“The Seven Swans” at the Majestic Theatre

On May 24, 1918, an advertisement was placed in the Corvallis Gazette for the upcoming show, “The Seven Swans,” to be played at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon. This silent film portrayed Marguerite Clark, an actress who was at the height of her fame in the year of 1918. This can be shown by simply just looking at the advertisement and noticing that her name is the largest font on the entire ad. The five reels told a story about characters in a mythical world, where princes can be magically enchanted into swans by the Queen of the Bouncing Ball and eventually returned to their human forms in a dramatic ending through hastily sewn magic robes by Princess Tweedledee.

The film premiered on Christmas Day in 1917, in New York, and was based on the fairy tale, The Seven Swans, by Hans Christian Anderson. The film didn’t reach Corvallis until 5 months after the premiere in December, but given the amount of films that, in this time period, took over a year to reach Oregon, the Majestic was able to get this one pretty quickly.

According to the advertisement, if someone were to attend the film, they would “live in the ‘old days’ over again” when they see this picture which was “staged with the hand of a magician,” and if the characters’ fun names weren’t enough in themselves to get a person to go see the film, the high praise written in the advertisement would be sure to give the potential film-goer the final push.

“The Seven Swans” wasn’t the only entertainment of the night, though. Also according to the ad, there was to be a screen telegram and a “Mutt and Jeff Comedy” as well. A “Mutt and Jeff Comedy,” as it turns out, was a generally short (averaged about a half reel long) comedy film based on the “Mutt and Jeff” comic strips which were very popular in the time period.

 

American Film Institute Catalog, “The Seven Swans.”¬†https://search.proquest.com/docview/1746496105/C8913650F40F4E85PQ/1?accountid=14698

Historic Oregon Newspapers, The Corvallis Gazette, page 2.