Chicago, was the attraction. Included in the all-star cast were such well-known stage names as Fields, Peter F. Dailey, Blanche Ring, Louise Dresser, George Beban, Harry Fisher, and Ernest Lambert. Governor Charles S. Deneen, Judge J. Otis Humphrey and Charles Ridgely extended community felicitations to the owners and operators of the Theatre. Among those in the boxes were Governor and Mrs. Deneen, Col. and Mrs. Henry Davis, Mr. and Mrs. C. V. Hickox, Judge Humphrey, Misses Mary, Maude and Grace Humphrey, Dr. and Mrs. George Thomas Palmer, Col. and Mrs. John S. Lord, Mr. and Mrs. John C. Pierik, Mrs. Jewel Pierik Kennedy, Misses Marie and Jeanette Pierik, Frank Burt of Toledo and Mr. and Mrs. John H. Havlan of Cincinnati. This picture, taken a wekk or so following the opening (and a companion picture to the one previously presented here), gives an excellent idea of the stage setting, the boxes, seating and general decorative scheme of the Majestic about that time.

Submitted by: Jeanie Lowe.