Talkies to Entertain TRAIN Passengers (Apr, 1931)

Talkies to Entertain TRAIN Passengers
TALKIES are soon to be one of the amusements provided for passengers on de luxe trains of leading railroad lines. These “Talkie cars,” designed by William D. Knox, of Birmingham, Mich., are being built for several railroads at a cost of $60,000. They will be decorated like a modern theater, and show latest pictures. Special roller bearings and sound-proof walls will eliminate noise.

  1. tom says: April 8, 20118:04 am

    I’ve read a little about vintage trains but have never heard of these cars. I wonder in any were ever saw service.

  2. C.H. says: April 8, 201111:36 am

    The British apparently built one in the mid 30’s. And if the advertising is to be believed, the Pennsylvania railroad built a car with a small newsreel theater after the war.

  3. Hirudinea says: April 8, 20112:53 pm

    So the joke about walking out on a movie during a cross country trip is older than air travel!

  4. Andrew L. Ayers says: April 8, 20113:41 pm

    I can’t imagine this would be worthwhile if you were in the back row; it’d be like viewing a movie through a paper towel tube (then again, movies in planes were the same way back in the day – if not worse, because the screen was on one side of the cabin).

  5. Toronto says: April 8, 20113:42 pm

    What movies would you show? Here’s my list:

    The General
    The Railrodder (I love Buster Keaton)
    Silver Streak
    Murder on the Orient Express
    Bridge Over the River Kwai (It’s got *some* train in it)
    Strangers on a Train
    Throw Momma from the Train (arguably a remake of the above)
    Trainspotting (warning: not about trains)
    The Taking of Pelham 123 (original version)

  6. John says: April 8, 20114:21 pm

    Toronto: You got good taste in movies there.…
    The Railrodder

  7. Mcubstead says: April 8, 20117:54 pm

    A few things that puzzle me.
    The standard of the times was for the train to be laid out so the passengers walked though the full length of the train (more or less). So this car would have to be at front in place of the baggage car? , The rear cutting the observation/club car, or tolerate a lot of traffic.

    Two, why put windows in it, then light proof them?
    Three where is the popcorn machine?? Candy bar rack???

    PS great movies, but for the 30’s how about Bill of Divorcement,Stage Door and Jezzabell

  8. Benzene265 says: April 9, 20118:38 am

    Mcubstead: The Talkie Car was probably a mod of a normal passenger car rather than a brand new one. Also, if they needed to, they could take the shutters down and use it as regular business class seating.

  9. Jayessell says: April 10, 20114:49 pm

    Maybe it was for people in the motion picture industry traveling coast to coast.

  10. Charlene says: April 10, 201110:59 pm

    I wonder why this never caught on. Noise? Vibration? Cost?

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