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The Pekin – The Rise and Fall of Chicago's First Black-Owned Theater - Illinois Scholarship Online
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The Pekin: The Rise and Fall of Chicago's First Black-Owned Theater

Thomas Bauman


In 1904, political operator and gambling boss Robert T. Motts opened the Pekin Theater in Chicago. Dubbed the “Temple of Music,” the Pekin became one of the country's most prestigious African American cultural institutions, renowned for its all-black stock company and school for actors, an orchestra able to play ragtime and opera with equal brilliance, and a repertoire of original musical comedies. A missing chapter in the history of African American theater, this book presents how Motts used his entrepreneurial acumen to create a successful black-owned enterprise. Concentrating on institution ... More

Keywords: ragtime, Robert T. Motts, Pekin Theater, African American theater, opera, Chicago

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780252038365
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017 DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038365.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Thomas Bauman, author
Northwestern University