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Bridal Fountain

Shortly after Chicago's elegant Avalon Theatre (a faux Persian palace) opened its doors, the building's architect, John Eberson, received a call from its manager asking him to come by as soon as possible. When Eberson arrived, the manager took him up to the balcony overlooking the auditorium and asked him to sit down and observe. The film began and Eberson soon noticed that, while people seated on the right side of the auditorium had their eyes firmly fixed to the screen, those on the left were in a state of turmoil, continually rising, shuffling down the aisle, and disappearing before returning to their seats some time later. Puzzled by the strange phenomenon, Eberson went down to investigate and had soon located the source of the problem: the beautiful "bridal fountain" located in a mosaic niche beneath the minarets housing the organ pipes, whose continual tinkling, it seemed, produced an overwhelming desire to urinate. Eberson promptly had a plumber correct the problem.

[The related "backhouse barracks effect" is also a well-documented military phenomenon.]

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