Monday, February 27, 2012
Nationwide Theatrical Agency
This eye-catching sign for Nationwide Theatrical Agency at 1629 Broadway has always intrigued me. In a gritty, working man's town like Lorain – where cars, ships and steel were manufactured – to me, this sign symbolized glamour and show business.
What went on in the agency's suite, I wondered? Was there a cigar-chomping agent sitting behind a desk, while a variety of acts auditioned in front of him, hoping to hit the big time? Did the agent promise the performer that someday they'd "play the Palace," only for them to find out that he meant the Lorain Palace?
It's kind of difficult finding out about the agency. Phone book ads for the agency first appeared in the 1965 Lorain directory. The 1966 ad advertised "entertainment for all occasions" including singers, dance teams, magicians, recording stars, novelty acts, comedians, accordionists, jugglers, ventriloquists, hypnotists, dance bands and combos.
The ad changed very little over the years. The 1979 version added "trained animal acts" and "country & western stars."
The ads for the agency continued to appear in the phone book for the next several decades. The last phone listing I could find in the books at the library was for 2004, and it's not in the current CenturyTel book either. So it looks like this little touch of Hollywood must have booked its last flea circus years ago.
Anyway, I'd love to know if anyone reading this blog knew anyone who was represented by Nationwide Theatrical Agency, or if they ever booked an act through them.
Even if the place is closed, it's still a great sign though.