Monday, September 10, 2018

Terror Island shown on Catalina Island 98 years ago

It was 98 years ago today that Houdini's Terror Island opened at the Strand Theatre on Catalina Island. What makes this particular engagement notable is that the movie was largely shot on Catalina, a fact that was used in the local advertising (below). This rare ad and more Houdini-Catalina history can be seen in the exhibition Houdini Terror on the Magic Isle which is currently running at the Catalina Island Museum through October 7.

The building that housed the Strand Theatre still stands today at 122-124 Sumner Ave., although it is no longer a movie theater. It became "The Strand" in May of 1919 when the theater was upgraded with new projectors.

The Strand Theatre now and yesterday (1920).

Thanks to the good folks at the Catalina Island Museum for the use of the above images, and to Joe Notaro and Jessica Zumberge for finding the location of the Strand. The clock is ticking on Houdini Terror on the Magic Isle, so if you want to see the first exhibition ever devoted to the movie, get yourself to the island!


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