How Air Conditioning Built Hollywood

It’s safe to assume that if you’re reading this, you were probably born after the invention of air conditioning in 1902.  That also means that you’re probably accustomed to life with AC and can’t image a life without it. Air conditioning has single-handedly changed the way humans live as well as what we are capable of doing—think medical advances and the preservation of food for starters—but did you know that air conditioning essentially built Hollywood too?

The Origin of Cool

The world got a little cooler at the dawn of the 19th century when Willis Carrier (yes, of the famous Carrier ACs) first invented air conditioning. Carrier was a mechanical engineer and developed and installed the first system in Brooklyn, New York at a publishing company. Almost instantly, people began fleeing their hot towns to cool off in the air conditioned space. To put things in perspective, the AC invent was so extraordinary that huge cities like Washington D.C. were virtually ghost towns as citizens and politicians escaped to swap heat and humidity for cold air.

Summer Blockbuster: Air Conditioning!

So how did air conditioning build Hollywood? Well, in 1925, Carrier approached the Paramount Pictures Corporation and convinced them to purchase and install the AC systems in the Rivoli Theater which was then located in Times Square. The AC install was so successful that people bombarded the theater to experience the climate-controlled rooms. As a result, more than 300 movie theaters followed suit and installed the systems as well. The addition of air conditioning independently drove the movie business as people flocked to see the summer blockbusters in order to beat the heat. Movies fared amazingly at the box office in 1925 and there is a direct correlation between ticket sales and AC. Not sure what some of the classics released in ’25 were? Classics like Phantom of the Opera and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush were two. Oh, and don’t forget that little movie known as The Wizard of Oz. As a result, Hollywood saw the rise of some of the most iconic actors of the era (think Judy Garland and Charlie Chaplin) and ultimately helped build Hollywood.

We can thank air conditioning for a lot of things, but you might not be so thankful if your AC isn’t keeping you cool and comfortable. At Climate Design, our number one priority is your comfort, which is why our team of skilled technicians is available for all of your heating and cooling needs. To learn how we can help your home feel its best, read How the World Would Be Different Without Air Conditioning.