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Proprietor: Beware of whom you serve!

More adventures at the Elm Street

by Ken Fletcher

TRINIDAD — It has not been discovered how soon after the re-election of Sheriff Louis Kreeger the Elm Street Theatre was reopened but, in late 1892, mention of the place once again appeared in the newspapers.

“The old Elm Street theatre” was being remodeled under the name of “The Adelphi Theatre.” The proprietor, C.H. Niemeyer had secured “a fine band and orchestra” and proposed to “run the place in quite a different manner than formerly.” (Daily News, November 10, 1892) A review of its opening, with tongue in cheek, appeared in the Evening Chronicle for November 22, 1892: “The old Elm street variety theater was again throw [sic] open to the puplic [sic] last evening and the announcement that twenty-five beautiful young ladies would be the principal attraction filled the house to overflowing and the number of bottles of beer that the fairies disposed of at one dollar each was simply wonderful. The performance was said to have been of the “bum” order.”

Mr. Niemeyer’s attempt to “run the place in a different manner” did not seem to hold much water for very long. An account of an incident that involved “a young man who had not reached his majority” gave the Evening Chronicle another opportunity to take city hall and the establishment to task. A portion of the article follows:

“The Chronicle has a number of times referred to the Adelphi theatre as an institution that was, to say the least, demoralizing in its influence, but with the consent of the city council it has been permitted to flourish. Feeling secure in official protection the proprietor is becoming a little careless and it is time to call a halt.”

The article went on to explain that on the night of December 29, a young man “got into the Adelphi, and was soon in the clutches of the fairies.”

“After getting all of his cash he was induced to sign checks which aggregated about $40. He had become very much intoxicated and was an easy victim.”

The following day, after sobering up, he sought the advice of a friend. An officer of the law named Dennis called on the proprietor and demanded that the lad’s checks be returned to him. The proprietor refused and said he “would retain the checks and cash them.” The proprietor was disappointed when he went to cash the checks, for the lad’s bank account had been closed. (Evening Chronicle, December 30, 1892).