American columnist and radio personality Franklin P. Adams (1881 - 1960) recalled the heyday of Chicago's Vaudeville (with some detail) for the editors of STAGE MAGAZINE, a witty and highly glossy magazine that concerned all the goings-on in the American theater of the day:
"They were Continuous Variety Shows. They ran - at any rate at the Olympic Theatre, known in Chicago as the Big O - from 12:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m....While those days are often referred to as the Golden Days of Vaudeville, candor compels the admission that they were brimming with dross; that Vaudeville's standard in 1896 was no more aerate than musical comedy in 1935 is."
Click here to read about a 1949 plan to bring Vaudeville back (it didn't work).
Vaudeville enjoyed a small revival during the mid-Thirties when the Federal Theater Project of the WPA sent touring vaudevillians throughout the country - you can read about that here...