Sunday, September 21, 2014

Opening Night 1916

According to a 1945 Indianapolis Times article, my great-grandfather Harry O'Brien played in the band for the opening night of the Circle Theatre on Monument Circle in Indianapolis on 30 August 1916. The venue is now home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, but in 1916 it was a movie house with a capacity of around 2700 people. Some photos from the opening of the theatre are below:
Indianapolis Star, Circle Theatre
Source: Indianapolis Star. 30 Aug 1916 Opening Night.
In August 2013, the Indianapolis Star contained an article describing the opening night on a warm August evening. "The doors opened one hour before the films began so patrons could browse the elegant d├ęcor. Opening night films featured 'Home,' starring Bessie Barriscale and 'Skirts,' with Fay Tincher. Ticket prices ranged from 10 cents to a quarter, depending on where you sat. Mezzanine floor seats cost 25 cents." 

An orchestra provided the soundtrack for the films. Harry O'Brien played clarinet in that orchestra, perhaps with my great-grandmother Blanche O'Brien in the audience.

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