Dolly Varden Theatre

1319 ½ Central Avenue,
Cincinnati, OH 45214

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Additional Info

Firms: Robertson & Fahnestock

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Dolly Varden Theatre

The Dolly Varden Theatre was an early nickel show and was named for the Dolly Varden Candy Company which was nearby. Perhaps the candy company had a stake in the theatre’s operation, management, or ownership.

The nickel show Dolly Varden Theatre was replaced by this new Dolly Varden Theatre which opened in 1913 and closed as a silent movie theatre in 1928.

Contributed by hanksykes

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

jadams on April 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm

Does anyone know where I could find a picture of a box of Dolly Varden chocolates? Or the history of the chocolates?
Thank you,
Jane Adams

hanksykes on April 22, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Hello Jane; Well a picture of the Dolly Varden Chocolate Box, good luck! Maybe Kroger Grocery Company made Varden Chocolates as they were also located on State St. in Cincinnati,Ohio after the early 1920’s. On November 10,1901 the Glaser Opera Company performed for a week at Robinson’s Operahouse ,Ninth and Plum Street at Cincinnati, with an orchestra of 40 pieces, a budget of $30.000 ,in the Opera entitled,“Dolly Varden”, staring Lulu Glaser. I couldn’t find a review of the performance in our local newsrag. The Opera was written by Stange and Edwards ,their seventh music work ,it was advertised as a comic opera. Probably the story came from the Charles Dickens Novel. Hope this helps somewhat. Hank

hanksykes on April 23, 2008 at 7:39 pm

The first manager of the ,“Dolly Varden Theater”, was Charles Sternberg, so it looks like the Dolly Varden might have opened in 1911. The candy company next door with the same name was opened by its President, Charles Eisen ,sometime before 1909.He introduced chocolate covered cherries to the American public.

jadams on April 27, 2008 at 2:13 pm

Hi Hank,

Thanks so much for the information about Dolly Varden. Do you know anything else about the Dolly Varden candy company? Were vanilla cream filled chocolate drops one of the company’s confections?

hanksykes on April 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm

Hello Jane; You have all I found about Dolly Varden Chocolates. Mr. Eisen went on to become a Vice President of a Cincinnati Savings and Loan in 1922. He became a violinist with the first Cincy Symphony Orchestra and was a City Councilor in 1927 under the Charterite banner. He quit school at age 10 to help support his widowed mother, working for $2.00 a week. In later years he built a fancy mansion in College Hill and lived to be 92 years of age.What other kinds of candy they made I don’t know. That’s all I’ve got. Hank

jadams on April 28, 2008 at 6:02 pm

Hi Hank,
Thanks again for all the information re: Dolly Varden confections!

frontpage on November 29, 2009 at 12:32 am

Dear Jane Adams,
Earlier this past summer I was clearing out my 91 year old mother-in-law’s home and found an empty “Dolly Varden” candy box. When I Googled the name Dolly Varden I came up with this web site and your discussion. I would be happy to send you a picture of the box.


hanksykes on March 28, 2011 at 7:25 pm

From ,“The Cincinnatian”, publication Feb. 1914 the minumum wage for begining workers at Dolly Varden Candy was $5.00 a week with $16.00 a week for experts during a nine hour day.

dallasmovietheaters on March 29, 2020 at 7:09 am

The Dolly Varden Theatre was designed by Cincinnati architects Robertson & Fahnestock. It appears to have replaced a smaller nickelodeon also called the Dolly Varden. The Dolly Varden opened in 1913. It didn’t convert to sound and was offered for sale in a classified ad in February of 1928 which times out with a 15-year lease.

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