American Memory, Library of Congress

Variety Stage Motion Pictures

Variety Stage 1870-1920
Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress

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The 61 motion pictures in the Variety Stage collection include animal acts, burlesque, dance, comic sketches, dramatic excerpts, dramatic sketches, physical culture acts, and tableaus. The films represented date from copyrights of 1897 to 1920; the majority are drawn from the Library's extensive Paper Print Collection. The remaining films were produced by Hans A. Spanuth in Chicago from 1919 to 1920 for the series "Spanuth's Original Vod-A-Vil Movies." These motion pictures present a rare animated record of vaudeville acts from the turn of the century. Although not actually filmed on a theatrical stage, they sought to recreate the atmosphere of a theater performance by showing the types of vaudeville acts and performers that were popular at the time.
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The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Film List

About the Films

Historical Context

Selected Bibliography

Paper Print Film Collection

Actuality Films


How to View Videos

How to Order Copies of Films

Copyright and Other Restrictions

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am Apr-15-99