American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Koster & Bial

Koster & Bial's Music Hall
Koster & Bial's Music Hall
New York: Strobridge Lithographing
Co., ca.1896
Copyright deposit, 1896
Prints & Photographs Division (130.6)

On April 23, 1896, the Vitascope movie projector made its debut at Koster & Bial's Music Hall in Herald Square, New York City. The vaudeville circuit was a fitting venue because it not only provided a ready audience but also a source for film subjects including Annabelle, the "butterfly dancer" and the theatrical production of "A Milk White Flag." During the premiere, film was projected onto a screen set within an gilt frame to create literally a "moving picture" for an amazed audience. This is an example of Koster & Bial's stock poster that was designed to be overprinted with information about a specific attraction.

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