Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Sunday entertainment section cast a skeptical eye on the newest moving picture fad: talkies.

The Orpheum Theatre in Spokane was about to start using Edison’s “synchronous machine” – essentially, a record player synchronized with a movie.

However, Spokesman-Review entertainment columnist George L. Keller was wary of this development. Too often, he said, the movie and the sound got badly out of sync. This resulted in, for instance, an actor shouting “Go!” at the same moment the actress glided gracefully into his arms.

Keller said he was willing to be convinced otherwise. But he said that if these “talkies” were not up to proper standards, they would not endure long.

As it turned out, it would take another 14 years before “talkies” were finally perfected.

From the vaudeville beat: In other Spokane stage news, an act called the Burlesque Circus was appearing at the Orpheum. The stars were highly trained Great Danes. The lead dog, Pascha, was said to have apprehended 21 criminals and saved four lives while working for the German police.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1913: Former slave, abolitionist and Underground Railroad “conductor” Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, N.Y.; she was in her 90s.

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