Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Burlesque

Dumont’s Minstrels

a black and white photograph of Dumont's Minstrel theater advertising burlesque shows

Dumont’s Theater was one of many venues in which audiences could take in a burlesque show in the early twentieth century. This photograph, circa 1911, shows the theater festooned with advertisements for burlesque shows and Buffalo Bill’s Ranche 101 as well as minstrel shows. (Library of Congress)

Library of Congress

Dumont’s Theater was one of many venues in which audiences could take in a burlesque show in the early twentieth century. Operated by Frank Dumont, it was primarily a venue for minstrelsy in which white performers blackened their faces with burnt cork and portrayed racist caricatures in musical comedy shows. In 1895, Dumont purchased the 11th Street Opera House as a home for his own performances. It eventually diversified to include an assortment of shows. This photograph, circa 1911, shows the theater festooned with advertisements for burlesque shows and Buffalo Bill’s Ranche 101 as well as minstrel shows. Dumont’s eventually moved to a new building at Ninth and Arch Street. It burned down in 1929.

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