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The Night Clubs of New York

Condensed from Vanity Fair (May '26)

By a Night Club Proprietor

IVE men are gathered round a table in one of New York's night clubs. One of them says to his companions: "Look here, we've been coming to this place every night for two weeks. We spend, on the average, $100 a night here. Why don't we open one of these places ourselves? Everybody is doing it. We'll save the money we spend here, and possibly make a little besides. It will only take about $10,000-with five of us that means $2000 apiece. Why, we'd lose that in craps in a single night."

And so, another night club is born in New York. Two of the five men are well-known gamblers, the others are wholesale bootleggers. Two thousand apiece means little to them. The number of New York night clubs born in exactly this way is really amazing; money is so easy on Broadway.

One can order a night club like an overcoat. All that is needed is an empty loft over a garage, a deserted brown-stone house, or a fairly dry cellar. The club can be ready, decoErations and all, inside of a month. The actual outlay in cash is slight, but the hazard, if the club intends to sell liquor, is excessive. The Cameo Club, for instance, was recently padlocked exactly three weeks after it had first opened its doors.

To show how little cash is needed in such an enterprise, consider these facts: The coatroom, washroom and cigarette privileges can be sold, to a concessionaire, for a year's rent. Most of the clubs also sell their kitchen privileges. The kitchen concessionaire will put in your kitchen 1 fittings, food, and kitchen help for from half to two-thirds of the food checks. The remainder, going to the

house, will pay the waiters' salaries, cleaning, etc. The cover charge is rationed to pay for the entertainment and band. And the profit-if there is any-comes out of the sale of bottled water, which profit the owners reserve for themselves. As a quart of such water can be purchased for 16 cents, and is usually sold for $2, the profit can mount handsomely. Of course, if a club wants to go in for selling liquor, the profit soars accordingly. But that is another matter entirely.

If a successful club owns its kitchen, the profit is given another boost, for only the simplest sort of food is served these days. A portion of chow mein or chop suey, composed of cheap vegetables and a little chicken, costing not over 20 cents a plate, service and all, brings as much as $2.50. club sandwich is sold for $1, and costs about a dime. Scrambled eggs and bacon, costing 35 cents, bring $1.50. These are the favorite dishes of the supper club of today.


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Charlot's Rendezvous paid that much to Jack Buchanan, Beatrice Lillie and Gertrude Lawrence, the stars of Charlot's Revue. The Mirador, another successful place, did as well by Moss and Fontanna, its sensational team of dancers. Fred and

Adele Astaire received that sum when they danced at the Trocadero. Maurice and Hughes would have been insulted by an offer of less than $3000. Other entertainers receiving sums in the thousands are Mary Hay and Clifton Webb, who danced at Ciro's, Florence Mills, at the Plantation, and Van and Schenk at the Parody. Lew Leslie, for staging the Plantation show, gets 25 per cent of a $3 cover charge.

An indifferent "blues" singer making $300 a week in a musical comedy, gets as much as $600 in a cabaret, and her name in electric lights.

Besides all this, it is now necessary for a proprietor to guarantee his star for a five or ten weeks' engagement, by contract, often before her first appearance. If the entertaîner is a "flop" the proprietor is out that much money, for he must pay in fu!l in order to get rid of the entertainer. One mediocre musical comedy star has appeared in five different cabarets during the last season, lasting only a week in each, and yet has been able to collect a full season's salary, having had contracts in each case for from five to ten weeks.

The band is another feature that keeps the cover charges up. The oldtime band, usually five pieces, received from $300 to $500 weekly in the smartest New York supper clubs. Today, a six-piece band receives from $1600 to $2200 weekly. Bands like

Ted Lewis', Eddie Elkins', Roger Kahn's, Vincent Lopez's and Ben Bernie's receive between $2200 and $3500 a week. All besides the enter tainment, mind you.

Another "draw" for a supper club is the head waiter, if he has a fol-j lowing. Borgo, now at the Mirador, and Charlie Journal, were both guar anteed $500 a week for ten weeks Louis Cantone, once at Ciro's, and Jean of the Lido were never paid less than $300. These men are personali ties, and are as important as the band or entertainment; often more so, for it is they who build up the clientele of the club. Their patrons will fol low them all over the city.

