Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Regular Girl Plays in Sandusky

On May 17 and 18, 1920, the film A Regular Girl, starring Elsie Janis, played at the Schade Theatre, on West Market Street in Sandusky. The American Legion promoted the movie with a large banner. (The building being constructed, seen at the left in the photo below, is the Sandusky Star Journal building, now home to the Sandusky Register.)

Elsie Janis, born Elsie Jane Bierbower in 1889, was an actress of stage and screen. During World War One, she entertained troops in France and England. In 1919, Elsie starred in A Regular Girl, a film for which she wrote the screenplay and co-wrote the title song. The movie was loosely based on her experiences entertaining the troops during the War.

In conjunction with A Regular Girl appearing in Sandusky, a marching band and a woman dressed up as the title character appeared in front of the Schade Theatre. Members of the American Legion also conducted a membership drive.

Elsie Janis appeared on Broadway in 1939, and her final film was “Women in War” in 1940. She moved to California, and led a relatively quiet life. She died in California on February 27, 1956. To read about the life and career of Elise Janis, see the Elsie Janis Exhibition hosted at Ohio State University’s Libraries.

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