I am getting so tired of this long stretch of muggy days, all with a temperature that begins with a ‘9’ and a heat index that reaches triple digits. Of course, I always have to remind myself that I am fortunate to have modern air conditioning and that’s not the case for everyone, so please don’t think that I take it for granted.
While I was growing up my main exposure to air conditioning was in places like movie theaters. I can still remember how some theaters would have ‘refrigerated air’ in big letters up on the marquee, and the really creative ones would even have icicles painted around the words.
In fact, air conditioned theaters were around long before I was. During the Great Depression they were among the earliest establishments to feature air conditioning, although many of the original setups were a little primitive. Some systems just consisted of several large electric fans, sometimes blowing air through a fine spray of water, but eventually modern systems began to appear too.
World War II slowed down things a little, but in the post-war years any theater worth its salt soon had modern air conditioning. And even today, it’s a good place to go and cool off — although you could buy an air conditioner of your own for what the popcorn costs.