Electrical Review, July 5, 1890, page 4:
WANTED, A THEATROPHONE.
One of the most attractive features of the recent electrical exhibition at the Lenox Lyceum was the telephone companies' section, where visitors were enabled to hear by telephone snatches of comic operas which were being performed at various New York theatres, and also instrumental music, speeches and recitations, from Boston and Philadelphia. A similar arrangement at the Paris Exposition was so successful that the gentlemen who had charge of it have decided to establish a "theatrophone" in a central part of Paris.
The "theatrophone" will be in communication with the principal theatres and other places of amusement, and a novelty which will, no doubt, prove very attractive, has been added to the usual programme, in the shape of a spoken news letter. At stated intervals, five minutes will be devoted to a recital from one of the Press centers of the most important items of news collected up to, not the "hour of going to press," but "the minute of going to phone." A regular price will be charged for a certain period of listening, and in addition subscription tickets will be issued at a reduced rate in order to encourage regular patrons to drop in nightly to hear their favorite gem of opera or concert and learn the latest news of the hour.
We should imagine that a similar venture would meet with great success in New York, especially with the addition of the news message feature, as the craving of Americans for news is well known to be insatiable. A "theatrophone" on Broadway, in the vicinity of Madison Square, would no doubt find plenty of patrons and we offer the suggestion free to enterprising telephone men. Such an establishment would be a good advertisement for the telephone companies, also, and help to familiarize the public with the use of the instrument; probably nine-tenths of the population have never used a telephone and it would certainly be to the interests of the companies to reduce the number of those who are unfamiliar with the commodity they supply.