Bandit Killed, LAPD Officers Wounded in Burlesque Theater Shootout

Sept. 18, 1933, Comics

Sept. 18, 1933: Jack Keating, 30, and John Melvin Early, 35, had a plan to rob the Girlesque Theater at 510 S. Main St., but when the shooting was over, Keating was dead and Early and two men who helped plan the robbery were in jail.

The robbery began shortly after the midnight show, when Keating and Early drew guns and forced  Girlesque employees Robert Winslow and his wife, Mildred, to escort them to the theater office, where manager John R. Ward and C.C. Hurst were present.

Another employee, Edward Sweeney, seeing the Winslows with two strangers, sensed that something was wrong, slipped out of the theater through a side door and found Officers H.W. Tash and S.D. Moore at 5th Street and Main.

In the meantime, Ward told the gunmen: “If this is a holdup, here is all the money I have,” throwing two $5 bills and 11 $1 bills ($377.35 USD 2013) on the floor, The Times said.

The officers arrived at the theater as Early and Keating were tying up the victims with wire, and the robbers began shooting. The police killed Keating, but were badly wounded by  Early, who surrendered when he ran out of bullets.

5th and Main, Los Angeles
5th and Main via Google Street View.


Tash apparently recovered from his wounds and remained with the department. I can find nothing further about his partner, S.D. Moore, or Early.

The Girlesque theater is something of a puzzle. The address given in The Times in 1929 and 1930 is 541 S. Main. However, the 1932 city directory gives the address as 510 S. Main.  By 1936, it had become the Paris After Midnight Theatre, according to the city directory.

Sept. 20, 1933, Theater Holdup
Suspect John Early, right, at the coroner’s inquest.


Virginia Leihy, 20, pulls a revolver from her purse after motorcycle officers Fleming and Sheppard pull her over at Western Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. The officers became suspicious of her when they noticed the Oregon plates on her car were turned so the numbers couldn’t be read and when Leihy stopped, she threw a bottle of liquor on the pavement so that it broke.

Louie Alencaster, 19, kicks open the door the home at the home of his estranged wife, Gloria, at 949 1/2 S. Bonnie Beach Place in Belvedere. He runs to the center of a group of people who were dancing and shoots his estranged wife, Gloria, Frank Aguirre, Tillie Godinez and Carlos Bobadillo.

All four were transported to General Hospital with serious injuries.

Alencaster threw down the gun and ran off, leaving his car parked in front.

In the theaters: “I Loved a Woman” with Edward G. Robinson and Kay Francis.

Sept. 18, 1933, Blond Arrested

Sept. 18, 1933, Blonde With Gun

Sept. 18, 1933, Burlesque House Shootout

Sept. 18, 1933, Burlesque Theater Shootout

Sept. 18, 1933, I Loved a Woman

Bonnie Beach Place
Bonnie Beach Place via Google Street View.


Sept. 18, 1933, Jealousy Shooting

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1933, Art & Artists, Comics, Downtown, Hollywood, LAPD, Main Street, Theaters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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