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December 18, 1909



A. Judah, Manager of the Grand,
Has a Surprise in Store and It
May Be City's Poor Good Boys
and Girls Will See Theater.

A mammoth organ is to be installed in Convention hall to furnish music for the thousands of little children who will be given presents from the mayor's Christmas tree. The Clown band of the Eagles also will furnish instrumental cheer. The musicians will be dressed in grotesque costumes. A. Judah, manager of the Grand, also has a surprise in the amusement line in store for the tots, and he might repeat this year his generosity of last year by inviting the children who seldom see the inside of a place of amusement to his theater for a performance and a liberal candy distribution.

"I'm always the happiest when I am doing something for girls and boys that the sun of plenty does not shine upon," said Mr. Judah at yesterday's meeting of the Mayor's Christmas Tree Association. Then he chipped in $25 to the fund, which has now reached the encouraging sum of $3,124.10.

"We'll double that amount when we hear from the people we have asked subscriptions from," declared A. E. Hutchings, who, with other warm-hearted and self-sacrificing men and women, are giving their time and means to provide Christmas cheer and joy for the thousands of poor children in Kansas City. And these faithful workers are going right ahead with their commendable work, regardless of envious and malicious ones who belittle the association by referring to it as the "Public Tree."

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December 6, 1909


Large Tree Will Be Prepared in
Convention Hall -- Names Should
Be Addressed to the Mayor.

The Mayor's Christmas Tree association, which was suggested and carried out last year for the first time in the history of Kansas City, is preparing to give the deserving poor children of this city a great treat this Christmas. Elaborate plans are being worked out by the committee. Headquarters have been opened in the Reliance building at Tenth and McGee streets, where contributions will be received, and also the names of the poor. The city will be canvassed during the next three weeks for the names of the children to be placed on the list. Several large Christmas trees will be prepared in Convention hall where the big event is to take place on the night of December 24, and under the direction of the distribution committee the presents will be given to all children who are deemed entitled to receive them.

Names, or suggestions as to distribution of presents, should be addressed to the mayor, and all checks and remittances for the mayor's Christmas tree should be plainly marked and mailed to the city comptroller, Gus Pearson, treasurer of the association for this year.

The members of the executive committee are Thomas Watts, Louis W. Shouse, Jacob Billikopf, M. G. Harman, A. E. Hutchings, Dave McDonnell, Henry Manke, Rev. Charles W. Moore, Steve Sedweek, T. T. Crittenden, John F. Pelletier, Franklin D. Hudson, A. Judah, George F. Damon, Justin A. Runyan, Gus Pearson, H. E. Barker and George C. Hale.

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April 24, 1909


And Bulldog Cane and Raincoat Has
This Theater Man.

During lo these many years one of the proud boasts of A. Judah, manager of the Grand opera house, has been that any article left in the Grand has been soon returned to its owner. It happens that Mr. Judah has a couple of articles on his hands that he has not been able to dispose of and he is visibly disturbed. Some lady who attended last Thursday night's performance of "The Girl at the Helm" carelessly dropped a diamond brooch on the floor opposite the center section, down in front; and some gentleman who is equally careless left a valuable raincoat on the left center section, close to the stage. In addition to these, Manager Judah has six pair of gloves, left by persons who appeared to wax too enthusiastic over "The Girl at the Helm," not to say a word about two pair of overshoes, a bulldog cane and a seal muff. Mr. Judah has all of these and he will gladly return them to the rightful owner upon presentation of sufficient proof.

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January 22, 1909


$690 Collected and Turned Over to
Mayor Crittenden.

Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., A. Judah and Pietro Isnadi, Italian consul, who made personal appeals to the banks for aid for the earthquake sufferers of Italy, yesterday turned over $690 to the committee. Subscriptions, in addition to those already acknowledged, have been received by the mayor as follows:

Southwest National bank, $100; Corn Belt bank, $25; James L. Lombard, $25; German-American bank, $25; Central National bank, $10; Western Exchange bank, $5.

