For only 25 cents you can see some rather glassy-eyed Chinese gentlemen, a door which reveals a skeleton, and a dragon that appears through the window.
It’s no coincidence that this somewhat eccentric piece of carnivalia originates in San Francisco, as it was the first place in America to ban smoking opium.
The city passed the ‘Opium Den Ordinance’ in 1875, timed to take advantage of the growing anti-Asian sentiment that had grown during the gold rush in which many immigrants from China had settled in the area.
The episode was perhaps the first modern drug scare, with moral panic making the papers and opium being blamed for a whole range of social ills, well beyond its actual impact.
These days, the last echoes of the turn of the century scare can be mechanically animated for anyone with a quarter and a curious mind.