Rational Alchemy: Tim Ellis interview. (Part 2)
Tim Ellis Interview: Part 2
French Quarter Photography
Tim (and his family) ended up in Longmont, Colorado after the harrowing events of Hurricane Katrina. We talk about that episode of his life, photography and we start off with, when his family owned a Pool Hall!
The history of pool halls dates back several centuries and has evolved from outdoor lawn games to indoor entertainment establishments. Here's an overview of the history of pool halls:
- Origins of Cue Sports: The origins of cue sports, including billiards and pool, can be traced back to outdoor lawn games that were popular in Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries. These games involved using a stick or mace to hit balls through hoops or into targets.
- Evolution of Billiards: Billiards, a precursor to modern pool, emerged in France during the 16th century. The game was played on a rectangular table with pockets, and players used a wooden cue stick to strike the balls. Billiards gained popularity among the European nobility and eventually spread to other parts of the world.
- Development of Pool: Pool, as a distinct game from billiards, likely originated in the late 18th or early 19th century. It is believed to have evolved from a French game called "jeu de casse" or "ball and pocket." Pool tables began to have smaller pockets and were used for a variety of games, with different point values assigned to different pockets.
- Popularity in America: In the 19th century, cue sports, including billiards and pool, gained popularity in America. Pool halls started to emerge in major cities and towns, providing a social space for people to gather, play games, and socialize. These establishments became important cultural hubs for leisure and recreation.
- The Golden Age: The early to mid-20th century is considered the "Golden Age" of pool halls in America. Pool halls were prevalent and attracted players of various skill levels. The game was particularly popular among working-class communities, and it was common to find pool halls in urban areas and small towns across the country.
- Pool in Pop Culture: Pool halls and the game of pool became significant elements of American pop culture during the mid-20th century. Movies like "The Hustler" (1961) and "The Color of Money" (1986) featured pool as central themes, further solidifying its place in the public's imagination.
- Decline and Resurgence: With the rise of other forms of entertainment and changes in social dynamics, the popularity of pool halls declined in the latter half of the 20th century. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in pool and cue sports, with modernized pool halls, bars, and social clubs attracting a new generation of players.
Today, pool halls continue to be places where people gather to enjoy friendly competition, hone their skills, and connect with others who share their passion for cue sports. The history of pool halls reflects not only the evolution of a recreational activity but also the cultural and social changes in society over the centuries.