Newspaper advertisement for the Orpheum Theatre in 1910. - , Utah
17 November 1910
Joie Theatre
(Globe Theatre, Florence Theater, Orpheum Theatre)

Brigham City, Utah

(Before 1908 - ?)

The Globe Theatre opened sometime before July 1908[1] and was owned by the Stark family.[2]

James G. Ellis, who worked with his father at the Joie Theatre in Ogden, purchased the Globe Theatre in October 1909.[2] Ellis was “somewhat of a song writer and composer, being hard at work at the present time, on a little operetta which will be presented here with home talent when completed.   He has already had one excellent song published, which is full of tunefulness and very catchy music.”[3]

In November 1909, Ellis added a stage to the Globe Theatre so that vaudeville acts could be presented along with motion pictures.  The stage was built in one day.  Ellis and his men started construction one evening after the show was over and then worked through the night.  Scenery was painted during the days following.[3] Two weeks later the theater appears to have been renamed the Joie Theatre.[4][5]

In April 1910, James Ellis moved to Salt Lake City and B. M. Neale became manager of the Joie Theatre.  Neale's wife was to provide the singing at the theater.[5]  The change in management was connected with the incorporation of the Florence Company, of a chain of theaters across Utah owned by Max Florence.  By August 1910, the Joie Theatre was renamed the Florence Theatre.[5][6]

Max Florence fell into financial distress in November 1910, leaving Mr. and Mrs. B. M. Neal unemployed.  To avoid paying their substantial debts, the couple shipped their belongings to Salt Lake City in advance and then made a “hasty flight without calling on their 'friends' to say adieu.”[7] After learning of their intentions, H. N. Bowring tried to intercept them.  Although the south-bound trains were being watched at the depot, Neal and his wife took back streets and fields until they came back to the electric car line and then caught a train to Ogden.   Neal was later arrested and a trial scheduled.[7]

A Box Elder News article observed that, “The experience was a costly one for those who trusted Neal and his wife, and should be a lesson to beware of such people in the future.”[7] The editor's opinion of Mrs. Neal sunk from “a singer of note”[5] when she first arrived in Brigham City to a “nightingale (?)” and a “singing bird duckey”[7] following the incident.

After some “lively bidding,” W. V. Call became the new owner of the theater.  The Box Elder News noted that “several parties in the city had 'their eye' on the property” and that it was “an investment that could yield a fairly good profit to the right purchaser.”[8]

An “Open Soon” advertisement for the Orpheum Theatre appeared in the Box Elder News the same day as the articles on the Neals' departure and the purchase by Call.   The Orpheum was described as “a theatre that will show new first class pictures, songs, and new views made by Todd for the 'Photo Atlas of Box Elder County.'”[9]

1. "Personal Items", Box Elder News, 23 July 1908
2. "Globe Theatre Changes Hands", Box Elder News, 7 October 1909, page 4
3. "Another Theatre in Brigham", Box Elder News, 2 December 1909, page 1
4. "Items of Interest", Box Elder News, 16 December 1909
5. "New Theatre Management", Box Elder News, 7 April 1910
6. "The Florence Theater", Box Elder News, 4 August 1910, page 1
7. "Smooth Grafters", Box Elder News, 17 November 1910, page 1
8. "Florence Theatre Changes Hands", Box Elder News, 17 November 1910, page 6
9. "Advertisements", Joie Theatre (Brigham City), Box Elder News, 17 November 1910