The Show Must Go On

  The Show Must Go On Going out to the Empire in 1926 wasn’t just a one-movie event. The films were part of an evening’s entertainment, which also included live music from the theater’s orchestra and Mighty Wurlitzer – the best theater organ in America. There was even more – various kinds of entertainment including a vaudeville troupe – musicians, dancers, comedians, actors, illusionists, and more. These troupes traveled from one theater to another by train. They did it all the time. It should have been routine.  Then there was the Great Train Derailment. It didn’t just go off the tracks, like an ordinary train derailment. This one flung its passengers through time and space. The famous New York talent agency, Tobler and Jones, had promised to send some of their best acts to accompany the Empire’s debut of Charlie Chaplin’s new film, The Gold Rush, but when they hadn’t arrived in time for rehearsal the previous day, I began to worry. An expensive long-distance telephone call assured me they were on their way. Then we heard about the Great Train Derailment. All over the country, according to the newsies, train passengers were showing up in the wrong places – Read More