Dolly Varden Theatre

1319 ½ Central Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45214

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dallasmovietheaters on March 29, 2020 at 5:09 am

The Dolly Varden Theatre was designed by Cincinnati architects Robertson & Fahnestock. It appears to have replaced a smaller nickelodeon also called the Dolly Varden. The Dolly Varden opened in 1913. It didn’t convert to sound and was offered for sale in a classified ad in February of 1928 which times out with a 15-year lease.

hanksykes on March 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm

From ,“The Cincinnatian”, publication Feb. 1914 the minumum wage for begining workers at Dolly Varden Candy was $5.00 a week with $16.00 a week for experts during a nine hour day.

frontpage on November 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm

Dear Jane Adams,
Earlier this past summer I was clearing out my 91 year old mother-in-law’s home and found an empty “Dolly Varden” candy box. When I Googled the name Dolly Varden I came up with this web site and your discussion. I would be happy to send you a picture of the box.


jadams on April 28, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Hi Hank,
Thanks again for all the information re: Dolly Varden confections!

hanksykes on April 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Hello Jane; You have all I found about Dolly Varden Chocolates. Mr. Eisen went on to become a Vice President of a Cincinnati Savings and Loan in 1922. He became a violinist with the first Cincy Symphony Orchestra and was a City Councilor in 1927 under the Charterite banner. He quit school at age 10 to help support his widowed mother, working for $2.00 a week. In later years he built a fancy mansion in College Hill and lived to be 92 years of age.What other kinds of candy they made I don’t know. That’s all I’ve got. Hank

jadams on April 27, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Hi Hank,

Thanks so much for the information about Dolly Varden. Do you know anything else about the Dolly Varden candy company? Were vanilla cream filled chocolate drops one of the company’s confections?

hanksykes on April 23, 2008 at 5:39 pm

The first manager of the ,“Dolly Varden Theater”, was Charles Sternberg, so it looks like the Dolly Varden might have opened in 1911. The candy company next door with the same name was opened by its President, Charles Eisen ,sometime before 1909.He introduced chocolate covered cherries to the American public.

hanksykes on April 22, 2008 at 4:35 pm

Hello Jane; Well a picture of the Dolly Varden Chocolate Box, good luck! Maybe Kroger Grocery Company made Varden Chocolates as they were also located on State St. in Cincinnati,Ohio after the early 1920’s. On November 10,1901 the Glaser Opera Company performed for a week at Robinson’s Operahouse ,Ninth and Plum Street at Cincinnati, with an orchestra of 40 pieces, a budget of $30.000 ,in the Opera entitled,“Dolly Varden”, staring Lulu Glaser. I couldn’t find a review of the performance in our local newsrag. The Opera was written by Stange and Edwards ,their seventh music work ,it was advertised as a comic opera. Probably the story came from the Charles Dickens Novel. Hope this helps somewhat. Hank

jadams on April 21, 2008 at 2:15 pm

Does anyone know where I could find a picture of a box of Dolly Varden chocolates? Or the history of the chocolates?
Thank you,
Jane Adams

Joeallen on March 3, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Say it with chocolate…

Joeallen on March 3, 2007 at 11:09 am

Thanks, Hank. Boy, you worked a long time on this. That was a good web site, also.

hanksykes on March 3, 2007 at 10:51 am

The name Dolly Varden was a character in a Charles Dickens novel entitled ,“Barnaby Rudge”,she was a locksmiths daughter and her flowered dress and hat gave its name to a popular womans outfit of the 19th century. Perhaps this is why the chocolate company and Dolly Varden Theater chose that name.

hanksykes on March 2, 2007 at 11:08 am

Hello Joe Allen, Heres a chance to see a small glimpse of the Dolly Vardin Th. if you go to Cincinnati Memories web site and punch up theaters. The Vardin Th. lasted until after 1924 and was probably chased out of business by the expensive coming of sound picture projection.I’m told that the Dolly Vardin Candy Company lasted for many years after the cinemas demise so maybe the name Dolly Vardin Theater was choosen because people were familiar with the location of the confectionare . I’ve never been able to find an article about the closing of the theater or the candy company.The site of both the Theater and the candy company are vacant lots today.

hanksykes on January 27, 2007 at 9:34 am

The City Directory for 1915 lists the Dolly Vardin, as well. I’ve been trying to find out when in the 1880’s John L.Sullivan the boxer actually did an exibition here at the Standard Th. on Vine Street at Canal.

hanksykes on January 23, 2007 at 5:46 am

Hello Joe Allen, Note that the Dolly Vardin is in the 1914 era so silence would prevail! Film Daily would carry alisting of this cinema ,now a picture would be a rare find, I doubt that one exists. The Metropolitan Th. on Central Avenue and the 1913 Casino Th,later called the Regal Th. on Clark Street would be from this period. Until soon,Hank

Joeallen on January 22, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I was born and raised in Cincinnati and have NEVER heard of this theater. This part of town is known as the “west end.” Anyone have a pic of it or anything? Or know any publication that may? I’m sure it was before the “talkies.”

hanksykes on December 11, 2006 at 12:32 pm

The Dolly Vardin Chocolate Company was listed as being at 411-417 Laurel Street in 1914&1915.