MINISTER VISITS PLAYHOUSES. ~ Presbyterian Pastors Want Evidence at First Hand.

January 16, 1908

Presbyterian Pastors Want
Evidence at First Hand.

Look ye upon the vaudeville while it is good.
And take heed that ye applaud all good acts.
Remember that a red skirt may look as well as a blue, if properly hung.
Let not the kinetoscope delay thy rush for a car.
And be, ye, happy in all things. -- Howesians Chapter 1, verses 1-5

The Rev. William K. Howe of Grace Presbyterian church did not go to see "The Clansman" last night. He could not get the sort of seat he wanted. He may go tonight.

First, according to the text, this is the story of a quest to see whether the theater is moral. Let us take up each phase of the question as it presents itself, noting carefully what is written.

Each year the Presbyterian clergymen make visits to the theaters. Not all of them go, but one or two of their number is assigned to the work. Last year it was the Rev. J. L. McKee. This year it is the Rev. Mr. Howe.

Secondly, Rev. Mr. Howe went to the Orpheum Tuesday night. In considering this section of the discourse, it must be borne in mind that he liked the show. He said so with his hands not once, but many times. There was not one of the allusions, which the vulgar tongue has seen fit to call a "gag," to which the pastor, still adhering to the language hereunto above used, did not "tumble." There was not a merrier man in the house. Realizing, with proper insight, that it was foreordained for him to have a good time, he had it. Just before the kinetoscope, he fled.

Thirdly, lastly and to sum up all that has here above been written, Dr. Howe will visit other theaters and on some day early in the month of March, which is not far distant, he will discourse to his brethren in the cloth upon the theater as an institution and upon its moral effect in particular. Whereupon he will be given a vote of thanks, and the same thing repeated next year in these months.

"Did you enjoy the show at the Orpheum last night?" Dr. Howe was asked yesterday evening.

"Sure I did," he replied, or to that effect.

Directly accused, Dr. Howe acknowledges the following: He is 35, athletic and has red blood. He is a baseball fan, never missing a game on the home grounds, except on Sunday, and never coming away from an unfinished contest without a rain check. He lives at 3009 East Tenth street.

On the following points he refuses to plead: Whether he is for or against the Sunday theaters. Whether Pulliam, Dreyfuss or McGraw discovered Honus Wagner. Whether the championship batter's medal hoodooed Ty Cobb in the Tiger-Cub series. Just when he will report to the association of Presbyterian ministers as to the theaters.

Dr. Howe is a friend of the theaters. They ought to cultivate him.