Wednesday, May 20, 2009

In Refrigerated Comfort

Here is a nice shot of the exterior of the Warner's Theatre during the initial run of Don Juan. Notice how prominent the advertising for the air conditioning is. Air ventilation was an important selling point for theaters already in the teens and actual air conditioning ("refrigerated air"), which was also being installed in department stores, became increasingly common in the 1920s.

(The photo is available from the National Archive, here.)

As part of its celebration of 100 years of business, Carrier Corporation in 2002 produced a press kit and a weekly blog outlining the history of air conditioning, with considerable attention given to its use in film production (sound film in particular required hot lights and closed buildings) and exhibition. This blog entry, for instance, covers the installation of air conditioning in the Rivoli Theatre in New York City, this one deals with its use in production, and this one details its use at Radio City Music Hall. The press kit, with a number of high resolution photos including that of the Rivoli (above), is located here.

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