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Going out : the rise and fall of public amusements

Author: David Nasaw
Publisher: New York, NY : BasicBooks, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
There was a time not very long ago when "going out" was only for the rich and the reckless. At the turn of the century, "going out" became part of everyday life as vaudeville halls, photograph parlors, penny arcades, nickelodeons, nightclubs, dance halls, world's fair midways, amusement parks, ballparks, and movie palaces opened their doors to the people of the city. The new amusement centers welcomed women, men,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Nasaw, David.
Going out.
New York, NY : BasicBooks, ©1993
(OCoLC)609154241
Online version:
Nasaw, David.
Going out.
New York, NY : BasicBooks, ©1993
(OCoLC)624453733
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: David Nasaw
ISBN: 0465070302 9780465070305 0674356225 9780674356221 0465026540 9780465026548
OCLC Number: 28216338
Description: viii, 312 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Dollar theaters, concert saloons, and dime museums --
"Something for everybody" at the vaudeville theater --
"The best smelling crowd in the world" --
The "indecent" others --
The city as playground: the world's fair midways --
"The summer show" --
The national game --
"Laughter and liberty galore": early Twentieth-Century dance halls, ballrooms, and cabarets --
Talking and singing machines, parlors, and peep shows --
"The surest immediate money-maker ever known" --
The first picture shows --
"The pernicious 'moving picture' abomination" --
Combination shows, stars, and features --
Waving the flag --
Palaces for the people --
Decline and fall.
Responsibility: David Nasaw.

Abstract:

There was a time not very long ago when "going out" was only for the rich and the reckless. At the turn of the century, "going out" became part of everyday life as vaudeville halls, photograph parlors, penny arcades, nickelodeons, nightclubs, dance halls, world's fair midways, amusement parks, ballparks, and movie palaces opened their doors to the people of the city. The new amusement centers welcomed women, men, and children, native-born and immigrant, rich, poor, and middling. Only African Americans were excluded or segregated in the audience, though they were overrepresented on stage. Going Out chronicles the twentieth-century entertainment revolution that changed forever the ways we live, work, and play. In a matter of decades, a new public world of amusements was created where ethnic, class, and neighborhood differences were subordinated to the common pursuit of a good time. Clerks and bankers, sales girls and society ladies "turkey trotted" to ragtime in nightclubs and dance halls; "shot the chute" and clutched one another in "barrels of love"; visited "Darkest Africa" on the world's fair midways; and sat together in the dark watching pictures move on a screen. In Going Out, we meet the colorful characters who invented show business: Thomas Alva Edison, who was astonished when his phonograph made money playing music (he had designed it to take business dictation); Benjamin Franklin Keith, the circus grifter who opened a dime museum in Boston in the 1880s and within a decade owned the world's largest vaudeville theater circuit; Adolph Zukor and Marcus Loew, the New York furriers who made millions in the early picture-show business; and the dozens of small-time show businessmen who rode the rails with their "shows" in their trunks. And we hear the stories of the early black performers and their struggles to maintain their dignity and livelihood while audiences demanded their public humiliation. Going Out is a history of twentieth-century show business and of the new American public that assembled in the city's wondrous pleasure palaces, parks, and theaters. The book concludes with an account of the fall or relocation of this entertainment world, as central city amusement parks, movie palaces, and ballparks were uprooted and transported to the suburbs in the decades following World War II.

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