Lockdowns, as pandemic-stricken cities across the world in recent times know all too well, are few people’s idea of a good time.
Equally, lock-ins have got to be up there on the universal ‘least enjoyable experiences’ list.
That’s ‘lock-ins‘ as in the sealed-bank-vault-possibly-die-from-suffocation meaning of the word.
Yet these people have lived to tell the tale.
Here are their stories…
On the afternoon of August 26, 1947, Bruce Heydon and Andrew Thompson, employees of the Repatriation Department located in Perry House in Brisbane’s CBD, had been placing records in the strongroom when the door accidentally closed behind them.
Unfortunately there was only one key, and that sole key was in the possesion of the trapped men.
The fire brigade, police and ambulance were summoned to the scene to effect the rescue. It was decided to use a oxyacetylene torch to cut a hole through the door so the key could be passed through to the rescuers.
As a precaution the building’s sprinkler system was first turned off to avoid damage to the building and its records.
“Through the first small hole, he said he could see the Town Hall clock, and when the torch finally cut a hole large enough to allow the key to be passed out, the two trapped men chorused ‘You Beaut’“, reported the local newspaper, The Courier Mail, at the time. The men’s ordeal lasted an hour and a half.
The experience of trapped bank clerk Charles Di Giacomo in Peterson, New Jersey, Us. on March 8th, 1923 was far more traumatic.
Just prior to closing time, Di Giacomo had been filing documents in the strongroom when his colleague jokingly called out to him to hurry up or “I’ll lock you in”.
As a prank the colleague pretended to close the vault door, only for it to actually close and automatically lock. The airtight strongroom was set on a time lock and would not reopen until the next morning. The pressure was on to rescue Di Giacomo before he suffocated due to lack of oxygen.
Teams of rescuers labored for five hours, attempting to drill their way in through the roof. When they finally broke through, Di Giacomo was found unconscious. He later recovered in hospital.
A time-honored tv trope is having two or more characters locked in a bank vault (or walk-in freezer, meat locker or some other small, contained space) where they’re subjected to extreme cold, lack of oxygen, or both. Death is usually imminent. The characters talk a lot, often coming to a greater understanding of each other. Rescue comes in the nick of time.
HAPPY DAYS did it in a 1977 episode when Richie and the gang get locked in the hardware store’s basement vault. GILLIGAN’S ISLAND had the castaways trapped in a cave. LOST AND SPACE saw bitter enemies Don and Dr Smith briefly entombed together in a final season episode featuring an underground cavern.
For true creativity in the ‘bank vault genre’ however, one need not look any further than the one-of-a-kind 2017 movie THE VAULT.
Starring Clint Eastwood‘s daughter Francesca (most recently seen in the M. Night Shyamalan supernatural beach movie OLD), THE VAULT is a horror movie but not as you know it; a bank robbery flick but unlike any that have come before it.
Two sisters plan a bank heist with OCEAN’S ELEVEN detail. Things turn sinister when they reach the basement vault, however, only to encounter truly evil supernatural forces.
For proof Mel Brooks has done it all in the world of entertainment, one need look no further than his membership of the rarer-than-rare, known-by-its-letters club EGOT. Translated, that means Brooks has been awarded an EMMY (Television) – a GRAMMY (Music) – an OSCAR (Film) and a TONY (Theatre). Now, at the age of 95 comes his long awaited autobiography.