Full Title: The Story of a Theater by Lyman B. Glover
Book Location: Internet Archive Date Published: 1898
A wonderful history of early theater in Chicago, Hooley’s and its evolution into Power’s Theater. Includes recollections by many early actors such as Joseph Jefferson, for whom Chicago’s “Jeff” Awards is named.
It was my fortune to begin writing of the Chicago theaters about the time that Harry J. Powers was first engaged in a minor capacity at Hooley’s. Thus when it happened, after a long course of years, that Mr. Powers, having become master where he once served, invited me to prepare an unpretentious souvenir of this historic house, it seemed an obligation of old friendship and, therefore, a pleasant duty to comply with the request.
The result is offered without apology, since where there is no pretense there can be no occasion for excuses. Wishing to preserve from oblivion fugitive memories of this famous theater, and signalize not merely its change of ownership, but also a complete reconstruction, a souvenir of this casual and informal nature was thought to be appropriate.
Perhaps some flying threads and thrums have been rescued and woven together in such a manner that they will be available, one of these days, for some one more apt and patient than I am in the work of writing history. No doubt errors have crept in, which is not strange, since there is no complete repository of facts relating to any of the Chicago theaters upon which one may draw. The chief dependence is and must be upon memory, reinforced by such memoranda as have escaped the envious tooth of time. Nothing is affirmed or promised, therefore, except a few facts and sentiments garnered to honor a theater which has earned an entirely unique reputation. There is no attempt to be literary, profound, or exhaustive. I simply dwell casually upon the record of dear old Uncle Dick Hooley and his achievements in this house, because they are worthy of attention, and for the reason that they form an important chapter in the theatrical history of Chicago. Now that a second chapter in this record has been commenced by Mr. Hooley ‘s successor-in-trust, Harry J. Powers, it seems appropriate to bring the old and the new together in these pages, and thus with a sentiment of tender regret for the past that has drifted away from us, and of hope for the future, which promises so much, I wish the manager and the patrons of Powers’ Theater all happiness and good fortune.