Alexander Pantages

Alexander Pantages (actually Greek Περικλῆς Ἀλέξανδρος Πανταζής Periklis Alexandros Padazis; * probably in 1867 on the island of Andros (Greece); † February 17, 1936 ) was an American vaudeville impresario. Supposedly dominated Pantages half a dozen languages, but could not write. Nevertheless, he created a major theater chain in the western United States and Canada.


At the age of 9 years Pantages ran away from home and worked for several years on merchant ships. He helped with the work on the Panama Canal until he fell ill with malaria. He then beat in San Francisco as a waiter and at times as a boxer by.

In 1897 he went to Canada to look at Yukon Gold. In Dawson he became a partner and lover of saloon - operator " Klondike Kate" Rockwell. For operation was a small, but successful Vaudeville.

1902 moved to Seattle Pantages, where he opened the " Crystal Theater." He married the musician Lois Mendenhall (ca. 1870-1941 ). The mid-1920s he owned more than 30 vaudeville theaters and had contracts with several other. This chain was known as the " Pantages Circuit". All Pantages tours started in " Pantages Playhouse" in Winnipeg and went through - if successful - the whole Circuit.

About 1920 moved to Los Angeles Pantages. He signed a contract with a film distribution and showed in theaters next live shows and films. In the 1920s, he dominated the vaudeville and light gaming market west of the Mississippi.

End of the 1920 Pantages received by Joseph P. Kennedy, a tender offer for its chain, which he rejected. In 1929 he appeared for rape and sentenced to 50 years in prison. As a result he had to accept the original, however, now reduced to less than half offer. He reached a resumption of the criminal proceedings and successfully argued that he was the victim of an intrigue of its competitors.

Despite this triumph Pantages was financially ruined and health. He had to sell his chain far below market value. He pulled back and bred racehorses. His attempts to return to the world of theater failed. Alexander Pantages died in 1936 and was buried in Glendale ( California).

The film producer John W. Considine Jr. was his son.