New Orleans Times-Picayune, January 8, 1929, page 8:
IT IS an old device, one introduced here and there many years ago long before the radio was thought of. Subsequently it lagged, but we dare say its recent comeback has been caused by the radio-developed custom of people staying at home to hear their entertainment. We are speaking of the theatrophone, which, according to reports from Paris, is now very much "the thing" in that city of light and leading. At the present time it is possible, at an annual subscription charge of 1900 francs (about $75) to secure the theatrophone service, including a loudspeaker, and two sets of head phones. For this price the Parisian subscriber may listen every night and two afternoons a week to whatever is sung at the Grand Opera, the Opera Comique, the Theatre Francais and the Odeon, these four constituting the four government endowed and controlled places of stage entertainment in the French capital. But, its authority thus established by its official connections, the theatrophone has gone beyond, and at last accounts had supplemented those offerings with six other important theaters, so that the subscriber can be assured of a sequence of programs dramatic and lyrical the best afforded by all Paris. The whole organization is operated as an attachment of the city's telephone system, and is distinct entirely from radio. It therefore must limit itself to local connections, but it is undisturbable by static.
There is one stipulation made by the lessor of the service that would be a decided novelty to the radio listener-in. This is that the entertainment seeker may not switch about at his own sweet will, as he may do freely when operating a radio set. At the beginning of the evening he is obliged to hook up with the desired performance and stick to that. If he chooses badly he is just out of luck. He may quit listening, if he so desires, and close the connection, but he may not ask to transfer his attention from opera to theater or vice versa. Radio is far more elastic, and infinitely more comprehensive, but according to Paris reports the theatrophone has its many devotees. Obviously such an apparatus will only be of use in very large cities having a wealth of program entertainment, and can never really compete with wireless hook-tips for general service.