Edward Franklin Albee II
(October 8, 1857 – March 11, 1930) was a vaudeville
impresario, and the adoptive grandfather of Edward Franklin Albee III
, the playwright.
Albee was born in Machias, Maine
to Edward Franklin Albee I. He toured with P. T. Barnum
as a ticket collector, then in 1885 he partnered with Benjamin Franklin Keith
in operating the Boston Bijou Theatre in Boston
. In 1885 Reed married Lora S., and he had the following children: Reed A. Albee
(1886–1961); and Ethel Albee (1890-?). With the success of their business, it grew into the Keith-Albee theatre circuit of vaudeville theatres. Albee gradually took managerial control of Keith's theatrical circuit. They were the first to introduce moving pictures
in the US. Albee was president of the United Bookings Office
from its formation in 1900 or 1906. Albee had most of the major vaudeville circuits give him control of their bookings. They charged acts a 5% commission for bookings. Acts Albee disliked were not booked. When performers tried to form a union, he set up National Vaudeville Artists
and made membership in it a requirement for booking through his company. His partner Keith died in Palm Beach, Florida
in 1914. Albee made several misjudgments in the 1920s. He built lavish new theaters, and created extravagant shows, at a time when movies were becoming a low cost alternative to the shows. The Keith-Albee-Orpheum
was formed in Delaware
on January 28, 1928. Joseph P.......