Friday, October 07, 2011
THE ICE CAPADES
In 1940 John H. Harris, owner of a Pittsburgh minor-league hockey team, booked former Olympic figure skaters to perform during game intermissions to increase family attendance. It worked, and as Harris added jugglers, clowns, and barrel jumpers to the show, other arenas became interested, so Harris decided to take it on tour (Boston Garden owner Walter Brown combined “ice” with “escapades” to come up with the name “Ice Capades”). For the next 50 years, the Ice Capades toured the world with an evolving format that included everything from themed shows (The Flintstones, Barbie, and Ewoks, to name a few) to Olympic-skater showcases. But in the 1980s, the popularity of the Ice Capades dropped sharply, facing new competition such as Stars on Ice and Disney on Ice. The Ice Capades was sold four times, and finally folded in 1995.
I don't know how many of you ever went to the Ice Capades, but I remember going often - it was GREAT!! I have always loved watched ice skating, although I can't really do it-my ankles are too weak.