The Theatre: Black Majesty

Since Manhattan's high-arched, vast-lobbied Empire Theatre threw open its doors "way uptown" 45 years ago, it has ever been the home of the theatre's great est stars and entrepreneurs: Maude Adams, Ethel Barrymore, Katharine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Charles Frohman. Gilbert Miller. A fashionable theatre always, the Empire today is a patrician landmark.

For many a year, part of the Empire "atmosphere" has been a great strapping Negro with a broad smile and a big diamond-horseshoe stickpin. In the days before motor cars and electric callboards, big John Ryland boomed up waiting carriages...

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