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December 22, 1908


A. Judah's Gift to the Children Will
Be Distrubted From Different
Charities Today.

Manager A. Judah of the Grand has invited the poor children of the city to a matinee performance by Corinne and her company tomorrow afternoon. The entertainment is being given in connection with the Christmas tree, and Manager Judah promises a surprise for the little ones who will be his guests for the afternoon. Admission will be by ticket, and the distribution of tickets will begin today, in charge of the following charitable organizations:

Associated Charities, 1115 Charlotte street (will also distribute tickets among colored population); Institutional church, Admiral boulevard and Holmes street; Helping Hand, 408 Main street; Franklin institute, Nineteenth and McGee streets; Grace hall, 415 West Thirteenth street; Humane Society, city hall, second floor; United Jewish Charities, 1702 Locust street; Italian Charities, offices with Associated Charities; juvenile court, county court house; Bethel mission, 43 North First street, Kansas City, Kas; Catholic Ladies' Aid Society, Eighth and Cherry, St. Patrick's hall.

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December 18, 1908


Their Pennies and Dimes
Will Swell the Fund.

Convention Hall Will Be Open Today
to Receive Gifts and Almost
Everything Is Solicited
by the Committee.

There's great activity among the committees that are co-operating with Mayor Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr., in the arrangements for the municipally conducted Christmas tree at Convention hall next Friday, from 10 a. m. to 11 p. m.

Contributions of cash, in small and large amounts, are sought, as is also supplies, toys, wearing apparel and anything that is seasonable.

The northwest doors of Convention hall will be opened this morning and continue open every day until Christmas for the reception of merchandise and toys. A detail from the fire department will be in charge, and will receive all offerings.

School children are to be asked to assist in the event. They are to be appealed to for pennies, nickels and dimes, and it is thought the response will be substantial and liberal.

Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon next, A. Judah, manager of the Grand, will have the company playing at the house give a performance free to the poor and worthy children of the city. The tickets of admission will be distributed by the entertainment committee, and only those having tickets from the committee will be admitted.

Letters were yesterday mailed to the pastors of the several churches in the city, requesting them to call the attention of their congregations and Sunday schools to the Christmas tree.


J. Franklin Hudson and J. F. Pelletier appeared before the school board last night with a communication from Mayor Crittenden on the Christmas fund question. They asked that the board suspend the rule made years ago and allow a general collection to be taken up among the schools for the mayor's Christmas tree fund.

"We would suggest that the children be allowed to contribute from a penny to 10 cents each, but no more than 10 cents. Those who could not, of course, would not be asked to contribute," the board was being told.

In explaining what the money would be used for the board was told by Captain Pelletier that it would go toward purchasing candy, fruit and small presents for the big tree in Convention hall, where from 5,000 to 10,000 poor children would be expected. Also that the little souvenirs were to be given to about 2,500 children who will attend the Grand theater next Wednesday.

After deliberating over the matter a long time the board decided to adhere to its rule of allowing no collections of any kind to be taken up among the children of the public schools.

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October 17, 1907



Theater Managers Included -- True
Bills Include Illegal Sale of
Liquor, Forgery, and

One hundred and twelve indictments were returned by the grand jury yesterday morning, when the report was made to Judge William H. Wallace and warrants were issued by County Marshal Al Heslip. Eight-five indictment are for thesale of intoxicating liquor without a license; 39 are against theater managers for viloations of the Sunday labor law, and the other 8 are for miscellaneous offenses. The 112 warrants call for the arrest of 23 mean and one woman. Among the list are:

O. D. Woodward, Willis Wood theater.
A. Judah, Grand opera house.
Clinton T. Wilson, Majestic theater.
Walter Sanford, Shubert theater.
Joseph R. Donegan, Century theater.
Dr. F. F. Flandora, National Theater.
William Warren, Auditorium Theater.
E. S. Brigham, Gilliss theater.
Martin Lehman, Orpheum theater.

