Sunday, September 6, 2020

Beat the heat with Hardeen

Today is going to be a hot one in Southern California. It's forecast to be 114℉ in my own Burbank. Even Catalina "Terror" Island shows 107℉, which I didn't think was possible. Coincidently, yesterday I stumbled on this ad from almost exactly 114 years ago. Despite being "the hottest day of the summer" in the UK, people still packed the non-air conditioned Ealing Hippodrome to see Hardeen! Imagine what they would have endured for Houdini?

Music Hall and Theatre Review, Sept. 7, 1906.

Notice this ad shows Hardeen was also managed by Harry Day in the UK. I love the inclusion of "my pal." That seems very Dash.

Stay cool.


  1. To make it worse, clothing at that time was of thicker material. Also air conditioning didn't arrive in theaters until 1925 and wasn't "affordable" for homes until the 1950's. "Affordable" meaning the
    units were $350 and wages were about $1.50 an hour. So 233 hours of
    work to buy an air conditioner.

    1. With air conditioning pretty much standard in most developed countries, audiences would no longer pack into an un-airconditioned theater in the middle of summer. A broken air conditioner would force the manager to close the theater until the repairs.