WILMINGTON — The 3M Club at Ohio Living Cape May heard Joni Streber, Director of Development for the Murphy Theatre, give a little history and bring us up to date on the Murphy at our Monday meeting.
Wilmingtonian Charles Webb Murphy, 1868-1931, who owned the Chicago Cubs baseball team — winning two World Series in 1907 and 1908 — sold the team in 1913. He made up his mind that he would build a memorial dedicated to the people in his hometown, Wilmington, in the form of a theatre, and he did just that.
After having 175 railroad cars filled with building material brought to Wilmington, and hiring the best and most talented and skilled workers, the Murphy Theatre opened its doors in 1918. After three years and $250,000, Wilmington had a theatre with a large seating capacity that began to draw some major entertainment.
John Philip Sousa’s band, the Three Stooges, and many of movies’ finest and best-known stars have performed there. Broadway shows would use the Murphy to test their plays before going to the great white way. High schools held their graduations there, many weddings have been performed there, and the community has used the Murphy in many ways.
Today a dedicated group of volunteers and a large membership list continues Murphy’s dream with restoration work on all phases of the building, while the theatre provides the area with some top notch entertainment.
Joni made it clear that we are indeed fortunate to have a gem called the Murphy Theatre — if you want to become a Murphy member, call 937-382-3643.
The 3M (Monday Morning Men’s) Club meets at 9 a.m. in the Campus Center at Ohio Living Cape May on the first and third Mondays of the month except on holidays. All senior men are invited. For more information about the 3M Club, call Abby Ellsberry, Director of Business Development, at 937-382- 2995 or Bob Holmes at 937-725-7878.