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date: 22 April 2021

Rothafel, Roxylocked

(09 July 1881–13 January 1936)
  • William Stephenson


Rothafel, Roxy (09 July 1881–13 January 1936), movie theater impresario and early radio host, was born Samuel Lionel Rothapfel in Stillwater, Minnesota, the son of Gustav Rothapfel, a shoemaker, and Cecelia Schwerzens. The younger Rothafel dropped the “p” from his family name at the end of World War I when names of Germanic origin were in disfavor. His family moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1894, and his education ended with grammar school. At age fourteen, Rothafel began drifting from one temporary job to another. He joined the Marine Corps in 1902, saw action in China’s Boxer Rebellion, and ended military service as a sergeant in 1905. He remained a believer in military discipline, and later uniformed ushers in his theaters drilled and saluted....

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