Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

Daly’s Theatre – The News – 1937

Daly's Theatre - The News - Thursday 23rd September 1937


Dear old Daly’s Theatre in London, home of half the world’s best musical comedies, is being pulled down to make a super cinema costing £250,000 for Warner Bros., American film magnates. Sons of a poor Polish shoemaker who emigrated to America with his wife and eldest boy, their film interests today are worth millions. They are the men who brought talkies into being. The brothers opened their first theatre in Newcastle. U.S.A. in 1903. Albert took tickets at the door; Sam (now dead) ran the machine: and Jack rendered the illustrated songs in a shrill soprano; while Harry, always the leader, supervised the operation of the modest enterprise. The chairs were borrowed from an under taker next door; when there was a funeral the picture patrons had to stand up. Not since the gay 1903’s have Harry, Albert, and Jack Warner been out of the film business.

In 1918, Jack, who had been studying methods of film making in Hollywood, and had begun to find that production was his true field, took an active part in the artistic direction of Mv Four Years in Germany, while brother Albert applied high-pressure methods and sold the film before it was even completed.

That picture was the first to really set the far-sighted brothers on their feet upon the high road to success. With the proceeds from the Ambassador Gerard film, the brothers descended upon Hollywood, where they bought a vacant lot with a wooden shed thereafter proudly referred to as the studio. Next they secured the rights of successful stories and plays. They were the first to pay large sums for such material.

Suddenly the Western Electric Co. perfected an odd-looking device on which they had been working quietly for nine years. It was offered to most of the producing companies. Scornfully they rejected it. “Talking motion pictures,” they said. “Nothing in them; people don’t  want their movies to talk.”

In a week the Warners owned a controlling right in Vitaphone, the first practical device for the synchronisation of sound and motion pictures. Most of Hollywood’s “big guns” sat back with tolerant amusement and watched the Warners make Don Juan with John Barrymore and a full accompaniment by the New York Symphony Orchestra. Then came the premiere of Jazz Singer, and Warner Bros. became a power in the industry. Warner Week opens in Adelaide on Saturday with Green Light, at the Regent and Mountain Justice at the York.

Now their ramifications include radio, music publishing, and even the operation of one of America’s largest printing establishments. But with all their success, the Warners are still working and saving. They could dispose of their interests for millions, but they are not going to, because, to use the words of Jack Warner – “pictures are their racket.”


January 30, 2014 Posted by | Actress, Daly's Theatre, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment