Touted as the precursor to the Miss Universe Pageant and a Galveston tradition from 1920 to 1932, the Bathing Girl Revue signaled the beginning of the summer tourist season. In 1925, the 3-day long event was held May 16 - 18. Events included two parades, one in which the entries wore sports wear, and the other in which they wore bathing costumes (pictured in this film). The final pageant in which the judging was held took place on the last evening in the city auditorium. In its heyday, the bathing revue attracted far larger crowds than usual; the local newspaper reports tens of thousands of people thronging to the island for the occasion.
The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared the Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 16, 1925
Parade in Sport Attire Will Be Opening Feature of Revue Today
Entries From Many Points In State For Bathing Girl Show
Galveston is in readiness today to pay tribute to her bathing beauties.
Culled from the Southwest's fairest daughters, they have come to Oleanderland to vie for honors in the sixth annual bathing classic, which opens today and which will hold the attention of the whole Southwest through the succeeding days.
Judging from early arrivals yesterday, the 1925 event, in point, pulchritude and charm, bids fair to outdistance all others, and the sixth annual pageantry will no doubt go down in history as one of glorious pretentiousness.
The 1925 card will be made up entirely of new material, few, if any of the old-time favorites having made application for a place in the revue.
Galveston yesterday began to take on a holiday aspect. Visitors by the scores trickled into town, and hotels and rooming houses sported increased clientele as the opening day drew near.
There was hustle everywhere, for the annual Bathing Girl Revue is to Galveston what the Eastern pageant is to Atlantic City.
The inital event today will be the parade in sports clothes, in which all entries will participate. Costumed in their chic frocks, it is believed that this will be one of the most delightful of the three events, there being a certain freshness to a girl in sports attire.
[ ] Parade Boulevard
The parade is scheduled to start from Broadway and Boulevard promptly at 6 o'clock, moving west on the Boulevard to Twenty-fifth street, thence retracing back to Hotel Galvez.
The big event of the bathing girl revue is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at 3 o'clock when hundreds and thousands of visitors will pour into the city from all sections of the state to view the pageantry of beauty - in bathing suits.
The same route will be followed, the parade forming at Broadway and Boulevard, and traversing the boulevard to Twenty-fifth street, thence back to Hotel Galvez.
The third event, the beauty pageant, will take place at the city auditorium Monday night at 8 o'clock. Here the entries will appear in evening frocks and the judging will take place in full view of the audience, based upon the appearance of each entry in sports attire, bathing costume and evening frock.