Certain cabarets also use hostesses, who are engaged for their good-looks and their following. These girls sit and dance with unescorted men, or parties lacking women, and it is their business to "mount the check," as well as to make the patrons feel satisfied and willing to return. For this the hostess is paid $25 a week. She gets, besides, a percentage of the cover charges, and ten per cent of the bill for "tonic beverages." As a successful business man will often tip a girl $10 for dancing with him, hostesses sometimes earn from $150 a week (their average earnings) to $400.

Hostesses, of course, are frowned upon in our best supper clubs. These clubs make money by maintaining their atmosphere of exclusiveness, and by catering to a more or less fashionable class of people.

How much clubs sometimes earn may be judged by the fact that one club, in a season lasting eight months, actually made $90,000. During 1920 and 1921, before the great influx of clubs, a fairly successful cabaret, seat. ing about 400 people, would earn from $50,000 to $65,000 in a season. Today, a cabaret is content with a profit of $25,000, though some of the very successful ones get as high as $75,000.



How Mary Pickford Stays Young

Condensed from Everybody's Magazine (May 26)

An Interview with Mary Pickford, by Athene Farnsworth

N Mary Pickford's favorite story lies the secret of how she retains, at 33, the looks and charm and enthusiasm of a girl in her teens. She Frecounted the tale of the young girl who was just 17 on the day her lover was coming to marry her. She dress ed herself for the gala occasion and was happy as a lark. News came that her lover was dead. The shock unbalanced her, but, instead of grieving, she remembered but one thing each morning when she awoke: "This is the festive day, and I must be happy and beautiful for the coming of my lover!" The poor girl lived on for nearly half a century, but they tell us that she continued to look practically the same youthful-bride-to-be as on the fateful day. The years had left no mark.

"The story has always interested me," Mary explained. "Of course, it relates a pitiful tragedy; but if happiness and anticipation can accomplish such a miracle in an abnormal case, surely there is food for thought for the normal individual.”

Mary Pickford convincingly asserts that you need grow old no sooner than you wish if you preserve the right mental attitude. "It is not the flight of years that makes one old," she said, "but the counting of birthdays and the worrying that accompanies each year." And in support of her theory is Mary Pickford herself, who can pass for a child of 12 with naturalness and ease, though her own Childhood was cut short by the necesBity of supporting a family. In and out of costume as hostess, as leader in Hollywood activities, and "on the set"-under all conditions, she is the personification of charming youth.

She admitted her distaste for maure roles, and told me why. “I was

forced to live far beyond my years when just a child, now I have reversed the order, and I intend to remain young indefinitely. This would be more difficult if I were to spend my days interpreting the complicated and emotional reactions of older women. I am a firm believer in the 'mental age"."

Mary believes that our understanding of the influence of mind over matter is still practically in embryo. Even so, her own personal experience leads her to believe that one may attain just the age one desires if one holds fast to that idea. "Of course, you have to make allowances for inheritance and racial characteristics," she conceded, "yet, the results one might obtain can scarcely be estimated if living and thinking are planned accordingly."

Mary Pickford is not in sympathy with the theory of "beautiful but dumb." She claims that one who is dumb may be beautiful for a time, or may seem beautiful to some people, but if mentality is lacking, it will soon show in the features, and the charm of attractive externals will be fleeting indeed. She believes that attitude of mind is one of the most powerful factors in the molding of beauty. As she puts it: "We hear romancers speak of the Fountain of Youth. my mind, this fountain was not essentially a physical draught, but more likely, the cultivation and acquisition of a state of mind."


"Think youth, act youth, feel youth, and you are youth!" Mary's eyes sparkled in her enthusiasm, and if the proof of the pudding is in the eating, Mary gives a remarkable demonstration.

"I believe that thinking influences expression, coloring, even the contours

of your face and form," she continued. "I know because I've tried it. And I have observed the results of mental attitudes in people about me for a good many years.

"To a far greater extent than we realize, we are our own sculptors. Who can deny that passions and unkind thoughts show in the lines and expressions of our faces? Yes, and in our figures. Drooping shoulders are not an evidence of happiness and enthusiasm. Nervous mannerisms betray mental disturbances. These are all forerunners of age."

There is nothing more tragic than the sight of an old, old young person, nor anything more interesting and inspiring than an old person who looks 20 years younger than his birthdays, and who can still be the life of the party. The former is usually cynical, sophisticated, hard; the latter, mellowed, understanding, enthusiasticone who can still smile both with and at life.

