Thursday, June 20, 2024

High-Class Vaudeville in D.C.

Houdini played Washington, D.C., many times during his career. Starting in 1914, Houdini's regular Washington venue became B.F. Keith's Theater located in the Riggs Building at 1426 G Street and 615-627 15th Street. This was Washington's home for "High-Class Vaudeville."

Below is an unusually detailed vaudeville playbill from the September 20, 1924, Washington Times. This is a great way to see what kinds of acts shared the stage with Houdini during any given week.

Here's an ad for the following week. As you can see, Belle Baker, who once disrupted Houdini's act, was the new headliner. Note the reminder at the bottom of the page that Houdini would be closing out his engagement that night.

While B.F. Keith's Theater is long gone, the building facade survives. This is especially nice as it was also the site of a suspended straitjacket escape (in 1922). Today, what would have been the entrance to the theater is the Old Ebbitt Grill.


1 comment:

  1. Washington D.C. hasn't changed at all in 30 years. It still looks practically the same. If Harry walked thru the town now, it would be very familiar to him.