Three Little Bakers – A Legacy of a Bygone Era

A couple of years ago, I decided to call the Three Little Bakers Dinner Theatre located in Wilmington Delaware. So I googled the site for their phone number. I was devastated to read that the best dinner theatre I loved was no longer in business.

I want to share with the younger generation about the pluses of the dinner theatre. Nowadays, it’s cell phones, DVD movies, X-boxes, computers and everything else that takes away the idea of a live theatre performance. There is no outside interaction and understanding the history of past songs, plays, musicals and the like. It will someday be all forgotten and the newer generations will never learn the greatness of entertainment that existed before today’s fast-paced lifestyle.

I had attended the Three Little Bakers (TLB) on a number of occasions in the 70’s, 80’s and in the 90’s. The first time I had the pleasure was in Kennett Square, PA., where the seating capacity was only 400. As I remember it, they outgrew the place and rumor had it that the Pennsylvania State had passed an entertainment tax which may have pushed the Immediato Brothers to move across the border to Wilmington, Delaware. This new complex seated 900 eager theatre goers.

The three brothers, AL, Hugo, and Nick, were once called the Acromaniac’s. They were a Vaudeville act for years if not decades. They were a tumbling acrobat act and were very well known nationwide. They even were on TV at times. It was after one brother broke his vertebrae, that they quit and went on to be bakers and started a catering business which later evolved into the dinner theatre.

They featured Broadway shows, famous artists, chorus lines, and intermission events. TLB was sold out 7 days a week for many years. They gave away, heart-shaped bread to anniversary couples, birthday breads, and often a prize for the man who recently had a vasectomy and that usually brought down the house in laughter. At the intermission they always had dancing, as I can remember the last time I was there, the dance floor was packed for the regular dances, and they ended with the Macarena.

They were famous for their extravagant buffets and tables upon tables of desserts of every kind you could imagine. They kept telling everyone to take more of all the desserts. Their belief was to treat everyone as kings and queens with respect, dignity, and friendship; something that you don’t see much of these days.

Their Christmas shows were outstanding. It was the last one I attended in the 90’s. I recall, the song, Santa Baby, because while the young woman sang, one Santa after another kept falling down and out of the chimney. It was hysterical. They closed their doors on March 17th, 2007. Attendance declined from 900 to 200 soon after the drastic day of 9-11, 2001. Seniors, who were the majority of their customers, hesitated to venture out since. Frightened by the possibility of more terrorism, the gas prices going through the roof and lack of spending monies for extras, brought the TLB to its knees and to its final demise.

What stood out for me was that prior to the start of the show, TLB had all the veterans stand for all to honor them, with me being one of them. I will never forget that honor initiated by them.

I say good bye to an era of nostalgia and historical entertainment, and I say to you all, give your kids an education outside the home and let them see what life in the great past has to offer. Visit your nearest dinner theatre and enjoy a night of relaxation, a good meal and a great show. To the Three Little Bakers, thank you for letting me be a part of your social greatness and family.

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