Newspaper clippings; advertising brochures; and photoprints of performers at the Palace Theatre (including studio publicity portraits). The majority of the items are silver gelatin photoprints. Some photographers are listed below as index terms. Subjects of photographs include strippers and comedians; photographs of women include portraits as well as full-length figures, nude or in costume.
The collection is arranged into one series. Arranged alphabetically by subjects' names within categories.
Biographical / Historical:
George Dewey Michaels (1898-1982) was owner, director, general manager and producer of the Palace Burlesque Theater in Buffalo, New York until it closed on September 29, 1977, when Michaels was 79 years old. Michaels started in the business when he was 19 years old. Through the years, he featured Abbott and Costello, Phil Silvers, Jerry Lewis, Red Buttons, and Sammy Davis, Jr. who was then a dancer with the Will Master Trio which included his father and uncle. The Palace Burlesque was part of a 40-city circuit. Michaels was married in 1920 to Phyllis Boasberg. She died in 1969, leaving two sons and one daughter. On December 4, 1980, Michaels donated a backdrop, used in the theatre, to the Smithsonian. The backdrop had a musical theme with a clarinetist and notes rendered in extravagant art nouveau. Michaels was then 83 years old. Other backdrops were distributed to other theatres and collectors. They were 60-100 years old, painted in Diamond Dye, and worth about $1,000 apiece.
Theatrical backdrops and director's chair located in the Division of Home and Community Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life).
Collection donated by Mr. Dewey Michaels, January 31, 1981.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.