Westcott Scrapbooks


Volume VII
P age 195
July 1886

Various Numerons and Beautiful Improvements Being Made in It.

A small army of workmen and artists are engaged in making a series of extensive alterations and improvements at the Temple Theatre and Egyptian Musee, and it is expected that when these are completed, this popular amusement resort will be one of the handsomest and most comfortable of its kind.  The principal improvement will be the enlarging and widening of the entrance, which will then be almost three times as large as formerly.  The western wall is to be torn out, and the width of the corridor increased to thirty-four feet.  The pillars along the western end of the front of the building will be cut off at a certain height above the floor, and will be supported by two handsome archways. 

            On entering the theater, one will first pass into a vestibule beautifully tiled with polished slabs of black and white marble and ornamented with handsomely carved balustrades.  A flight of five steps and a short landing at the top will lead from the vestibule to the beginning of the grand staircase.

            The grand stair-case will be made one of the most magnificent features of the building.  Mr. Wm. G. Hale, the designing architect, in charge the alterations [sic], has expended a considerable amount of labor and pains upon its construction and it is calculated to add to the popularity and attractiveness of the theatre.  It will be divided into three flights, having only about seven steps each, this so as to make the ascent as easy as possible.  Passing up the staircase one passes into a large room south of the auditorium, and the opening into this room formed by the stair-case will be surrounded by an arcade, roofed over and supported by a delicate mass of columns inornately carved and decorated.  Colored electric lights will beautify the scene.  The wainscoting on either side of the staircase will be handsomely designed, and the stairs are to be carpeted. 

            The auditorium will be but slightly changed, but will be left pretty much as during last season.

            Manager Brotherton, a bright, engaging, and liberal gentleman, expresses the intention of having ultimately the finest amusement resort in the world, and he deserves high credit for the amount of energy, enterprise and good taste shown in his conduct of the establishment since its first opening.


Some Radical Changes in the Architecture of the Building – Mrs. Riegel’s Debut

            When September rolls around again and the theatrical season opens, the Temple Theatre – already one of the handsomest in the city – will be so changed that its old admirers will hardly recognize it. 

            Extensive alterations are now going on.  The floor of the theater has been lowered several feet so that a better view of the stage can be had.  The stage itself has been enlarged and improved and new scenery has been added.  The entire theatre will be repainted and recarpeted.  The seats have been widened about two inches and are now quite comfortable.  The Egyptian Musee has been removed from the upper hall to the ground floor and will in future be located on Chestnut street west of the entrance to the theatre.  The old stairway leading to the theatre proper has been removed, the walls on the west have been torn down, and the workmen are now building a stairway over 40 feet wide, which will be the entrance to the theatre.  Manager Brotherton says that it will be the handsomest theatre entrance in the country.

            The house will open in the fall with The Mystic Isle, a new comic opera, with words by Sydney Rosenfeld and music by John B. Grant.  The occasion will be more than usually interesting because it will mark the debut on the operatic stage of Mrs. Leigh L. Riegel, wife of A.B. Riegel, of the late firm of Riegel, Scott & Co.  Mrs. Riegel, who is well known in this city, will personate Alice Chickerlick, the heroine.  She is now rehearsing the part in New York.  John Howson, Charles Stanley, Will S. Rising, and Louis Harrison will also be in the cast.