Bird Cage Theatre
Knotts Berry Farm
Trying to Photograph everything there

Bird Cage Theatre

Steve Martin used to work here

Posted Wednesday March 9th 2022

Knott's Berry Farm Bird Cage Theater Outside
Knott's Berry Farm Bird Cage Theatre
Bird Cage Theatre
Ghost Town's home for melodrama was inspired by the original theatre in Tombstone, Arizona.

Open since 1954, many famous folk have trod its boards as a hero, villain, or beautiful heroine.

Bird Cage Theatre Birds Who Have Flown
Birds Who Have Flown

Bird Cage Theatre Birds Who Have Flown

2:23 VIDEO:
Bird Cage Theater Hilarious Melodrama Presented in a Grand & Lavish Style
Hilarious Melodrama Presented in a Grand & Lavish Style
  • Woodie Wilson
  • George Stuart

Bird Cage Theater Years
  • 1954-55 Streets of New York
  • 1955-56 Flying Scud
  • 1956-57 Satan's Sawmill
  • 1957-58 Riverboat Revenge
  • 1958-59 The Wreck of Bluebelle Express
  • 1959-60 Cloak of Evil
  • 1960-61 Lust for Gold
  • 1961-61 The Mad Magician of the Midway
  • 1962-63 The Confounded Counterfeiter
  • 1964-65 Our American Cousin
  • 1964-65 Our American Cousin
  • 1965-66 Fortune in Flames

Bird Cage Theater 1966-1974
  • 1966-67 The Salvation of Silas Shekelgraber
  • 1970-71 The Reckless Train Wrecker
  • 1973-74 Fortune in Flames

Bird Cage Theatre Artwork
Bird Cage

Bird Cage Theatre Cabinet

Bird Cage Theatre Poster in the Alley
Poster in the Side Alley

Bird Cage Theatre Poster in the Alley

Bird Cage Theatre History
Bird Cage Theatre
Tombstone, Arizona was a rich and riotous mining camp in December, 1881 when former opera house manager Billy Hutchinson opened the doors of the Bird Cage Theatre. From the onset it was patronized twenty-four hours a day by the town's miners, cowboys, and drifters who drank and caroused with the theatre's chorus girl barmaids. The Bird Cage enjoyed the reputation of being the southwest's most famous vaudeville playhouse. It featured the most popular acts of the day - Eddie Foy, Lotta Crabtree, and Lola Montez to name a few. However it was also a rough, rowdy bar, dance hall, and gambling house. Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Diamond Jim Brady were some of its more a legendary clientele.

The Bird Cage was in business, off and on, for eleven years yet its heyday was the first two years when the area's mines were extremely prosperous and tombstone had a population of about 7,000. A decline in silver production began an economic downturn that led to continual changes in ownership, entertainment, and name. The Bird Cage closed in 1892 and remained closed for more than thirty years before reopening as a movie house, then a coffee shop, and later a souvenir stand. As one of the few original buildings still standing from Tombstone's glory days, the Bird Cage remains one of the west's most famous landmarks.

Knott's Berry Farm's Bird Cage Theatre is a replica of this Arizona original and had been on the drawing board for nearly a decade before Walter Knott had this facade constructed of adobe bricks in 1954. From its inception, Knott utilized the Ghost Town venue to showcase melodramas. These presentations ran more than forty years and made the Bird Cage Theatre the oldest, continuously operating melodrama theatre in the United States. It also became a training ground for many young, talented performers who trod its boards and learned the craft of entertainment

Movie Tombstone Bird Cage Theatre
Tombstone Movie Depiction

Movie Tombstone Bird Cage Theatre