Part 3: The Hotel

From the comfort of your hotel room, you can continue to listen to the opera, the theatre, or even the variety shows through the théâtrophone!

Here, in a semi-public room with your friends, you can listen for long periods of time without too many noisy distractions. All you need is to insert a coin every once and a while, then you basically have the late nineteenth century’s version of live radio, which was still several decades away from becoming commercially viable in France.

"Listening of the theatrophone in the living room of a large hotel in Paris - External appearance of the device."

The setup is configured for many different ways of arranging seating for listeners. Most of the time in public spaces, the Théâtrophone was a popular demand to be shared. Many listeners, just like in this picture, would partner-up on one device to listen together. The lounges and salons in hotels were often crowded with listeners, but were still not nearly as noisy as cafés. 


A map of the Parisian Théâtrophone network in 1892, showing subscribing cafés, restaurants, and hotels.

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