Monday, April 21, 2008

A Little Taste Of History (9)

Happenings During The 1800s In NYC #2

The Park Theatre was opened on September 14, 1863 by Mr. Gabriel Harrison, a sincere friend of the nobler drama, an actor of acknowledged ability, and ca citizen of some years' standing. A better selection could not have been made, and his failure, after a short season, was a matter of universal regret. Mrs. F.B. Conway assumed the management on April 2d, 1864. She still has it being now in her fifth season.

In 1829, at the solicitation of Mr. Edwin, comedian, from Niblo's Garden, the large refreshment saloon at Duflon's Military Garden was converted into a theatre, capable of comfortably accommodating some eight hundred people. The theatre was opened on the 19th of June with much eclat. The entertainment commenced with a grand vocal and instrumental concert, in which the following artists participated; Mr. Beargfelt, first violin; Mr. Koights, second violin; Mr. Jackson, tenor; Mr. D. Contra, basso; Mr. Senio, flute; Mr. C. Centra, clarionet; Mr. P. Torse, bugle; Mr. Boynson, trumpet; Mr. E.C. Petre, ditto Mr. Marino, ditto, and Mr. G. Dago, trombone; after which Mons. Chekin's pupils danced Madarin pas de Quatre; a new vandeville was then performed, when the entertainment was closed with a superb display of fireworks.

Academy of Music was opened in January, 1861, with great eclat, a prominent citizen, in the dedicatory address invoking the divine blessing upon the institution. As its name would imply, the Academy of Music was originally intended only for oepratic and musical performances, chiefly those of the Philharmonic Society, but it had not been opened many months before the late Mr. Rarey gave a "horse show" there, and wiser and more liberal counsels prevailing, ere the expiration of the year, after much debate, to be sure, it was thrown open to the drama. Manager Jarrett was the first to catch the worm; he took the house for one week, commencing December 23d, and played Wallack and Davenport.

In 1850 Mr. John E. Cammeyer erected a fine large building on the corner of Fulton and Orange streets for a museum and theatre. There are, perhaps, few of my Brookly7n readers who do not remember the museum. The "museum," which was obn the second floor (the first being occupied by stores) contained a fine collection of stuffed birds, old pennies and other coin, musty coats, deformed skeletons, wax figures, "wild animals," &c. The museum, which was fitted up at an expense of $10,000 (so the bills said), was opened on Monday night, July 1st, 1850. (11)

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