Voices of the Town: Vaudeville in Canada, from the Peterborough Centennial Museum and Archives and Stories from Ontario’s Movie Theatres from the Archives of Ontario are two travelling exhibits that opened at Guelph Civic Museum on April 18.
In the era before TV and radio, vaudeville was the most popular form of entertainment in North America.
Family oriented, it featured fast-paced variety sketches, comedy routines, songs, dance, acrobats, feats and stunts on stages across the country. The exhibit includes DVD clips of vaudeville routines, many vaudevillian images, and a reproduction kinestoscope, an early film-viewing cabinet. Oklahoma Jack, a sharp-shooting knife-wielding, trick roping vaudevillian mannequin, complete with his trunk, will also be on display.
Eventually the vaudeville acts were replaced with another form of entertainment – movies.
The special travelling exhibit considers the stories of movie theatres across Ontario.
Also included in the exhibit will be photographs and objects from local Guelph movie theatres such as the Odeon, Capitol, and Palace Theatres. Both exhibits continue at the Guelph Civic Museum until June 22.
Contact Guelph Museums at 519-836-1221, extension 2774 for more information or visit guelph.ca/museum.