Wow! Wow! Wow! What a year and what a story.
1927 – Al Jolson’s film The Jazz Singer steamrolled the world into a new chapter in the history of moviemaking and eleven theatre owners and showmen from a variety of the arts; Circus, Cinema, Theatre, Ice Capades; established a social club in Pittsburgh, USA.
A year later, the club evolved into a charity as a consequence of an extraordinary event.
Playing cards backstage at John Harris’s Sheridan Square Movie Theatre after a matinee performance, someone heard a whimper.
Was it a kitten?
No, it was a beautiful baby girl.
A desperate mother had left her new born on the doorstep.
Pinned to the baby’s garments a note:
‘Please take care of my baby. Her name is Catherine.
I can no longer take care of her. I have 8 others; my husband
I have heard of the goodness of show business people, and
I pray to God that you will look out for her.’
The Lindrum family has a lot in common with Variety. My dad, Horace Lindrum, was born and grew up in a slum in a nation recovering from a bank crash which saw people queuing at the Pig & Whistle for a porcelain bowl of tripe and onions. At age 11, he had found himself, through bizarre circumstances, just like Catherine Variety, on someone else’s doorstep.
Despite the new arrival, ‘the [Lindrum] household, life went on as usual. Practice sessions followed, one after another, which might sound like
drudgery but life as a Lindrum was anything but mundane. [It remains
anything but mundane!]. It was and continues to be a circus. A great vaudeville performance with all the razzle-dazzle of [the side-show alley created inside the Big Tent in the Penthouse Ballroom of the William Penn].’
YOU can smell the grease paint.
7 May 1928
From my father’s diary:
‘Aviator Bert Hinkler has just completed his record-breaking
solo flight from England to Australia.
15 days and 128 flying hours.
A short time later, Horace made his official debut into the professional league, recording his first snooker century in world-record time. But, for all his magnificent achievements, I remember my father for best for his remarkable Artistry – his great sense of THEATRE – and his compassion; his preparedness to pick up his cue to raise funds for good ends.
For that reason and, because of my family’s deep connection with many facets of the ARTS, I am PROUD to support Variety, the Children’s Charity’ and look forward to the launch of ‘The Variety Club Horace Lindrum Challenge and ‘The Variety Club Lindrum Masters’; two global enterprising initiatives that call upon Billiard, Snooker, 8-Ball and 9-Ball proponents to pick up their cues for VARIETY.
Pending the launch of ‘The Variety Club Horace Lindrum Challenge’ and ‘The Variety Club Lindrum Masters’, we will launch the film LINDRUM: The Uncrowned King as a download (shop at www.lindrum.com).
A percentage of our net revenue will pass to VARIETY.