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Local History

Betty from Springfield

 Betty from Springfield
From the Springfield Mo. Republican January 3, 1922 p. 4

"First showing of Kiwanis picture scores big hit, Kiwanians make merry celebrating New Year by attending premiere at Princess Theater.  A celebration of the advent of the New Year which lost none of its intensity because of its postponement from Saturday night was enjoyed last night by members of the Kiwanis club and their friends to the number of 300. [note: January 1, 1922 fell on a Sunday.] 

"The show began at 11 o’clock with the exhibition of 'Betty from Springfield' a photoplay featuring local people and staged under the auspices of the Kiwanians.  The picture was followed by five splendid acts of vaudeville.  Music was furnished by Sydney Myers orchestra of the State Teachers college.  Amid showers of confetti, the blowing of tin horns and general merry making the new year was given a fitting if somewhat belated welcome by the club.

“'Betty from Springfield' was seen by audiences which taxed the theater to its capacity at every performance yesterday and hundreds who could not gain entrance in the theater were turned away last night.  That the picture exceeded the expectations of the public was evidenced by the hearty applause which greeted practically every scene showing action of the principals to any extent.  Love, hate, remorse, happiness and grief were registered in turn by the players and each one’s interpretation of the roles were appreciatingly received.  The title role was enacted admirably by Miss Matilda Jordan with Frank Dirth playing opposite and they were well supported throughout the play.  The comedy parts were handled splendidly by Mrs. Fred Holt and George Lines while Leo Busch impersonated the villain.

"Views of the Kiwanis club’s Christmas luncheon at which they entertained about 76 youngsters of the city were shown.  The Boy Scout band, which furnished the music for the event was featured in these views.  A number of public buildings, streets of the city and industrial plants and business also were shown.

“'Betty from Springfield' will be shown at the Princess every afternoon and night this week."

The 1920 City Directory lists the Princess Theater at 313 E. Commercial Street (between Robberson and Jefferson Streets).  City Directories for Springfield are available on microfilm at the Library Center.  We have not been able to locate an existing copy of the photoplay, alas. 

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