Mary continued her analysis. "Crying over spilt milk and crossing one's bridges before getting to them are two of the most active allies of old age, and both so unnecessary. I have found that young people seldom have either of these vices until they start getting old, so I love to be with them.

"I'd advise any one who hopes for youth for many years to come, to have constant association with young people. Cultivate their enthusiasm and freshness of point of view, then you'll be young though 90. Then indeed, if you have kept up the physical side, you are a conqueror!"

An interesting sidelight on Mary is her avoidance of any disagreeable criticism. She even has her mail censored with that in view. This little philosopher insists that, as far as possible, we should all avoid bitterness and its accompanying reactions, both physical and mental.

"Appreciation and gratitude keep our natures soft-that is, pliable and optimistic," she explained. "We are hap

py, so our steps become buoyant, our heads go up and our shoulders back -age slips away. There is no obsta cle which cannot be overcome, an this impression and feeling of yout and power in one's self will creat Health the impression in others. thoughts build healthy bodies, and have little sympathy for the individu al who blames someone else, or For tune, for difficulties that arise.

"I have found that it is the spir that counts, and that fun can be ha wherever you are. I had to learn tha when a wee tot, and I found that there was quite as much fun walking when I couldn't afford a ca or, for that matter, a bus fare, and that there was a great deal mor health.

"Some people find work drudgery because they do not know how to save themselves, how to make the most of the few moments of leisure. I have always had a mental refuge. I created one in my imagination in the days when my surroundings were bleak walls. That is the difficultywe don't make the most of our minds, and we let externals prey upon us until things material have us at their mercy."

Mary is so realistic in her efforts to act and understand as a child would act and understand, that invariably children themselves accept her as one of them. Her little niece has never called her "Aunt," always just "Mary," thinking that she is near her own age.

Mary is probably the most talked of woman in the world, has made a for tune through her own efforts, work from 8 to 18 hours a day-and yet with it all, has lost none of her youth ful charm, her enthusiasm, and he sympathetic understanding. Hel heart and life are bound up in th interests of youth, and as long a such is the case, she believes tha youth will be hers.

"Think youth, and you will b young. Love life, and life will lov you."

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My Rope and Gum For A Democratic


Condensed from The Saturday Evening Post (May 1, "26)

Will Rogers

HAVE just swung in off a Roundup of the entire United States and Florida. It called for quite a bit - speculation as to just what the trip as made for. Most big concerns nd out men to make practical demstrations of their various comodities and most people thought I is demonstrating So-and-So's Chewg Gum.

You notice I didn't mention any -me in there. That's because nody made it worth while to mention

particular name. They never ought this article would ever get where. I could have put some m's name up there where I said -and-So's just as well as not. Well, I can say is that they lost a chance getting their name in a thriving d growing periodical.

I will tell you why I made that trip: wanted to find a campaign issue the Democratic Party. Why, you

I belong to neither party pocally. Both parties have their d and bad times, only they have m at different times. They are good when they are out, and h bad when they are in. But I it out of pure sportsmanship, for the sake of a real race. fter all, what is the greatest ting event we have in America? 7, our national election—that is, sed to be. But for the last few s the thing has been so one-sided you can't even get an audience ratch it. Now what has caused situation to arise? Why, an isof course; so that is why I took on myself to go out and see if I dn't dig one up. If I could have d an issue I would have gone


down in the sporting annals of American History. People would have held meetings again. I wouldn't be surprised if they would have buttons with pictures on them again. New York would get back to its old habit of voting at just as many precincts as you would haul them to.


Why, the last few elections people haven't even taken interest enough. to vote once, much less all day. I could have unearthed an issue, think what would have happened even in the White House. Instead of Mr. Coolidge pressing an electric button opening the Prune Preservers Political Powwow at Fresno, California, he would have been there opening it personally, and telling them what he would do if reelected for that great wrinkled industry, and how he had never eaten a grapefruit for breakfast in his life. Instead of reading his speech over the radio and saying good night, he would be out there on the platform saying good night personally, while wiping perspiration with one hand, shaking the hand of a colored voter with the other and kissing a female district leader's baby, all simultaneously and at once.

Α race-that is what we want again. We don't want to be compelled just to bet on the size of the majority; we want to bet on which one will win.

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