Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The aeroplanist in Nottingham

The Football Post in Nottingham, England, announces Houdini's upcoming appearance at the Empire Theater for the week of January 9, 1911. Nothing groundbreaking here. I just really like the photo and the use of the word "aeroplanist."

The Football Post, Jan. 7, 1911.

Houdini first appeared in Nottingham in 1909 at Barrasford’s Royal Hippodrome. Now he was at the Empire. During his run he was challenge by joiners from Henry Vickers & Son to escape packing case. Houdini returned to the Nottingham Empire in 1913, 1914, and 1920. During his 1914 engagement he presented his Grand Magical Revue, making the Empire one of only a handful of stages to have featured Houdini short-lived magic show.

The Nottingham Empire stood on S. Sherwood Street and saw many famous entertainers during its long life. It closed in June 1958 and stood empty until it was demolished in 1969. Today a modern extension of the Theatre Royal occupies the site.

Here's the outside of the Empire in its final year. Home of the aeroplanist!


  1. Great stuff! I've never seen this photo of HH trussed up with his hands back to back. It hurts my wrists looking at it.

    1. It's coming back to me. There's another photo like this in the J.C Cannell book Secrets of Houdini. This was part of a photo session.

    2. I was trying to remember if I had seen this particular image myself. I think I have seen a full body version, but I can't recall where.

    3. There's a full body version where he wears white boxer style shorts, and is facing the camera. His arms are shackled at the lower biceps as in this photo, and his hands are behind his back. It might be in the Henning book, but it's out there published.

    4. Yes, I know that one. Very likely from this same session.