Showing posts with label Bridge Jump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bridge Jump. Show all posts

Monday, November 29, 2010

Houdini in Boston Part1

Houdini was huge in Boston. According to the Ken Silverman bio there were groups of fans who were called  'Houdinites' by the Boston Post. In 1908, Houdini did one of his handcuffed bridge jumps off the Harvard Bridge, now referred to as the Mass Avenue Bridge. There is a plaque on the bridge that was put there commemorating the event.
As can be seen from the photo, thousands of people came out to watch Houdini jump into the Charles River. The little lady behind Harry is Bess.

Houdini was in town performing at the B.F. Keith's Theatre. I decided to do some research on this particular theatre. Keith's was one of the most opulent theatre's of the day. Houdini referred to the place as a million dollar theatre. Take a look at this postcard from 1907 to see an actual picture of the theatre. The green building on the postcard  is Keiths.

The location was 547 Washington St. Boston, MA. I had to go back and recheck some information because it gets a little confusing. However, I think I have it correct now.

The original Keith's opened on March 24, 1894 (hmm, Houdini's birthday just by coincidence) It was next to the Bijou Theatre and the Boston Theatre, all Keith properties. Keith's New Theatre as it was called was sold in 1926 and this property  became the Apollo Theatre and then the Lycric Theatre and then the Normandie and then the Laffmovie Theatre. It was torn down in the 1950s.

The Boston Theatre, which was owned by Keith's was torn down and a new Keith's was built in 1926-27 called The Keith's Memorial Theatre. This is now the Boston Opera House. David Copperfield plays the Boston Opera House when he is in town, but Houdini never performed at that location.

Here is the location today. The far left is where Keith's New Theatre was (currently the location of the Paramount Theatre which appears to be closed). The red sign for the Boston Opera House can be seen on the right which WAS the Keith's Memorial Theatre.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Houdini in Atlantic City 1908

On June 17, 1908 Harry did a handcuffed jump off the Young's Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City. According to the Kalush Biography, Houdini hit his head on the ocean floor and came up bloodied but free of the cuffs.

I've been to the AC Boardwalk many times and didn't realize that Houdini had jumped off the pier. In fact, I vividly recall the eyesore that the Million Dollar Pier had become. But today it has been taken over by Cesaers and converted into an upscale shopping site called "The Pier Shops at Cesaers".