Jean-Claude SEGUIN

El Paso est une ville du Texas (États-Unis).


Le Vitascope (Myar's Opera House, 16 de octubre de 1896)

Le vitascope Edion est annoncé au Myar's opera del Paso, mais le motor doit arriver de San Antonio:

It is a Novel and a Wonderful Spectacle Worth Seeing.
The required motor for the Vitascope will arrive on the San Antonio train today and this evening Myar's opera house will be full.
An evening with the Vitascope is equivalent to a tour of two continents We are first taken to the home of the great Wizard Edison and witness a street scene in front of his famous laboratory. Here is a group of street gamins, some trying to ride bicycles, others playing leap frog and another flooding the street with a hose, while an electric car rushes by. A reproduction of life most vivid.
The next moment we behold the rushing torrent of the Patterson Falls in the Passaic. Then we are carried to Fourteenth street and Broadway with its busy whirl of activity. All at once were occupying a box at Roster & Bial’s and see Cissy Fitzgerald with entrancing grace, dancing the Serpentine and winking roguishly at us.
The next moment we are In Central Park viewing a bicycle parade, then at Battery Park viewing a passenger laden steamer. Then we go to Rockaway Beach to look at bathers, fat, lean, ugly and fair.
Then we go to Paris and view Concorde made famous as being the spot where at the close of the Franco-Prussian war the French surrendered to the Germans. It Is a marvelous scene of metropolitan life.
Hurrying back across one continent and half across another, we find ourselves in our own southland witnessing a watermelon contest between two pickaninnies, a gem in the ridiculous that excites to the utmost our risibles Under the 5.000 candle power light of the Vitascope their figures appear twice life size. One, a coal black actor in the scene, knuckles down to his work from start to finish, his mouth never leaving the juicy subject before him, the whites of his eyes showing just often enough to add to the grotesqueness of the scene. His rival takes huge mouthfuls of the melon like a barnyard fowl diving into a piece of dough. He casts a furtive glance now and then at his rival to note his progress, at which action we only yell with laughter while he returns immediately to his task, ejecting large chunks of the seeds from between his capacious lips, like the separator of a threshing machine.

El Paso Times, El Paso, 16 Oct 1896, Fri, 2

Du fait de la proximité entre Ciudad Juarez, au Mexique, et El Paso, de nombreux Mexicains sont partis pour voir le vitascope. Pourtant, le moteur tant attendu n'est pas suffisant et engendre le dépit de tous ceux qui sont venus spécialement pour cela:

El Vitascopio de Edison
Con motivo de haber hecho uso de un pequeño motor que no estaba en relación con el aparato de Edison, las personas que de Ciudad Juárez fueron al Paso, Texas, a admirar esa maravilla del sabio electricista, regresaron muy disgustadas, quejándose, no tan sólo del motor, sino también de la poca competencia del encargado de manejar el aparato.

El Universal, México, 23 de octubre de 1896, p. 3.

On ignore si le vitascope aussi mal reçu va prolonger son séjour à El Paso.

el paso myars opera house

El Paso, Myar's Opera House (c. 1900)