Remembering entertainment of yesteryear – News – The Kansan – Newton, KS

At one time entertainers and musical performers would commute around the country in personal rail automobiles, acting in venues huge and small.

Some of the ones venues had been in Newton and Wichita — puts just like the now long gone Ragsdale Opera Space in downtown Newton.

That historical past will probably be the point of interest of “The Age of Level in Newton & Wichita,” a web-based tournament hosted by way of the Harvey County Ancient Society at 7 p.m. Oct. 20.

This is a historical past that Sam Jack of the Newton Public Library discovered reasonably colourful when researching Wichita.

“The first theater that was once documented in Wichita was once owned by way of a drag queen — a feminine impersonator who additionally juggled, clog danced and performed the banjo,” Jack mentioned.

He, at the side of Harvey County Ancient Museum curator Kris Schmucker, will probably be speaking in regards to the historical past — and appearing images of — the performers who took to the degree within the golden age of are living theater, the Eighteen Eighties in the course of the 1910s.

Such degree stars as Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Sales space and Lotta Crabtree walked the forums of such theaters because the Ragsdale Opera Space in Newton and the Crawford and Toler opera homes in Wichita.

Some traveled within the lap of luxurious of their day.

“It’s attention-grabbing how rich some of those performers had been,” Jack mentioned.

Adelaide Moore, made a touch by way of arriving in Wichita in 1886 in a custom-built railroad automobile, Jack mentioned the automobile reportedly value $56,000, or $1.5 million in these days’s bucks, and the general public was once invited to stroll via it and wonder on the wealth on show.

Schmucker will pay attention to the Ragsdale Opera Space, a facility that was once downtown in Newton and burned two times. Right through its tenure it host various bureaucracy of entertainment.

“From highschool graduations and Tom Thumb weddings to touring displays ’What’s Taking part in on the Ragsdale This night?’ highlights this historical past of this Newton landmark,” Schmucker wrote.

She’s going to communicate in regards to the historical past of the venue.

It took 18 months to build the Ragsdale Opera Space starting, in Might 1884. The three-story construction coated 3 quite a bit at 701 Primary. Even supposing the outside had brick and stone, the internal was once solely wood.

It burned to the bottom Jan. 1, 1915.

“I’m basically the usage of footage of the development, some of the displays I do know came about there and in regards to the hearth that destroyed it,” Schmucker mentioned.

To join this unfastened on-line program, talk over with https://zoom.us/webinar/sign up/WN_NKhtlHQjRHmvcqgDHn0yhA and input your name and electronic mail deal with. Registrants will obtain an electronic mail with a hyperlink to make use of to enroll in the Zoom webinar. The program can be streamed survive the Newton Public Library Fb web page.

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