Help sought to identify two open air theatres

posted by InesitadaSilva on January 5, 2011 at 7:44 am

Greetings CT visitors,

I am trying to identify the whereabouts of the US open air theatre that is visible in the three images online

If anyone may be able to pass on any hints, I would be most appreciative. A search for ‘open air theatres’ on CT doesn’t give many leads – acknowledging of course that the pictured theatre is not obviously an open air cinema.

Background: my grandmother and her sister are shown in the picture as part of a troupe called The Six Rockets that toured the US in the 20’s and early 30s (one can see their name on the plaque to the left of the stage on the upper left photo). At various times they were an RKO as well as Loew’s Act.

Would it be reasonable to assume open air theatres like this would have been more typically found in California and North/South Carolina, as opposed to the north east or north west coast?

Many thanks in advance for any possible assistance. I am writing a book on my grandmother’s life and am trying to identify the points across the US she reached as an acrobat.

Inesita da Silva,

Comments (6)

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 5, 2011 at 11:12 am

Looks like a band-stand rather than a true theater stage. Note the acoustic shell. Perhaps part of an amusement park somewhere???

InesitadaSilva on January 5, 2011 at 11:24 am

Thanks Ron. The bandstand is definitely an option. In the right hand photo one can see the band performing. As these were ‘dumb acrobats,’ inevitably they needed the backing of a band. Although evidently not always as in two photos I don’t see musicians. Thanks for the amusement park tip. So the next question is, where may that be..

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm

A Google search for “fireworks every Tuesday 10:15” suggests Myrtle Beach, SC?

CSWalczak on January 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

This will not help with the photographs but will provide you with one place and dates when your grandmother performed. According to a programme for the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition of 1929, held in Halifax, the Six Rockets performed there at least once during the period of August 24-31, 1929.
The programme is for sale by Doull Books:

InesitadaSilva on January 10, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Amazing CWalczak! How ever ever did you come across that one?! I am indebted to you! Thank you so much! The brochure is on its way already! Meanwhile the abovementioned photo remains a mystery unfortunately. Myrtle Beach as far as I can tell was far from developed during the 20s but thank you Ron Newman!

CSWalczak on January 10, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Oh, it is amazing what happens when you run a search on the net sometimes. I tend to agree that the bandshell in the photos is probably at some East Coast beach location; on the other hand it could be more inland. I grew up in Cleveland, and amusement parks on both the U.S. and Canadien sides of the Great Lakes had bandshells much like that and often had fireworks on summer nights.

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