The Theater: 8 Acts 8

Outside the theater, a loudspeaker endlessly blared There's No Business Like Show Business while cops rode herd on the crowd. Inside, with standees five deep, a frankly sentimental audience roared welcome to the ghost. Vaudeville had come back to its greatest and last stand, Manhattan's Palace Theater.

Had it come to stay? With the movie box office sagging, the RKO theater chain —parent of the Palace—fervently hoped so. The movies had done their share to kill off vaudeville, but now the exhumed variety show might be just what worried movie exhibitors needed. If the Palace's new "8 Acts 8" (featured on a...

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