Born and raised in New York City, this was where he spent most of his adult life as well. There are various aspects of the American life that Hopper depicts in his realism paintings. The theatre was no exception.
It was also one of Hopper's favorite activities - going to the theatre and enjoying the shows. In this particular theatre painting, we can see three figures waiting for the show to begin. Characteristic of Hopper, he chooses to take a snapshot of three people rather than capture the action of the play later.
It is also a fairly empty theatre, so the focus is drawn to the woman sitting alone in the box and the couple settling into their seats. While it tells a story, it also makes viewers ask questions.
Will the woman in the box be sitting alone for the whole play? What is the play? She seems to be involved in reading the program, so it must be something interesting.
Then focus goes to the couple. What is the man looking at? Are there others streaming into the theatre that cannot be seen? Is he simply enjoying the beauty of the theatre that we have only a glimpse of with the bottom corner of the stage?
Is the woman with the green jacket just adjusting it over the seat or did she drop something? Is this Hopper and his wife or is he already sitting further up the aisle and watching this happen? These observations can be answered by viewers themselves or left unanswered and part of the beautiful mystery of this painting.
Two on the Aisle is just one of Hopper's many gorgeous paintings that captures a moment in the life of his varying human subjects.