Bagdad Supper Club

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The Bagdad Supper Club was a theater and entertainment venue located on Highway 80, east of Grand Prairie, Texas. It opened Thanksgiving Day 1928, eleven months before the Great Crash of 1929. It was an opulent palatial facility that offered dining, dancing, and music. The venue was featured in the 1947 comedy Juke Joint, starring Spencer Williams. J. Wiley Day was the inaugural managing director. The project was financed by Eastern capital. The Architect was William Scott Dunne (1886–1937), a well-known designer of theaters in Texas.[1] It was a Moorish style, two-story building clad in pinkish gray stucco.[2]

Club managers & lessees[edit]

Managers

  • 1929–1931: J. Wiley Day
  • 1933: Hal Wortin
  • 1931: Jimmy Martin

Lessees

  • 1931: Louis Estes
  • 1949–1950: Lillian May Teague (née Helmston; 1901–1984) and her daughter, Marian Louise Teague (born 1929); and Robert Preston Bridges – Marian and Robert were later married

Changes in use[edit]

Frank H. Newton, MD (1887–1977), and wife, Cosette Faust Newton, PhD (1889–1975), who at one time was Dean of Women as Southern Methodist University, acquired the club in 1945, closed it in 1950. In September that year, All American News (Emanuel M. Glucksman, manager), a commercial film concern based in Chicago, leased the building as its southwest headquarters and used it for film and TV — commercial short subjects and trailers. They billed it as the largest sound stage east of Los Angeles.[3] In 1953, the Newtons began renovating the facility as an art center, "bringing in a lifetime of art treasures from around the world."[4] The Newton’s designed rooms devoted to the countries from whence their art objects were acquired.

Destroyed by fire[edit]

The building burned to the ground in April 19, 1953 in what was called “the most spectacular fire in western Dallas County.” Artwork valued at about $1 million (at that time) was lost in the fire, including a Gainsborough and a Van Dyck.[5]

Notable performers[edit]

  • Phil Phillips and His 14 Californians (1929)
  • Smith–MacDowell Orchestra (1929)
  • Alvin Wahl and His Bagdad Colored Orchestra (1930)
  • Vincent (Jelly) Parrino (1997–1990) and His Orchestra (1933)
  • Gus Heilig and His Orchestra (1933 & 1934)
  • Isham Jones (1935)
  • Ben Bernie (1935)
  • Jack Little (1935)
  • Lou Harris and His Orchestra (1935)
  • Ike Silver (1936)
  • Glen Gray and His Casa Loma Band (1945)
  • Durwood Cline and His Orchestra (1945)
  • Earle Spencer and His Orchestra (1948)
  • Chet Bundy (1949)
  • Morrey Brennan and His Brennan–Aires (1950)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deaths and Funeral Notices: Dunne, William Scott, The Dallas Morning News, October 22, 1937
  2. ^ Thanksgiving Day Opening Set for Supper Club, The Dallas Morning News, September 2, 1928
  3. ^ All-American Studios Lease Club Bagdad, The Dallas Morning News, August 15, 1950
  4. ^ Kathy A. Goolsby, Historic Grand Prairie, an Illustrated History, pg. 38, Grand Prairie Historical Organization (2008) ISBN 9781893619845
  5. ^ Old Bagdad Club Wrecked by Fire, April 20, 1953, The Dallas Morning News, April 20, 1953