A. M. Robertson, Crystal theater.
L. A. Wagner, Paseo theater.
J. J. Dunn, penny parlor, Main and Missouri.
O. P. Rose, Electric theater, 116 East Twelfth.
E. C. Jones, penny parlor, Eighth and Walnut.
Richard Ray, Twelfth and Grand.
C. E. McDonald, four indictments.


The grand jury's report to Judge Wallace yesterday morning and the indictmen of the theater managers had been foretold in Wednesday's Journal The managers, however, assumed surprise when informed of their indictment and said that they had understood that nothing was to have been done until Judge Hermann Brumback decided the suit in the circuit court brought to enjoin Marshal Heslip from making arrests on warrants from the county proseutor's office. This case had been set for Tuesday and was continued until Friday. Whatever right the circuit court may have to stop the service of a warrant from the prosecutor's office, it will not try to stop the service of the warrants ordered by the grand jury.

The inditments were returned at 10 o'clock yesterday morning and at 2:15 o'clock County Marshal Heslip and Chief Deputy Herman Wlsflog had received the warants and were sending them out by the deputies. All of the theater managers were informed by telephone to come to the criminal court room and give bond. Joseph R. Donegan of the Century theater was the first to arrive, ollowed shortly by A. Judah of the Grand opera house. They had a short talk with Judge Wallace and were told to return at 11:30 this morning. The bond for each theater manager will be fixed at $500


The managers were all at sea yesteday as to whether there would be performances next Sunday, and if so whether they were to be arrested.

"Judge Wallace wanted to have us all arrested like pickpockets," said Martin Lehman of the Orpheum, "but we succeeded in persuading him that we would not sell out our places and leave town. I do not see how the indictments returned today can affect the performances Sunday. I suppose that nothing can be determined in this respect until the hearing on the injunction, which is set for Friday morning."

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October 7, 1907




Penny Arcades Put on Passion Play
and Sacred Music -- Judah Says
There Are Sermons in His
Bill -- Cigars Sold
as Usual.

Kansas City theaters really give Sunday performances. Bold policemen, acting under orders which came directly from the police board, found this out last night. Such a rumor had reached police headquarters, but Chief of Police Ahern diplomatically sent out policemen to learn the truth after the police board pledged support to the criminal court in putting on the Sunday lid.

Regarding the rumor of Sunday performances -- the policemen found "It is even so." They will report to their superior officer today the evidence they collected in the playhouses. The supreme court decisions, shipped in from Arkansas, do not say it is a crime for an actor or an actorine to act, any day of the week. But with the managers it is different, and the police caught 'em red handed last night. The manager who includes Sunday performances in his contracts with the public "works" during the show.

Down at the Grand a policeman caught A. Judah working -- smoking numerous cigars and nodding "yes" or "no" to the doorman when a friend of the house applied for free admission. Judah is a long-headed manager. He saw the reform cloud on the theatrical horizon and send down East for a fitting show for the first tabooed performance. "Arizona" is the bill, and Mr. Judah's public flocked to the show like girls to a marked-down carnation sale. The house was sold out before 7 o'clock for the night performance, and half an hour before the curtain went up the "admissions" were exhausted, too.


"Did you ever see such a turn-a-way," said Harry S. Richards, manager of the show.

"No," answered Judah. "But it's the show which brings 'em out this Sunday night. There's a good sermon in 'Arizona' -- the kind that sends the public home with better thoughts to dwell upon through the week. For a show with a sermon coupon, 'Arizona' is a scream."

"But does Judah really own the Grand?" asked a uniformed policeman of the ticket seller early yesterday morning. He was getting the evidences for the police board. It was his first stop. He finally departed with the information that the place is managed by Mr. Judah.

