Émile Isola

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Émile Isola
BornSeptember 4, 1860
Blida, Algeria
DiedMay 17, 1945 (age 84)
Paris, France

Émile Isola (1860-1945), half of the Isola Brothers with brother Vincent Isola (1862-1947), was a conjurer and theater director in Paris.

Biography

Born in Blida, Algeria, he was trained as a mechanic. His passion for magic brought him to Paris in 1880, where he worked with his brother in railway machine shops while developing their magic skills by giving performances in cafés in the evenings. They ultimately became full-time itinerant performers.

They purchased the Théatre des Capucines in 1892, where according to legend, they were backed by a wealthy woman whose dying son they had entertained. Renamed the Théatre Isola, they featured their own magic shows, some with the aid of electricity, and were competitors to Georges Méliès.

They added films to their theater's presentations in 1896 and eventually directed a series of theaters; the Parisiana, the Olympia, and the nearly-bankrupt Folies Bergère, which they rebuilt into a great music hall with first-class variety shows.

They both died in Paris.

References

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