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Titanic: Irony at Sea
The Titanic, the largest passenger cruiser of its time, was struck by an Iceberg on the evening of 14th April 1912, causing it to sink.
The Titanic was owned by The White Star line, which prided itself in supplying the best for its passengers.
In 1911, the movie business had started to pick up, having switched from flipped cards to projectors and screens.
In keeping with its policy of providing the best for its passengers, The White Star Line had ensured that the Titanic had a projector and screen. The movie business was however, still in its infancy and looked upon by many as still being a bit seedy. So in order not to offend any first class passengers, the projector was set up in the second class dinning saloon.
The Poseidon Adventure
Many people think that the original of this movie was made in 1972 starring Gene Hackman but they are wrong. The original Poseidon Adventure was first made as a silent movie, in black and white, in 1911 by a young D.W.Griffith.
At a time when most movies only lasted for ten minutes, this movie stood out as it lasted 53 minutes.
The movie is about a small group of passengers and crew, who are still alive after a tidal wave overturns their ship. It tells the story of how they struggled to survive and escape the ship.
The White Star line, wanting to keep a nautical theme on the first voyage of their flagship, provided the Titanic with two movies: The Lighthouse Keeper and The Poseidon Adventure.
These movies were to be shown after 11pm in order that the orchestra from the 1st class would be available to provide musical accompaniment to the movie.
On the first evening of the voyage, the movie The Lighthouse Keeper was shown. This turned out to be so popular that it was shown again twice, on the second evening. On the third evening, the 14th, The Poseidon Adventure was shown.
So enthralled with this movie, the viewers didn’t seem to notice a slight shudder at 11:40pm, when the iceberg struck. Neither did they think it any concern when the engines stopped.
The movie was liked so much that on its completion, a second showing immediately followed.
These movie goers were so mesmerized by the show that they did not leave the saloon to go on deck, until its conclusion after 1am. By that time many passengers had already left the ship and there were very few lifeboats left.
It is ironic, that by watching a disaster movie of one ship, they became the victims of another.
This could also of been why when two thirds  of the 1st class passengers survived, only one third  of the 2nd class passengers did.