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Tombstone, AZ - Bird Cage Theatre, 1937

The Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona, 1937. The theatre was called the "Bird Cage” because of its 14 crib-style compartments suspended from the ceiling. Here, the painted ladies would pull the drapes and "entertain” their customers at some of the most exorbitant prices ever heard of in the Old West.

For one of these unfortunate souls, prostitution would not be her worst fate; instead, she would succumb to one of the hazards of the business – murder. When "Margarita” was sitting on the lap of a gambler named Billy Milgreen, in flounced one of her co-workers, who went by the name of "Gold Dollar.” Seeing Margarita on the lap of her best customer and "boyfriend,” Gold Dollar stuck a double edge knife into her chest, intending to cut her heart out. Having almost completed the task, she was interrupted by the sounds of the marshal coming and ran out the back door. Covered in blood, she hid the knife somewhere outback. Because the murder weapon couldn’t be found, no murder charges were filed. Amazingly, more than a century later, the stiletto was found behind the Bird Cage Theatre and is now displayed at the museum. Photo by Frederick D. Nichols, 1937. Vintage photo restored by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Architecture and Structures
Subcategory:Buildings
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:arizona, bar, bar, bird cage, buy, download, editorial, photo, photograph, picture, print, saloon, stock, theater, theatre, tombstone, vintage

Tombstone, AZ - Bird Cage Theatre, 1933