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Paper a House

(To), in theatrical phraseology, means to fill a house with “deadheads,” or non-paying spectators, admitted by paper orders. The women admitted thus, not being dressed so smartly as the paying ones, used to cover their shoulders with a “scarlet opera cloak,” often lent or hired for the occasion.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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