Policemen did not visit many of the theaters until after the matinee hour in the early afternoon. They then called at each of the first class houses and later made the rounds of the penny arcades and moving picture shows, taking names of manager and locations of the places of amusement.


At many of the arcades the policemen, who are to make a report also on the character of the performances, were astounded to find the "Passion Play" in progress. Down on Main street an officer put a penny in the slot, adjusted the tubes to his ears, and then turned pale when the phonograph struck up a hymn instead of the ballet medley he had expected. He did not want the proprietor to think he did not like the place, so he ground his teeth and heart it "clean" through.

The officer assigned to vaudeville houses got blind staggers before he caught the right tip and performed the duty assigned him. At the Orpheum he found that Martin Beck is a Chicagoan. He went over to the Shubert and found a vaudeville service in progress, but a kindly disposed man outside told the blue coated officer that Mr. Klaw isn't expected here for a fortnight at least. No, Mr. Erlanger wasn't in town, either.

"Well, who is manager of this house?"

"I'm trying to be," answered Walter Sanford, the local representative of the theatrical syndicate of Klaw & Erlanger.


Chief of Police Ahern at first assigned regular theater patrolmen to bring in the evidence wanted. The men had the information already, and did not bother the managers, but they did "peep in" to see that the show really went on. Others, drawn to the theaters by curiosity, questioned employes. A policeman in uniform stood in front of the Willis Wood last night with the negro attendant who looks after the carriages.

"Who does run this house?" asked the policeman.

"The manager is Mr. Buckley, sir," answered the employe.

"Well," said the policeman, I thought Frank Woodward runs the house."

"No, sir, Mister Frank is business manager, and Mr. Buckley is the manager, sir."

"What's the difference between a manager and a business manager," asked the bewildered policeman.

"That's easy. Mr. Buckley, he runs the business. The business manager signs checks."

"Where does O. D. Woodward come in?"

"Why! He's the governor. He runs the whole business."


When two officers in plain clothes applied for admission last night at the Century, Manager Joe Donegan stepped to the door of his office. Then he turned and said:

"Hist! We're pinched." He had forgotten he had occupied the office alone and was only talking to an empty room. But the officers merely wanted to see if a show was in progress, and they soon departed to round up the arcades and outlying playhouses.

Cigar stands continued yesterday to sell newspapers, cigars and other stock. It's alright to sell newspapers, but it's considered Sunday labor to sell cigars, and the cigar stands which stay open to sell newspapers are preparing to put the lid on everything else if the grand jury so orders. But the police made no attempt to close either cigar stands or grocery stores.

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August 27, 1907


Merely Moved His Home Into a Sign
Near the Grand.

A sly old rogue is the Grand opera house sparrow. After living for three years on an electric light wire under the canopy at the main entrance to the theater, within view and almost the reach of the patrons of the house, the sparrow -- a bachelor and without a nest -- the little bird disappeared the night before the house opened for this season.

That was a week ago. There was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the part of the cop on the beat, the "all-kinds-of-chewing-gum-and-candy-man," not to omit Manager Judah. Yesterday morning early the news spread that the little bird had been found again. During his patrol in the early morning the policeman noticed a chirping somewhere in the innards of an electric light lign ten or twelve feet away from the Grand opera house canopy. It was the runaway. The policeman told the janitor, the janitor told the treasurer and the treasurer told the manager, and in that way the whole establishment learned that the sparrow had not deserted.

"It is our bird, sure enough," said Manager Judah yesterday. "We know every feather in him. His new bachelor quarters are better lighted than his old roost under the canopy, but he will not get to see nearly so many people. We know this is our sparrow because the top and the end of his tail is ruffled. He slept with his back to our bricks for three years, and in setting on his perch he ruffled his long tail. This would identify him in a taxidermists' establishment. Moreover, there never was a bachelor sparrow in this electric light sign till now. This is our bird, all right," and Manager Judah beamed.

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