U.S. theatrical managers and producers. After emigrating from Russia with their parents in 1882, the two oldest brothers, Lee (1872–1953) and Sam (c. 1875–1905), leased theatres and presented plays in Syracuse, N.Y., in the 1890s. By 1900 Jacob (1880–1963) had joined the business, and the brothers leased their first theatres in New York City. Coming into conflict with the Theatrical Syndicate, which controlled U.S. theatrical bookings, they led an independent movement to fight the syndicate and prevailed after a long legal battle. After Sam's death, Lee and Jacob built theatres across the U.S. and came to own more than 60 legitimate houses and many vaudeville and movie theatres. They produced more than 1,000 different shows, including 600 plays, revues, and musicals. Theatrical unions such as Actors' Equity were formed in response to their often sharp business practices. Charged with monopoly practices in 1950, they sold a number of theatres in 1956 but retained prestigious houses in many cities.
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