Hannah Ewens at The Paris Review:
Waiting outside venues has been an integral part of the fangirl experience and something of an embodiment of their lifestyle from the very beginning. Columbus Day, New York City, 1944, a Frank Sinatra show, and the New York photojournalist Weegee was there when the first of the pop stars as we know them was about to take to the stage. “The line in front of the Paramount Theatre on Broadway starts forming at midnight,” he recalled. “By four in the morning, there are over 500 girls … They wear bobby sox (of course), bow ties (the same as Frankie wears) and have photos of Sinatra pinned to their dresses.” The three-thousand-seat house was quickly filled with girls waiting to see Sinatra for the first of his scheduled performances of that day. Apparently inside the theater the ammoniac smell of pee was heavy in the air because girls refused to leave their seats for food, water, anything, unless they were physically moved by attendants. Over the duration of the day, a riot bubbled over outside where, according to records, police had to deal with thirty to thirty-five thousand young female Sinatra fans, lining the streets around the theater, calling out to be let in.