Shadowland Ballroom - St. Joseph MI

Address: 333 Broad St.
City: St. Joseph
State: MI
Zip: 49085
County: Berrien
Number of visits to this page: 556
General Information:

This ballroom was built in 1927 as part of the Silver Beach Amusement Park. It was a replacement for an older pavilion. This structure was near the river.

Free carnations were given to the ladies on opening night. The Shadowland Ballroom was elegantly decorated with 5,000 yards of silk pongee stretched between the arches and had indirect lighting throughout. In the mid 1930's, it was redecorated in a modern style. As the Big Band Era came into fashion, Shadowland Ballroom drew musicians such as Lawrence Welk, Kay Kyser, Oliver Naylor, George Olsen, Jan Garber, Woody Herman, and Victor Young. Ballroom dances were held 7 days a week, with Sunday matinees. Jim Miller of Benton Harbor remembers some of the local bands that played at Shadowland. He sometimes sat in on drums with groups led by Del-Pino and Bob Lewis. "It didn't cost anything to get into the Shadowland Ballroom other than on big band nights," Miller recalls. "Dance tickets were 10 cents each or 3 for a quarter, 8 for 50 cents, 20 for a dollar. A Coke and a bag of chips were a nickel apiece. We danced to such romantic tunes as Red sails in the Sunset, Slow Boat to China, Hands Across the Table, Stars Fell on Alabama, and Cocktails for Two."

The emergence of Shadowland only slightly preceded the big band era. It wasn't uncommon to have over a thousand dancers on any one evening. In the 1930s marathon dances were a fad and Silver Beach Amusement Park staged at least one of its own. One Herald Press story from 1930 said that the Michigan State Department of Labor tried "to halt the fallen-arch derby." But a postponement was obtained, allowing the weary dancers to finish. [Southwest Michigan Tourism Directory]

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 Photos:5
Shadowland Ballroom - OLD PHOTO OF INTERIOR
OLD PHOTO OF INTERIOR
Shadowland Ballroom - OLD POSTCARD
OLD POSTCARD
Shadowland Ballroom - 14 JUL 1934 AD
14 JUL 1934 AD
Shadowland Ballroom - JAN 1958 ARTICLE
JAN 1958 ARTICLE
Shadowland Ballroom - MAY 1935 AD
MAY 1935 AD
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