Part 7: The Maeroy Theater Read More
When Louis Cohen opened his Queen Theater, he hired twenty year old Mae McElroy. She was put in charge of ticket sales, and she did so for the entire run of that theater’s existence. When Louis was called away to serve his country during WWI, Mae was in complete charge of the theater’s daily operations. In later years, she was credited for “selling millions of tickets” to Ballinger theater-goers.
Mae wanted to be in the movies, and working at the theater was thrilling for her as she got to see stars like Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson on the screen every week. She would also go to Chicago by train to help pick out the movies that would be shown in the coming months at the Queen. Mae was particularly fond of Richard Barthelmess, so she would always try to book his movies. On those shopping trips, it was common to see the real-life stars as they helped promote the movies to the theater managers. On one occasion, she got to meet one of the greatest stars of the day, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle.