Happy birthday, Harry Houdini! 🎩 Built by the same team that created the Luna Park amusement park at Coney Island, the 5,300-seat Hippodrome Theater operated from 1905-1939 (after which it was replaced by a significantly less eye-catching office building) and welcomed all kinds of performers, including the inimitable Houdini. 🐘 In January 1918, he performed his famous "Vanishing Elephant" act at the Hippodrome, making a five-ton elephant disappear from a cabinet on stage. ⛓ A talented illusionist and escape artist, Houdini vehemently campaigned against Spiritualists and those who performed seances and other activities to commune with the dead, labeling them as nothing more than con artists. 🔮 In fact, he had a long-running feud in the Letters to the Editor of the New York Times with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes and a fervent believer in the spirit realm. #nyhistory#magic
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