As the fight against COVID-19 continues, the plight of UK cinemas, which have faced terrible financial stress due to the lockdown, continues through the art world. Cinemas forced Close It has been closed since late March and, with a few exceptions. These venues have to decide whether reopening will be feasible after the latest lockdown eases, with very real potential for measures of real social continuity that make live performance virtually impossible.
Even after Britain came out of lockdown in the summer, ticket sales were limited and profits declined. Now, with the threat of a second lockdown in force and Christmas shows, the future of British theater remains highly doubtful.
One source of hope has been live-streaming shows – and many theater companies are also involved National Theater Live There was some success with this format. And, interestingly, the idea of streaming live theater into people’s homes goes back to the Victorian era.
From 1893 to 1925 the London Electrophone Company flowed the sound of live theater into the house using a telephone instrument known as an electrophone.
Inventors of the time, including Alexander Graham Bell, looked on the telephone and saw something that could be used to reach large groups of people – they understood that telephone cables could be used to communicate information from one person to many people. Can be done for, and not just a one-to-one conversation.
Music festivals, scientific lectures, church services and theater shows were “streamed” into the homes of those who could purchase it nationwide. For those on smaller budgets, listening salons were built. For the first time, you could experience a show rather than being in a theater. It was, of course, earlier First live radio broadcast in 1920.
Possible thanks to french work Ernest Mercadier (Who previously patented headphones), copied from Electrophone used primitive headset French theatrophon (However, unlike the Théâtrophone, the electrophone did not use stereo technology). “Circular telephones”, as they were known, were being tested throughout Europe in the late 19th century. Telephon Hermondo in Hungary Was still used in late 1945).
Electrophone was similar to the French version as it streams audio from theater and music venues, while both the Hungarian and Italian versions were slightly different as they also broadcast their own news service to subscribers.
Shock of new
Electrophones functioned by sending information via telephone wires to a central receiver in the home, where one or more headsets could be fitted (each additional headset came with an additional cost). The audible sound will be heard by a small microphone behind the footlight in front of the stage. At church services the microphones were hidden in a fake wooden bible.
Each electrophone was an actual live show performed somewhere in the country – usually at large London theaters, such as the Adelphi Theater or Covent Garden Opera. In 1896, the music standard reported time to users, saying that they could hear the audience “rustle like leaves” in the theater during a performance that was broadcast live.
Streaming the actual live show meant that the home listener experienced the start, end and interval of the show as if they were there. If someone slips or forgets a line, it will be as obvious to the audience listening on the headphones as it is to those inside the theater. And electrophone listeners can experience “whodunite” detection at the same time as audience members sitting in the stall.
The Electrophone costs £ 5 a year when it was first available for membership in the 1890s – equivalent to around £ 120 today – and the unobtrusive nature of the technology involved meant that there was no need to reduce the size of theater audiences Was not. The London Electrophone Company paid for the technology to be installed in the theater, the National Telephone Company (later the Post Office) would pay for the maintenance of telephone lines, and the theater would receive a portion of the Electrophone Company’s profits – accurate records of how profits The shares that were shared have not yet been revealed.
Members can pay additional fees to stay connected to the theater for the season, such as Covent Garden winter season. The high cost of electrophones (much higher than Netflix subscriptions today) was almost certainly used primarily by the wealthy, but operated by the use of coin slots installed in hotels, public parks and exhibitions and, a small For a fee, people could listen to snippets of live theater and music broadcasts.
People, for whatever reason, were unable to attend the theater, could listen at home – as did the French novelist Marcel Proust in the early 20th century when he was too ill to be forced out of his home.
Since COVID-19 hit the UK, cinemas had to reduce viewership to remove social disturbances. This means lower income for all those involved in theaters and productions. But some companies have successfully Live experience added to live stream, As did Victorian theaters with electrophones.
The London Electrophone Company closed its doors in 1925 because it simply did not have enough customers to survive. The idea of staying stationary for an extended period of time and listening through headphones was bizarre to most people at the time. But these days a generation has grown up with streaming technology, so the challenge that Electrophones have found in selling their product is of less concern.
With the prospect of months of restrictions, we are likely to see more live-streaming, especially once theater and live artists work on socially distorted productions. But, when you sit at home to watch a screening of your favorite stage show, keep in mind that you are re-watching the tradition set by theater lovers about 150 years ago.
By this article Natasha Kitcher, Reprinted from Doctoral Researcher, Department of Communication and Media, Loughborough University chit chat Under a Creative Commons license. read the Original article .
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Published December 25, 2020 – 11:00 UTC