Thursday, August 15, 2013

1937: "Class Night" At The Aragon

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Things were a little different at Lawrence and Winthrop 75 years ago.  RadioMirror Magazine did a story about one of America's most famous ballrooms, telling of a Depression-era night out, a combination of American Bandstand, speed dating, and big band music.  The text reads:
Radio is responsible for an amazing American institution--Chicago's Aragon Ballroom.  Built ten years ago, it became famous at once for its dance music broadcasts and when Wayne King began a five-year engagement, listeners stormed the doors in such numbers that a sister dance palace, the Trianon, was opened for the overflow.  Tuesday draws the biggest crowds, for Tuesday is Class Night, Chicago's most unique vogue.  Tuesday patrons get 90 minutes of free dancing instruction from four hundred expert amateurs who are paid for demonstrating the latest steps by being admitted free.  Romance blooms in this atmosphere of chance meetings, and last year class nights fostered 25 weddings.

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