Forget the impeachment of President Nixon…

May 23rd, 1974: In a bid to draw some high-profile attention to an issue which is clearly aggravating him, Hollywood director King Vidor writes a letter to renowned L.A. Times sportswriter Jim Murray and speaks of the “disgraceful” public toilets on offer at the Dodger Stadium; public toilets he claims to be the worst in the world. It’s an amusing complaint — particularly the closing couple of lines — and a subject all too familiar to anyone who’s ever attempted to use such facilities in a crowded stadium.

Transcript follows. Image courtesy of The Silent Movie Blog.



May 23, 1974

Jim Murray
L.A. Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, Calif. 90053

Dear Jim Murray:

Have you ever had to stand in line in the men’s room on the lower level of the Dodger Stadium during the playing of a Ball game? I say lower level because I have not done research on the other levels. Without a doubt, I think it is the most inadequate and disgraceful facility of a major stadium in the world. When I say “in the world,” I mean just that, because I have attended events in Moscow, Madrid, Zagreb Yugoslavia, Rome and Paris and in comparison, the facilities at the Dodger Stadium are, without a doubt, the most disgraceful.

Here, patrons who have paid three and a half dollars per seat, move painfully up to a common metal trough. The design of these tiolet rooms would be inadequate for the friends and fathers at a Little League play-off.

During a recent game, it was necessary that I avail myself of this unbelievable facility. I believe every man in that shoulder-to-shoulder group, of five across and ten deep, deeply resented the indignity to which he was subjected, the outcome of an obviously penurious attitude in the planning and construction of the stadium. I have heard that drinking fountains (water) are nil or almost so, as a part of a plan to sell more beer and soft drinks. Whether this scheme is true or not, there is something about a two and a half hour ball game that makes bladder relief frequent and imperative.

Jim, (and I feel that I deserve that first name calling privelege because we sat next to each other at an awards banquet a few years ago in Oceanside), do me the favor of visiting the men’s room about Row 23, Lower Level, between innings, any game, and see if you are not as fired up by this disgrace as I am. Forget the impeachment of President Nixon. Instead, let’s try to gain some sense of humanity for the suffering customers at Dodger Stadium.


(Signed, ‘King Vidor’)

King Vidor