“St. Paul Theater Closed to Halt Musicians Row”

Artifact Type Mainstream Media, Sources
Publication St. Paul Dispatch
Place St. Paul, MN
Publication Date September 1, 1927
Transcript Show/Hide

Headline: “St. Paul Theater Closed to Halt Musicians Row”

Subhead: Astor to Stop Programs Indefinitely Because of Disagreement Over Orchestra.

58 Mill City Playhouses May Shut Doors Tonight

Tieup to Take Place Unless Owners Answer Movie Operators Ultimatum Satisfactorily Today.

Because of disputes between theater owners and labor organizations in the Twin Cities, the Astor theater in St. Paul will close its door Friday night, and unless a compromise can be brought about today 53 theaters in Minneapolis will close down at midnight tonight.

Because of a threatened walkout of musicians, unless the orchestra is kept employed while the theater is open, the Astor theater will close indefinitely, Finkelstein & Ruben officials announced.

Meeting in Minneapolis Wednesday afternoon with officials of the Theater Owners’ and Managers’ association, representative of the St. Paul Musicians’ association and their national union officers negotiated a contract the terms of which included references to the Astor and the maintenance of the orchestra there.

No Fear for St. Paul.

Harold Finkelstein today made the following statement on behalf of Finkelstein & Ruben regarding the situation:

“Labor negotiations involve no difficulties in St. Paul. The operators’ agreement was reached some time ago, and the musicians’ association and the managers settled on a contract Wednesday. A dispute arose in regard to the Astor theater, which was disposed of by the closing of the theater.

“A rather tense situations has developed in regard to the operators in Minneapolis, but we hope that the two negotiations committees will be in accord before the time designated as a breaking point.”

In Minneapolis the strike of motion picture operators which threatens 58 theaters will take effect after midnight tonight unless theater owners today satisfactorily answer an ultimatum issued by the operators early this morning.

Would Make 6,000 Idle.

Closing of the Minneapolis houses would throw out of work between 6,000 and 7,000 persons, it is estimated.

The strike threat followed a three-hour conference at the Nicollet hotel in which owners and union operators failed to come to an agreement on the latter’s demands for wage increases and better working conditions.

The Minneapolis Motion Picture Theater Operators’ association is a branch of the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employes.

With their present wage scale agreement which has been in extence for the past two years expiring at midnight, the operators went to the conference demanding increases ranging from 10 to 8 per cent. The increases demanded are on the existing scale which are from $1 to $1.45 an hour for a 6-hour day.

St. Paul operators announced that through their organization they had negotiated satisfactory contracts and anticipated no difficulties in this city except on the orchestra issue.

The stagehands organization, it is understand, has not yet completed its […] with […]

Archive Minnesota Historical Society
Citation “St. Paul Theater Closed to Halt Musicians Row,” St. Paul Dispatch, September 1, 1927.
Location MinneapolisMinnesotaSaint Paul
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