Grumpy old fart!!!

"If you talk to God you're religious. If God talks to you, you're psychotic."

Ladies Kindly Remove your Hats

Movie Theatre Etiquette

Macqueen-Pope [1] wrote “Mr George Alexander would respectfully request those ladies who frequent the St. James’s Theatre intent on viewing the performance to recollect the similar purpose in those who sit behind them. If therefore every large hat were left in the Cloak Room (for which there is no charge) the lady so doing would confer a great benefit on her immediate neighbour”. This is from the programme of “The Tree of Knowledge” produced at the St. James in 1897.

 Mr Alexander’s appeal often fell on stony ground and the majority of women did not comply with his respectful request. However, this may not have been a simple refusal to comply. It must be remembered that a woman’s coiffure then was something a woman of today would be amazed. Hair was worn long and piled on top of the head in an ornate style, often reinforced by extra curls, known as “switches”. It had an artificial foundation on which it was piled, which served two purposes; one to support the hair and the other to form something through which hatpins could be run, so as to keep the hat secure. And, as hats were quite large, this was no light matter. The hatpins which secured the hat were long and dangerous items. Removing them was easy enough but putting them in again was more difficult and required time, room and a large mirror, because it had to be “just so”; if hurried she ran the risk of wounding herself with a misplaced pin. It must also be remembered that a hat was not purchased in isolation but with a specific dress in mind to create the perfect appearance.


 [1] Maqueen-Pope, W, (1947) “Carriages at Eleven, The Story of the Edwardian  Theatre”, Hutchinson & Co;London. (p. 50 – 51)


January 1, 2012 - Posted by | Social History, Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. I love it. Looking forward to more greatness from you in the year ahead. Happy New Year! 😀

    Comment by IzaakMak | January 1, 2012 | Reply

    • Glad you enjoyed it – take care in the New Year 😉

      Comment by summertime75 | January 1, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] Ladies Kindly Remove your Hats […]

    Pingback by Merry Widow Hat Parody « Grumpy old fart!!! | January 6, 2016 | Reply

  3. […] Ladies Kindly Remove your Hats […]

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