May 12, 1912: “Disgusting” and “filthy” entertainment on a Mother’s Day Sabbath

On this day in Duluth in 1912, Duluthians enjoying some Mothers’ Day entertainments had memorable theater-going experiences. At the Lyceum Theatre, “The ‘Monte Carlo Girls’ [from St. Paul] put on a disgusting performance” containing “filthy suggestion, blistering indecency and actions coarse and disgusting…. That the company was allowed to exhibit the horror twice on the Sabbath, and on Mothers’ Day at that, is amazing.” Meanwhile, at the West End’s Majestic Theater, things got too real for spectators. During the screening of the film “The Still Alarm,” a scene of a fire in the black-and-white silent film caused a small boy to think the curtain was ablaze, and he yelled “fire” in the crowded theater. The paper reported that “In an instant the house was in an uproar. People attempted to climb over each other in their efforts to get out” and that “it was some time before [patrons] could be convinced that the fire existed only in the picture.”

The Lyceum Theatre. (Image: Duluth Public Library)