Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Houdini at the Victory

Here's a terrific high resolution image of a Houdini theater display from a post by Amelia Robinson at Seen and Overhead, a blog about Dayton, Ohio. I've never seen this shot before. This is the Victory Theater in Dayton. Houdini played his 3 Shows in One here October 1-4, 1925.

Click to enlarge.

It's interesting to see that challenges are still part of Houdini's full evening show (Act II was escapes). The challenge here is to escape from a packing crate made by "N.C.R. Carpenters," a Dayton-based manufacture of cash registers which still exists today. If you look closely, you can see all the nails around the lid are standing out a few inches for examination.

Behind the challenge board you can see a large lobby stand that's now in the David Copperfield collection. A Houdini's handcuff case display, which I believe is also in the Copperfield collection, stands beside that. But something I don't think is in any collection is a large poster on the left wall showing Houdini's name written in cursive down the length of the poster (you'll need to click and enlarge the image to see it). This appears to be a lost poster.

This Victory Theater still exists. Today it is called the Victoria Theater and is located at 138 N Main Street, Dayton, OH.

Photo sourced from the NCR Archive at the Montgomery County Historical Society.

UPDATE: I recently came across this nice newspaper story and ad for Houdini engagement at the Victory. Enjoy.

Click to enlarge.

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  1. NCR is a vendor of the Bank I work for. Ironically the application they are providing to us is called "Lockbox". I'll be sure to pass this story on to them!. I live in Cincinnati. Next time I'm up in Dayton I'll definitely be making a stop at this theatre. Thanks for another great blog John!

    1. My pleasure. It took me a while to figure out who NCR was. Wouldn't it be wonderful if somewhere, somehow, they keep this box. Or at least the challenge poster. Maybe it's hanging somewhere in the corporate offices or archives. I can dream. :)

  2. Never can get enough of these 'new' photos! Great!!!!!!!!!

  3. Yes - really great!