Louis Curtiss, burlesque, “Jolly Grass Widow,” live theater
The Folly Theater was designed and built in 1900 by architect Louis S. Curtiss. Curtiss wanted the theater to be a “spectacle of lights,” and as theatrical on the outside as the inside. With most of the city homes still powered by gas, a building lined with electric lights on the exterior became quite the spectacle. When the theater was in use, a giant illuminated globe would descend a poll on the exterior of the building. The theater opened on September 23, 1900 with “The Jolly Grass Widow,” a burlesque event starring Madame Diks.