Oddity of the Week: Taking the Show on the Road

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View the latest in entertainment technology – from 1920.

Taking the Show on the Road

This moving theatre was built around 1920.

What is it, you ask? It's a theatre. On wheels.

The ever-helpful Library of Congress describes this object from 1919 or 1920 thus:

Community service theatre. A moving theater mounted on an automobile chassis, said to be the first of its kind. It is conducted by the Community Service, Washington, D.C., for the benefit of poor children and the children[']s hospitals.

Pretty innovative for its day. If you'd been one of those kids, wouldn't you have been intrigued to see a show that arrived by motor vehicle, back when that was still an exciting prospect? Nowadays, they'd probably just yawn and go back to their handheld devices. Oh, well. Simpler times, eh?

Notice, though, that education organisers back in the day were doing exactly what their counterparts do now – finding ways to use emerging technologies creatively. We give them an A+ for ingenuity. Wonder what play that was.

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Dmitri Gheorgheni

25.02.13 Front Page

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