The History of SonLight


Orange Daily News
Orange, California

May 22, 1929
Pages 1 & 2

Orange Theatre Ready For Gala Opening Tonight

After months of hard work, which had been preceded by several years of court litigation, Orange's new cinema palace - the Orange "Circle" theater - was ready for its introductory bow tonight.

Out of a troubled sea, which developed storm signs five years ago shortly after construction was first launched, the theater project has been successfully steered through tribulation after tribulation by a former "dirt farmer"; M. Eltiste, who later turned business man, then industrial leader and now has ventured forth as a showman.

The theater, as it stands completed today, is not only a credit to the city, but is a monument to the enterprise, perseverance and progressiveness of Eltiste, his associates and others who contributed in some measure to the success of the showplace.

It was Eltiste who rescued the incompleted, structure from legal entanglements; who labored quietly, but assiduously to achieve its ultimate completion.

The grand opening tonight will be in the nature of a testimonial to his enterprise and to his contention, that "Orange will be satisfied only with a first-class showhouse, no more and no less."

Sharing credit with Eltiste will be C. L. Langley, the lessee, who with A. B. Crawford, resident manager, has equipped the theater with the finest equipment to be found in Orange county showplaces.

More than $40,000 has been expended on equipping the house, surpassing, it is claimed, the amount stipulated in the lease.

Crawford, an experienced theatrical man, has overseen all details and has constantly insisted that only the best be installed. The lighting effects, color blending, drapings and stage trappings were all devised by Crawford to attain the utmost in theater harmony.

To many, who have not seen the completed theater home,, a big surprise will be in store tonight, when its full resources are placed on display for the first time for the public approbation.

In order to permit the throngs to inspect the house, Crawford announced that the doors would be thrown open at 6:15. An effort will be made to start the first performance not later than 6:40 because of the length of the premier.

Opening ceremonies will include a brief address by Senator N. T. Edwards, who will introduce Crawford from the stage.

The show will start with the introduction of Arthur Cannon, organist in a musical specialty, followed by a banjo novelty by Joe Kozina, local musician, accompanied by the pipe organ.

Cannon for the past 6 years has been organist at West Coast theaters at Long Beach. Originally from Anaheim, Cannon is returning to Orange county after 12 years in other Southern California cities, during which he has arisen to a lofty position in the musical profession.

The opening screen program, which will also continue tomorrow night, will feature a first-run, all talking picture, "Molly and Me," co-starring Belle Bennett and Joe E. Brown. Screen vaudeville, singing specialties and a screen prologue complete the attraction bill.

Final tests of the sound equipment were made last night by factory representatives of the General Electric company, manufacturers of the De Forest photophone equipment.

The local theater is said to be one of three showhouses west of Detroit to have the complete De Forest equipment, which includes both disc and film production.


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