Advertisement for the Dreamland Theatre. - , Utah
25 January 1908
Dreamland Theatre

Washington Avenue
Ogden, Utah

(Before 1908 - After 1908)

The managers of the Dreamland Theatre, brothers Charles and George Driskell, made “much needed improvements” to the playhouse in March 1908.  The premises were re-painted and the interior re-papered.   Local artists decorated the walls with landscape panels.  The proprietors spared “no means or pains” in the “thorough renovating.”   Their objective was to make the Dreamland Theatre the “most attractive and convenient of its kind in the city.”   The Ogden Standard Examiner reported that the Dreamland “is really a big improvement to the stores on the east side of Washington avenue, and will do much in drawing the people over to that side, not only for the pleasure they can receive, but for business.  With such permanent and elegant improvements, the Dreamland should be a place to spend hours of real pleasure.”[1][2]

The management of the Dreamland Theater announced in April 1908 they had “an unsurpassable film service” with “1,000 feet of brand new pictures each day, making an entire change of pictures each three days.  You are due at Dreamland every three days.”  For a souvenir matinee on Saturday, each lady was to receive a Japanese pin tray.[3]

In August 1908, the Dreamland installed a second projector, “a fine new machine” and “the very latest model.”   Along with the original projector, “one of the best and latest makes on the market,” the Dreamland promised the “clearest and steadiest of pictures” without “the necessity of any intermissions whatever to change pictures,” enabling the theater “to show more pictures in less time than any other house in the city.”[4]

A horse broke its bridle in August 1908 and dashed down 23rd Street to Washington Avenue, where it came to a stop in front of the Dreamland Theatre.  “One wheel of the wagon was demolished and several pedestrians had narrow escapes in avoiding the frightened animal.”[5]

In a 29 August 1908 article, the manager of the Dreamland claimed to have “worked with untiring energy to bring about an arrangement whereby the pictures shown at Dreamland will not be shown by any other house.”[4]  R. W. Strong, manager with the 20-Century Optiscope Company, published a letter in the Ogden Standard Examiner the next day saying that the statement by the Dreamland Theatre was “absolutely false and untrue.”  He alleged that the management of the Dreamland had “absolutely refused to co-operate with the other picture theaters in Ogden” and that the entire credit for exclusive film bookings lay with efforts by the Film Service Association, a national organization.[6]  In response, George Driskell of the Dreamland claimed “undeniable proof” to back up his statement and said Mr. Strong should “adjust his glasses a little more carefully and re-read our article more intelligently.”[7]

Two months later, on 1 November 1908, the Dreamland Theatre opened under the new management of Fred Tout and Fred Anderson.  As the new lessees, they promised the theater would be “thoroughly repaired” with “many improvements … within the next few days,” including “changes in the stage settings.”  Fred Tout, a “popular vocalist of Ogden and the state,” would “appear each night in the rendition of popular songs.”  He was to be accompanied on the piano by his son, Glen Tout, and a violinist.[8]

The “electrician and moving picture operator” of the Dreamland, Arthur Randolph, skipped town “with more or less property belonging to others,” including tools and a suitcase filled with clothing.  Randolph also pawned a typewriter belonging to L. H. Becraft and falsely obtained goods from merchants by mentioning the name of the theater.  Mr. Tout journeyed to Salt Lake City, but failed to learn the man's whereabouts.[9]

1. "Making Improvements", Ogden Standard Examiner, 4 March 1908, page 5
2. "Dreamland Theater", Ogden Standard Examiner, 10 March 1908, page 7
3. "Change of Program Every Three Days", Ogden Standard Examiner, 15 April 1908, page 5
4. "Dreamland Buys a Fine New Machine", Ogden Standard Examiner, 29 August 1908, page 8
5. "Random References", Ogden Standard Examiner, 29 August 1908, page 6
6. "Moving Picture Theaters", Ogden Standard Examiner, 31 August 1908, page 6
7. "Dreamland Replies to Strong's Attack", Ogden Standard Examiner, 31 August 1908, page 6
8. "Opening of Dreamland under New Management", Ogden Standard Examiner, 2 November 1908, page 4
9. "Random References", Ogden Standard Examiner, 1 December 1908, page 6