Before Mrs. Pleasanton can voice her approval the curtain is up and their interest is shifted to the stage. Everything is metamorphosed into what seems to be the temple of a strange god, and the effect upon this captivated couple is such that they forget entirely their critical faculties. How astute has been the management that has so regulated everything as to render the minds of his patrons sensitive to the slightest impression. Like children listening to an Arabian Nights' tale, they are fascinated by everything they see or hear, so wonderful has been the psychic effect of their surroundings.
The act is too quickly over and the curtain falls. A large silvered ball, not unlike the huge mirror balls so popular in European gardens, slowly protrudes into view from the depths of the orchestra well. With suppressed "Ahs" the audience appreciate at once that this bright object gives mirrored reflection of the entire auditorium and all that it contains. Mr. Pleasanton also realizes that this same ball, before being raised, must have served the musical conductor in following the action upon the stage.
With the turning up of the lights both Mr. and Mrs. Pleasanton discover that the auditorium is illuminated by some unseen source of light. There are no fixtures anywhere in view but merely an increased intensity of a bright light band that encircles the room at the cove juncture of the side walls and ceiling. Mr. Pleasanton, a student of technical magazines, explains to his wife that the absence of the usual "spotty" effect is produced by continuous tube lighting.
The mirrored observation ball is lowered and the curtain again rises. Mr. and Mrs. Pleasanton are at once plunged into an atmosphere of witchery. To them everything in the play pertains to magic. The elderly actors appear youthful, the callous sentimental, the stupid witty, the plain beautiful, and the commonplace romantic. It is a world of illusion in which the events presented are gauged by the mental barometer of the auditor. The low cost of admission, the chastity of decoration, the spacious foyer with its ample provision for coat hanging, the comfortable seating, the concealed music, and the subtle lighting have all done their work well. There is another intermission, the curtain lowers and raises again, the performance is soon over, and the highly pleased couple rise from their seats to take their departure.
Facing about, they view the full interior of this magnificent playhouse. Transversely across the lower floor are aisled rows of low comfortable arm chairs from which gayly dressed people are arising. The audience hall is separated from a spacious foyer by groups of inclosed boxes curtained in royal purple. Two similarly draped circular guests' boxes protrude from the side walls above the side foyer doorways, and back of them sweeps a deep broad balcony with open loggias in front and inclosed boxes at the rear. The walls are plain panels of imitation Caen stone, surmounted by a simple ceiling of the same material with a large canopied dome in the center for ventilation. The junction lines of the walls and ceiling are adorned by a brilliantly illuminated cove that furnishes reflected light to the whole interior. The floors are carpeted in a solid gray and the dead whiteness of the walls and ceiling is relieved by the warm tones of purple hangings.
Passing through the foyer on their way out the couple wait but a moment to recover their outer garments. Plenty of courteous attendants are there to serve them. This short pause gives them an opportunity to view with admiration the delightful comforts of this broad promenade, with its marble stairways on both sides rising to the balconied mezzanine floor above, underneath which are the coat-hanging and hat-checking conveniences. Against the side walls, between the numerous emergency exits, are long comfortable divans for use during intervals or for patrons waiting for admission until the termination of an act.
The couple depart deciding to attend this wonderful house again at every weekly change of program.