Busy Day

From the daily tally, we can determine that Saturdays were the Joyland's best days. The Wilmington Star for Sunday, October 2, 1910, reports that the Joyland had done "record-breaking business" the night before.

And, indeed, the ledger shows the theater took in $41.00.

A newspaper notice from November 8, 1910, confirms that admission to the Joyland was five cents. And a notice the same week gives us the length of the program: "thirty five minutes of pleasure."

With an admission price of five cents, the $41.00 in box office receipts on Saturday, October 1, 1910, represents 820 people who saw the show that day. Given the program length of thirty-five minutes and an operating day of 8.5 hours (2:30 pm-11:00 pm), these patrons were spread over some fourteen performances. The Joyland was a relatively small space (exterior dimensions 20'x75') and probably would have accommodated no more than 250 people at a time or some 3500 patrons per day, if all fourteen shows were seen by a capacity crowd (and if they all left after the show was over-some, no doubt, stayed for a second viewing). In short, even on a "record-breaking" day, the Joyland operated at less than one-third capacity.