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Pantages

Donald P. Borchers

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Pantages

Pantages

Donald P. Borchers

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A mystery that ends with a deathbed confession. The true roller coaster story of Greek immigrant Alexander Pantages seems like a fairy-tale. An entrepreneur who created a large and popular Vaudeville circuit in Puget Sound, based on the premise that people would spend money for a small amount of happiness.

Latest Episodes

Pantages - Chapter 7 - Trial of the Century, Part 2

The biased news coverage of highly dramatic sensational stories was the journalistic practice of Hearst, the Roger Aisles of his day. Pantages trial exposed fissures in American society in gender relations at a time when theatrical opportunities opened the door to women entering the business world for the first time on a major scale, causing tension in mainstream society which still preferred domesticated women to liberated ones.

50 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 7 - Trial of the Century, Part 2

Pantages - Chapter 6 - Trial of the Century

By the late 1920’s Pantages was worth the equivalent of approximately $300 million in current dollars. That kind of money can change a person’s living circumstances. But what about a person’s character? Pantages was a baffling combination of native good sense and imprudence. In his case imprudence that verged upon foolishness. He had a goat-like appetite for an endless stream of oh-so-available stage-struck young women. And he chose quite a number.

52 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 6 - Trial of the Century

Pantages - Chapter 5 - Joe Kennedy

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. was the father of JFK and the son of a saloon owner. Apart from his brilliant propensity to attract and keep money, sometimes by shrewdness, hard work and fine timing (he came out from the 1929 crash richer) but often by dishonesty, betraying of friends and association with criminals, he had no positive qualities at all.

39 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 5 - Joe Kennedy

Pantages - Chapter 4 - The Movie Palace

Pantages heightened the experience of attending a show by attracting top talent and creating sumptuously-designed theaters that could themselves be draws. Movie cathedrals replaced, in both architectural grandeur and cultural impact, the dominance of churches and temples. A key figure in furthering this was the brilliant Jewish-Scottish immigrant architect, B. Marcus Priteca and the result was a two-decades long collaboration.

62 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 4 - The Movie Palace

Pantages - Chapter 3 - Klondike Kate, Part 2

Klondike Kate was a spectacular conversationalist. Miners in town for an evening would chuck nuggets up on the stage and she'd scoop them up; she'd drink with them afterward, sharing bottles of wine that cost $5 each and pouring her glass discreetly into a spittoon to avoid getting drunk, while they talked about their lives. She talked at least one miner out of committing suicide, talked several out of leaving their wives and even staked a few with some cash to keep them going after they'd been cleaned out by a professional gambler or robbed.

57 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 3 - Klondike Kate, Part 2

Pantages - Chapter 2 - Klondike Kate

She made her name and gained her fame and fortune on the saloon stages of Dawson, in the Yukon, Canada, as a singer, dancer and Vaudeville star during the Klondike Gold Rush, where she earned her place in Gold Rush history as a beautiful, talented, and flirtatious stage dancer during Dawson's peak years and met Alexander Pantages who later became a very successful Vaudeville/motion picture mogul. Engaged more than 100 times, married at least three times, and ever on the move, Kate thumbed her nose at the morés of her era, unashamed of who she was or the choices she made.

51 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 2 - Klondike Kate

Pantages - Chapter 1

Without immigrants like Alexander Pantages to lead the way, Hollywood might have resembled the oil industry in the late 1880’s dominated by one individual, John D. Rockefeller. Pantages’ circuit faced vigorous competition, but the Vaudeville theater business was anything but monolithic. After the mid-1910’s, and certainly after Edison’s vise grip on the industry was broken, rather than a single domineering light, the movie business was composed of thousands of small lights that collectively turned a struggling art form into a major American industry. Pantages stood at the center of this development. Despite his pioneering spirit, Alexander Pantages is largely forgotten today in historical accounts of the early development of motion pictures.

55 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 1
the END

Latest Episodes

Pantages - Chapter 7 - Trial of the Century, Part 2

The biased news coverage of highly dramatic sensational stories was the journalistic practice of Hearst, the Roger Aisles of his day. Pantages trial exposed fissures in American society in gender relations at a time when theatrical opportunities opened the door to women entering the business world for the first time on a major scale, causing tension in mainstream society which still preferred domesticated women to liberated ones.

50 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 7 - Trial of the Century, Part 2

Pantages - Chapter 6 - Trial of the Century

By the late 1920’s Pantages was worth the equivalent of approximately $300 million in current dollars. That kind of money can change a person’s living circumstances. But what about a person’s character? Pantages was a baffling combination of native good sense and imprudence. In his case imprudence that verged upon foolishness. He had a goat-like appetite for an endless stream of oh-so-available stage-struck young women. And he chose quite a number.

52 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 6 - Trial of the Century

Pantages - Chapter 5 - Joe Kennedy

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. was the father of JFK and the son of a saloon owner. Apart from his brilliant propensity to attract and keep money, sometimes by shrewdness, hard work and fine timing (he came out from the 1929 crash richer) but often by dishonesty, betraying of friends and association with criminals, he had no positive qualities at all.

39 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 5 - Joe Kennedy

Pantages - Chapter 4 - The Movie Palace

Pantages heightened the experience of attending a show by attracting top talent and creating sumptuously-designed theaters that could themselves be draws. Movie cathedrals replaced, in both architectural grandeur and cultural impact, the dominance of churches and temples. A key figure in furthering this was the brilliant Jewish-Scottish immigrant architect, B. Marcus Priteca and the result was a two-decades long collaboration.

62 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 4 - The Movie Palace

Pantages - Chapter 3 - Klondike Kate, Part 2

Klondike Kate was a spectacular conversationalist. Miners in town for an evening would chuck nuggets up on the stage and she'd scoop them up; she'd drink with them afterward, sharing bottles of wine that cost $5 each and pouring her glass discreetly into a spittoon to avoid getting drunk, while they talked about their lives. She talked at least one miner out of committing suicide, talked several out of leaving their wives and even staked a few with some cash to keep them going after they'd been cleaned out by a professional gambler or robbed.

57 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 3 - Klondike Kate, Part 2

Pantages - Chapter 2 - Klondike Kate

She made her name and gained her fame and fortune on the saloon stages of Dawson, in the Yukon, Canada, as a singer, dancer and Vaudeville star during the Klondike Gold Rush, where she earned her place in Gold Rush history as a beautiful, talented, and flirtatious stage dancer during Dawson's peak years and met Alexander Pantages who later became a very successful Vaudeville/motion picture mogul. Engaged more than 100 times, married at least three times, and ever on the move, Kate thumbed her nose at the morés of her era, unashamed of who she was or the choices she made.

51 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 2 - Klondike Kate

Pantages - Chapter 1

Without immigrants like Alexander Pantages to lead the way, Hollywood might have resembled the oil industry in the late 1880’s dominated by one individual, John D. Rockefeller. Pantages’ circuit faced vigorous competition, but the Vaudeville theater business was anything but monolithic. After the mid-1910’s, and certainly after Edison’s vise grip on the industry was broken, rather than a single domineering light, the movie business was composed of thousands of small lights that collectively turned a struggling art form into a major American industry. Pantages stood at the center of this development. Despite his pioneering spirit, Alexander Pantages is largely forgotten today in historical accounts of the early development of motion pictures.

55 MIN2018 JUN 10
Comments
Pantages - Chapter 1
the END
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