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Image provided by: State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO
Newspaper Page Text
THE DAILY MISSOURIAN
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On a certain niRht back In 1832, Co
lumbia, then scarcely large enough to
be termed a settlement, presented a
scene of excitement that might have
been expected in a town twice its
size, but would have caused a strange,
entering the village to curiously in
quire the cause of the unusual bustle.
One reason a very natural one
was that it was Christmas night.
Santa Claus had come and gone and
we may reasonably suppose that his
going did not leave any heartaches
among the little ones when most
Christmas presents were obtained
through the marksmanship of the
head of the family. Hut on that night
the children of Columbia did not seek
rest at an early hour as is usual
now on Christmas night.
Columbia's Flrt Slion
Was mi December 23, IS.'!2.
Instead, they reflected the excite
ment and hurry of the older folks.
They too were dressed in their "best"
and they too like many little ones
of the present were saying, ".Mama
may I go to the show tonight."
And that question tells the other
cause for excitement and bustle pre
valent in Columbia that night.
For, on December 25, 1S32, Colum
bia's first show was staged. Eighty-
COLUMBIA, MISSOURI, SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 27, 1916
- ' 222? .W. Mmr-XZ&&& s ' -S-
five years ago, when the men-folks
dared not leave their homes unarmed
and when the women kept the doors
barred and hugged their children a
little closer when the door rattled
slightly as if some one were trying
to open it usually only the wind
against the heavy slabs of oak Co
lumbia was the scene of the first
presentation of a theatrical perform
ance in this section.
It was not Forbes Robertson, Soth
ern or any of our later day actors
and actresses whose names are by
words in almost every household now
that was to appear on that night, but
only a small amateur production. The
play presented was "Pizarro, or the
Death of Holla." Following this act
of a more serious nature, ".My Uncle"
a farce was presented.
The performance was a success
Colonel William F. Switzlcr in his
history of Hoone County says the ac
tors were "complimented and en
couraged encouraged by
the plaudits of an appreciate aud
ience." Another performance was
presented later. The admission price
at that time was 50 cents. Children
and servants were admitted for half
This started the ball rolling. Co
THE NEW HALL THEATRE
lumbia has progressed until now it is
known as one of the best cities in the
state. It has kept in line with the
times and is now In every way a mod
ern city. ew buildings and splendid
residences have sprung up. The Uni
versity of Missouri and other schools
hae since come to Columbia. Rail
roads have built through Columbia,
many large industries have located
here and today no man, when in other
parts of the world need be ashamed
to say, "I am from Columbia, Mo."
Cannot Hrlnp Too Much
Ocellf ( the Promoters.
One of the greatest marks of Co
lumbia's advancement and an enter
prise that cannot bring enough credit
to the men backing it is the Hall
Theater. Tom C. Hall has for several
j ears been at the head of the Star
Theater, which shows some of the
best attractions in Central Missouri,
but anxious to keep abreast of the
times and appreciating the fact that
Columbia would support anything
that is an asset to the town, Mr. Hall
decided to build a new theater.
And .Mr. Hall docs not do things
.halfway. His new theater is a worthy
asset to Columbia and is character
istic of its promoter the best that
can be had. Columbia today boasts
of the best theater in Missouri outside
of St. Louis and Kansas City and
there are many first-class theaters in
these two cities that are not compara
ble with the Hall. Expense was not
spared In its construction, for its es
timated cost was $60,000 and the final
cost is closer to $70,000. Everything
in it is first-class from the Imposing
front of solid Uedford stone, the best
picture screen that can be purchased
and the modern systems of heating,
cooling and ventilating, down to the
smallest electric light fixture.
Only the best photoplays and vaude
ville that can be secured will be
shown, and the theater is truly "up
to a standard and not down to a
price." From the building itself and
the attractions that have been booked
I'lioto by I'.irvms
to the employes everything is up to
a standard and up to the highest
.Mr. Hull Doesn't Claim
Credit for the Theater.
Mr. Hall is modest about his the
ater. He does not claim any credit.
The credit he gives to the people of
Columbia. The people fo Columbia
hae shown their appreciation of good
things in the past and are willing to
support a good thing.
Hut -Mr. Hall is too modest. When
ever a large enterprise is established
in a town a bonus is given. Mr. Hall
did not receive a bonus. He did not
even ask for one. He simply made
his plans, let the contract and then
announced to the people of Columbia
that he had invested $60,000 in a busi
ness enterprise in Columbia.
Columbia showed its appreciation
through its Commercial Club. The
business men asked Mr. Hall to turn
over the first performance to them -let
them handle it entirely.
And tomorrow night, eighty-five
j cars after the first theatrical per
formance here, first performance
at the new Hall Theater will take
place and the Commercial Club in
general and Dr. L.. M. Defoe, its presi
dent, in particular are in charge.
O D. WILSO.V
(Manager of the Hall Theater)