“The Man From Beyond” and a Personal Appearance of another Escape Artist

Harry Houdini was known to make personal appearances at his movies.

While visiting Fred Pittella in NYC, he shared evidence of another Escape Artist making a personal appearance at one of his movies.  Fred graciously allowed me to share this evidence below:

In 1922 on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, December 15th, 16th, & 17th,  The Man From Beyond”was playing at the Stadium Theatre located at Third Ave & 119th street, New York.  As an added attraction in conjunction with Harry Houdini’s master production “The Man From Beyond”, the escape artist Genesta was to make a personal appearance and escape from a barrel of water:

Genesta and TMFB Pittella Collection A

Credit: Fred Pittella Collection

Wizard of wonders in his sensational and death-defying escape from a barrel of water. After being securely handcuffed by a committee selected from our audience and locked in a barrel.  This is positively the most sensational death-defying stunt ever attempted.  Bring your own padlock.  Inspect barrel in front of theatre. This barrel is the exact duplicate of the infamous torture barrel used in Russia by the Bolshevicks which many of the royalty were tortured and put to death.  To see it is to believe it.

Genesta Pittella Collection A

Credit: Fred Pittella Collection

Special Thanks to Fred Pittella!

FP_LOGO_0009_small_bannerPlease check out Fred Pittella’s excellent website, Houdini and Escapes Museum to see lots of photos of Fred’s magnificent Houdini and restraints collection.


Nevertheless, to get his picture talked about he made personal appearances with it for about three weeks…

He also created four touring companies, hoping to gain a national audience for The Man From Beyond by presenting it in connection with “The Houdini Wonder Show of 1922.” One or two well-known magicians or escape artists headed each unit, notably Frederick Eugene Powell…

Houdini appeared at the opening show of each unit, and made it clear that these were his shows, combined with his movie. [Silverman]


8 thoughts on ““The Man From Beyond” and a Personal Appearance of another Escape Artist

  1. Fantastic!

    Houdini did indeed set up roadshows with other magicians to promote The Man From Beyond. Think that’s mentioned in Silverman. But I never knew who any of those magicians were. Now I do. 🙂

    • I just updated the post with a reference from Silverman that mentions other magicians and escape artists, but Frederick Eugene Powell is the only one mentioned by name.

  2. That was great Joe! Thank you for this! Powell complained that HH was afraid that the performers heading each unit would receive a little advertising, and did not mention Powell’s name on occasion.

    • No problem. Glad you enjoyed it. I have Fred Pittella to thank for having it in his collection and allowing me to share it.

  3. Dear Sir,
    Could you please email me regarding your trip to this museum and a photograph you have with the name “Genesta” on it. This is a historical question and would appreciate your help please.Thank you, Jim

  4. Pingback: A Look Back at 2015, Part II – Other Highlights | harryhoudinicircumstantialevidence.com

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