MAURY THOMPSON Special for The Post-Star
From The Post Star in 1947:
Two new illusions, “Chopping a Woman in 8 Parts” and “The Mummy Comes to Life”, made their world debut at “Lewis Graham’s Battle of Magic” show at the Rialto Theater on March 14-15.
To whet the appetite, we got to watch a magician escape from a trunk outside the theater for free at noon on March 14.
It was “the first big stage show of the year” at the Warren Street theatre, demolished later in the 1970s, which showed mainly first-run films.
The touring show was billed as a theatrical competition between Hardeen Jr., “successor to the famous Houdini”, representing the United States, and “The Great Dagmar”, representing Europe.
Hardeen Jr. was the stage name of Douglas Geoffrey Mackintosh, who had served as an assistant to magician and escape artist Theodore “Dash” Hardeen, brother of Harry Houdini, according to the Society of American Magicians.
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During Theodore Hardeen’s last show, he named Mackintosh “successor” to the Houdini legacy, and Mackintosh began using the stage name Hardeen Jr.
The shows were at 3:45 p.m., 7:20 p.m. and 10 p.m. on March 14 and at 1:30 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9:40 p.m. on March 15, according to a March 14 announcement in The Post Star.
Admission was 25 cents for children and 75 cents for adults – the equivalent of $3.21 and $9.63 in 2022 dollars.
Time: “Once again it’s time to sing, songs of welcome to spring. – Spring, soft and blond, wearing snowdrops in her hair – unless Winter, old gray, stays to linger on her lap. – March 21st
Downtown: Jimmy Miller’s Saddlemates headlined a St. Patrick’s Day radio barn dance in Knights of Columbus Hall at the corner of Warren and Center streets. “The whole gang will be there, including the Ranch Girls, who will sing harmony numbers. For an evening of bubbly fun and good company, make it a date. Other acts included the “Whistling Specialist ” Donald Knight. About 500 people attended. — March 17-18
Young Airman: Fourteen-and-a-half-year-old pilot Frances Stanton of New York, a summer resident of Assembly Point, was visiting friends in Glens Falls and flew another hour with her instructor at Cape Aircraft in Glens Falls. Airport, bringing its experience to more than 45 hours of flight in the local sky. “Although she is too young to go solo, Frances has mastered the art of flight perfectly and her instructor simply accompanies her.” – March 22
Sports stories: The winner of the annual City Series baseball game between Glens Falls High School and St. Mary’s Academy in the upcoming season would receive more than just bragging rights. Norman R. Gourley, “one of the oldest and most enthusiastic baseball fans in town,” donated a silver trophy to be presented to the winner. The general public could see the trophy in a few days displayed in the window of the Erlanger store on Glen Street. “The trophy…will add further rivalry to the already heated battle.” — March 26.
Editorial: “Anyone who has the opportunity to drive much of Bay Street can be fairly certain that the onset of winter will cause the Bay Street sidewalk to break. This year is no exception to the rule. The road surface of Bay Street is an abomination of pocks, pits and tire traps. Those who managed to drive during the war silently accepted the condition because they had no alternative. They were assured, however, that when peace returned, their sufferings would be relieved. Well, now is the time to do something about a permanent sidewalk for Bay Street. – March 20th
Quoteable: “Time spent being courteous is never wasted.” — March 26
Maury Thompson was a Post Star journalist for 21 years before retiring in 2017. He is now a freelance writer and producer of documentary films who regularly researches historical newspapers in the region.