Allô! From the early 1880s through the mid-1930s, Parisians used personal and public telephones to listen in real time to musical and theatrical performances taking place across the city. Throughout these years, the Société du Théâtrophone advertised listening subscription services—and transmission machines known as théâtrophones—to hotels, restaurants, cafés, and bars, as well as to individuals. Where were these théâtrophones installed? Who used them? What did listeners hear? And how did the emergence of new modes of listening affect established modes of spectatorship?

Designed by undergraduate students at Syracuse University under the supervision of Professor Sarah Fuchs Sampson, théâtrophonics seeks to answer these questions.