Amon Carter Museum of American Art; Fort Worth TX; Camille 1932

Lillian Gish

The New York Times: Denver, Col., July 16—In an impressive ceremony, amid the merry laughter of “pioneer” belles and gay young men, and at a cost of $250,000, the famous Central City Opera House was brought to life tonight after a silence of fifty years.

Lillian Gish in Camille curtain call, Central City, Colorado 3
Laura Gilpin (1891-1979); ; Gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft Worth, Texas; Bequest of the Artist; P1979.128.

Men, women and children from the Atlantic Seaboard and the Pacific Coast came to this “phantom” village, once the miners’ capital. Daughters and sons, granddaughters and grandsons of pioneers who once made those same walls vibrate with their applause were there for the gala opening of the revival, in dress such as their ancestors wore at the theatre when it was new. Some of the gowns, handed down through the fifty years, were once heard to rustle down those same aisles.

Lillian Gish in Camille curtain call, Central City, Colorado 2
Laura Gilpin (1891-1979); [Camille, Curtain Call–Gish, Lillian] [Central City, Colorado]; Platinum print; 1933; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Ft Worth, Texas; Bequest of the Artist; P1979.140.177

Every person in the audience represented some famous character of the time when Central City was the centre of Colorado’s gold mining industry. “Camille” typified to perfection the taste of the ‘8 os in the theatre. Miss Lillian Gish, as Marguerite Gautier, takes the leading role, with Raymond Hackett playing opposite her as Armand. It was the first time “Camille” has played in the old opera house in fifty years.”

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Lillian Gish in Feathered cap by Nell Dorr cca 1930 Double Exposure