A wonderful vaudeville relic

Our friends at Oriental Theatre regularly tell us their ghost sightings – the place was built over the foundations of the Iroquoid Theatre, which burned in 1903. They have been doing a lot of architectural investigating, too, looking in nooks and crannies for traces of the old Iroquois theatre that may have survived in forgotten basement levels. Far above the basement, though, in a forgotten old loft space, these signed and dated lip prints were found underneath a piece of paper that had been plastered over them:

In the late 1930s, when the lip prints were made, the Oriental was primarily a vaudeville house – a group appearing there the week these prints were made was called The Dancing Sweethearts – that was probably the troupe to which these women belonged. What a cool find! It must have been covered for a very long time – while the thing is tough to photograph (on a shiny wall in an unlit loft, the flash tends to create a lot of glare), the pencil-written signatures are still bold and legible after seventy years!

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