Skating sensation, Sonja Henie took America by storm following her Gold Medal success in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Appearing in a number of Hollywood films, Miss Henie also produced The Hollywood Ice Review in Los Angeles, performing at an open-air rink in Westwood.
By 1940, with financial assistance from the Rockefeller family, Miss Henie and business partner, Arthur Wirtz, opened the first ice theater in the world–Center Theater. Located at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, It Happens on Ice, Henie’s first New York offering, premiered in October, 1940 to great acclaim.
Helen Thompson, the other major character in River of January: Figure Eight, skated in the Center Theater productions throughout the war years.
Helen Thompson (Chumbley)
Gail Chumbley is the author of River of January and River of January: Figure Eight
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