About the Web site: The Blues, Black Vaudeville, and the Silver Screen, 1912-1930s consists of selected correspondence, financial records, contracts, and advertising materials from the theater's records found in the Charles Henry Douglass business records at the Middle Georgia Archives, which document the amusements available to Macon's African American population, and the business dealings of this African American entrepreneur from 1912 to the 1930s. The bulk of these selected records feature the period between 1920 and 1929, and describe the sporting events, vaudeville, and films brought to the theater, as well as the efforts to ensure its financial success. Handbills and booking correspondence document Georgia-based fighters such as Tiger Flowers and Texas Tanner who sought to fight at the venue in 1927. Douglass and Ben Stein, a white businessman who assumed ownership of the theater between 1927 and 1929, were affiliated with the Theatre Owners Booking Association (T.O.B.A.), a vaudeville circuit. This gave them access to bring prominent acts to Macon's African American community, such as well-known blues musicians Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, comedians Butterbeans and Susie, as well as musicals, revues, and sacred theater. When not hosting live acts, the Douglass also exhibited a wide variety of sound and silent motion pictures. Selected records feature race films (movies made specifically for African American audiences) of producers such as the Norman Film Manufacturing Company and Oscar Micheaux. The selections highlight other Southern African American theaters, such as the Palace Theatre in Valdosta, Georgia, Liberty Theatre in Columbus, Georgia, and the Liberty Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Creation of the Web site:The following Middle Georgia Archives, Georgia HomePLACE, and Digital Library of Georgia staff and student assistants contributed to the production of the The Blues, Black Vaudeville, and the Silver Screen, 1912-1930s Web site:

  • Katie Gentilello
  • P. Toby Graham
  • Anne Marie Hamilton-Brehm
  • Muriel Jackson
  • Edward A. Johnson
  • Katha Massey
  • Mandy Mastrovita
  • Sheila McAlister
  • Ben McCormick
  • Meghan Pye
  • Leigh Ann Ripley
  • Leigh Ann Vey

Publisher: The Digital Library of Georgia, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA 30602

Date: 2005

Publication status: This work is the property of The University of Georgia Libraries. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.

Editorial notes for XML TEI version: Quotation marks retained as data except inside q tags; Errors in transcription of the text controlled with Microsoft Word spell-checker; text has also been thoroughly proofread.; Corrections and normalization represented by editorial tags. All unambiguous end-of-line hyphens removed.

Master image file details: 600 dpi, TIFF 4.0

Finding aids: The Digital Library of Georgia/GALILEO provided assistance in the digital conversion and encoding of the finding aid as a part of the Georgia Homeplace initiative. Support provided by a Library Services and Technology Act grant administered through the Georgia Public Library Service.