(John Angell James, "On Theatrical Amusements" 1825)
I do not hesitate for a moment to pronounce the theater
to be one of the broadest avenues which lead to destruction!
Fascinating, no doubt it is--but on that account the more
delusive and the more dangerous! Let a young man once
acquire a taste for this species of entertainment, and yield
himself up to its gratification, and he is in imminent danger
of becoming a lost character--rushing upon his ruin!
All the evils that can . . .
waste his property,
corrupt his morals,
blast his reputation,
impair his health,
embitter his life,
and destroy his soul,
lurk in the confines of the theater! Vice, in every
form, lives, and moves, and has its being there!
Myriads have cursed the hour when they first exposed
themselves to the contamination of the theater. From
that fatal evening, they date their destruction!
Take warning then, and have nothing to do with the
theater. Avoid it as one of the avenues to the broad
road that leads to destruction. The danger is greater
than I describe. The doors of the theater are as the
jaws of the devouring lion!
"Do not follow the crowd in doing evil." Exodus 23:2
You might also want to read this author's challenging
short article on "Amusements and Recreations".