Saturday, August 9, 2014

Tony Pastor's Theatre - 30 Days of Houdini

Tony Pastor was a theatre owner who helped to usher in the age of Vaudeville in America. His theatre, just down the street from Hubers Dime Museum was located on 14th Street. It was actually in the very building that once housed Tammany Hall. The entire building was demolished in 1927.

Houdini worked at Tony Pastors very briefly in January of 1895. They were excited about the opportunity as it was a step up from the Dime Museums. The Houdinis, Harry and Bess, worked at Tony Pastor's for a week. According to the Kenneth Silverman biography on Houdini, they received the following 'glowing' endorsement from Mr. Pastor, "The Houdinis act as performed here I found satisfactory and interesting." I guess they should be happy they didn't stink up the place, lol.

Below is a photo from the Museum of the City of New York, showing the outside of Tony Pastor's Theatre in 1895, the very same time Bess and Harry performed there.

Theatre, Tony Pastor's 14th Street [143 E. 14th Street].


  1. This is great. I've never seen a pic of Tony Pastor's. Thanks.

    BTW, the Kellock book has a pic of that endorsement letter.

  2. This is an amazing photo! I pictured the front of Tony Pastor's theater a bit differently in my mind. The tone of Pastor's letter suggests that he wasn't blown away by them, but he didn't think they were bad either. If he thought they were lousy, I don't think he would have written this note for them. He might have liked the Sub Trunk but wasn't impressed with Houdini's magic. Martin Beck was still 3 years away.