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Watergate reference in HOUSEBOAT


HoldenIsHere
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I've never seen HOUSEBOAT before today.

 

Cary Grant's reference to the "Watergate concert by the river" was interesting.

 

Did Watergate concerts actually take place in Washington DC or is that a fiction of the movie?

 

Watergate has such a specific connotation today as well as the use of the suffix "gate."

 

 

 

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Yes. I believe outdoor concerts were held there from 1935 to 1965 - jet traffic at the National Airport made concerts difficult. These steps leading up to the Lincoln Memorial were intended for use by foreign dignitaries and other VIPs visiting our nation's capitol. That plan didn't work out and they gave themselves over to seating for the concerts.

 

Here's a shot of the empty area - the Potomac River is on the left.
That's where the concert stage floating on a barge would be.
ae3x4i.jpg
 
And here's the full set-up at a concert held in 1939.
26984v.jpg
 
And here's DownGoesFrazier doing a pre-concert check for wads of gum.
 
Just Kidding !
:P
nvwcxh.jpg
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Seems I've heard of those concerts before.  A friend of mine claimed to have an old LP of a performance by Rudolf Serkin that was recorded at one of those concerts.  Don't know if THAT'S true, but a quick call to then WQRS, which was Detroit's classical music station at the time, and it was confirmed that there indeed WERE concerts held in an outdoor venue connected somehow to the Watergate hotel, but the person I spoke with didn't know if Serkin ever recorded anything while performing there.

 

That's some of the "fun" in watching "classic" movies.  Hearing Cary Grant say something about Watergate concerts.  Maybe, someday, there'll be a movie in which some guy will be bragging about his cottage on Mount Saint Helens!   There already ARE referrences in other movies as to having "lunch at the Automat"  or...."Dinner at Jack Dempsey's"

 

 

Sepiatone

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Yes. I believe outdoor concerts were held there from 1935 to 1965 - jet traffic at the National Airport made concerts difficult. These steps leading up to the Lincoln Memorial were intended for use by foreign dignitaries and other VIPs visiting our nation's capitol. That plan didn't work out and they gave themselves over to seating for the concerts.

 

Here's a shot of the empty area - the Potomac River is on the left.
That's where the concert stage floating on a barge would be.
ae3x4i.jpg
 
And here's the full set-up at a concert held in 1939.
26984v.jpg
 
And here's DownGoesFrazier doing a pre-concert check for wads of gum.
 
Just Kidding !
:P
nvwcxh.jpg

 

That photo could be labeled, "Up goes Down Goes Frazier"

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Seems I've heard of those concerts before.  A friend of mine claimed to have an old LP of a performance by Rudolf Serkin that was recorded at one of those concerts.  Don't know if THAT'S true, but a quick call to then WQRS, which was Detroit's classical music station at the time, and it was confirmed that there indeed WERE concerts held in an outdoor venue connected somehow to the Watergate hotel, but the person I spoke with didn't know if Serkin ever recorded anything while performing there.

 

That's some of the "fun" in watching "classic" movies.  Hearing Cary Grant say something about Watergate concerts.  Maybe, someday, there'll be a movie in which some guy will be bragging about his cottage on Mount Saint Helens!   There already ARE referrences in other movies as to having "lunch at the Automat"  or...."Dinner at Jack Dempsey's"

 

 

Sepiatone

If you DON'T have deep pockets, it will be dinner at the automat.

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  • 3 years later...

The concerts did happen. One summer while visiting my aunt and uncle that lived in Washington D.C. they took me to a variety show on the river in the 1950s.  This was a variety show with several different acts. One that I loved was a gentleman with trained terriers. They could do fabulous tricks. The headliner was Danny Kaye. He sang, danced, told stories and did comedy. I was about  7 or 8 and that show left a great memory for my lifetime. I had seen movies with Mr. Kaye and that his performance won me over completely. It was a Great experience for all of us.

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