Little Rock Look Back: First play at Robinson Center in 1940

On April 1, 1940, stage and screen star Edward Everett Horton appeared in the comedy Springtime for Henry in the music hall of Robinson Auditorium. This was the first play to be featured on the stage of the Music Hall which had opened six weeks earlier.

Springtime for Henry was a long-running vehicle for Horton.  He first played its title role in California in 1932 (shortly after its Broadway debut in 1931) and continued to play it across the country for more than 25 years, including in the 1951 Broadway revival.

As it was now springtime for Little Rock, the air conditioning was being used.  The system’s fans made so much noise that echoed through the air ducts it was hard for the audience members to hear the actors.  Once the source of this distraction was discovered, the fans were turned off; the next day plans were made to add acoustical buffering to the ducts to avoid a repeat of the situation.