Sunday, January 21, 2018

Do You Remember When? (Classic Movies Edition)

OK, classic film lovers, do you remember when...

1. Classic movies were on local TV stations all the time under umbrella titles such as: The Big Movie, The Morning Matinee, The 4:30 Movie, The Sunday Afternoon Movie, Million Dollar Movie, Night Owl Theatre, and The Big Action Movie (I watched that one on Channel 2 in Greensboro, NC).

2. AMC actually showed classic movies and TNT was the TCM of cable TV (before TCM existed).

3. You could stay to watch a theatrical movie as many times as you wanted; no one booted you out of the theater.

4. Drive-in theaters were plentiful and admission for a carload was $5.00 or less. You had to use the portable speakers, too--none of that fancy FM radio stuff.

5. A kid under age 12 could see a theatrical film for 35¢.

6. You could watch family-friendly movies (e.g., Friendly Persuasion) around the holidays on thesyndicated SFM Holiday Network. (It featured the same theme music as Monday Night Football.)

An RCA VideoDisc player.
7. Videophiles insisted that laser discs were the only way to watch a movie at home.

8. The broadcast networks featured "world television premieres" of theatrical films as part of their regular schedules. In the 1960s, you might see anything from Vertigo to The Day the Earth Stood Still on NBC's Saturday Night at the Movies. Later, the networks spotlighted movies released theatrically within the last one to three years.

9. There was no theatrical movie rating system, so even a 10-year-old could see Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. In the U.S., films such as Bonnie and Clyde only carried the warning: "Suggested for mature audiences." (Obviously, my parents considered me mature for my age.)

10. There were bars that showed classic movies. My wife and I saw movies such as Goldfinger and The Fearless Vampire Killers at the Video Saloon in Bloomington, IN, in the early 1980s.

11. Local TV stations gave away money during the "Dialing for Dollars" movie. If you were in the phone directory, that meant you could be a winner--along with thousands of other people. Of course, every time the host made a phone call, it was another interruption to the movie.

14 comments:

  1. Our local Dialing for Dollars movie called me on-air once around 1973. If I could answer a question about that day's movie, I would win $100.
    Unfortunately, the movie came on just as I arrived home from school and even though I had actually PLANNED to watch that day's movie (WHAT'S SO BAD ABOUT FEELING GOOD?), I had forgotten and was starting homework instead!

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    1. You were so close! But, no doubt, your exemplary study habits have made you a far better person that money would have.

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    2. I almost forgot! 25 years later, the guy who hosted that movie show was working in advertising at a local radio station. He called me where I worked attempting to sell me airtime. We spent an hour on the phone with me telling him that story about losing the money and then us reminiscing about the old days in local broadcasting!

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  2. I remember pouring through the TV Guide and circling all of the movies I had to see. I didn't even care if it was on after midnight on a school night.

    $.35 tickets. Yep. For $.50 you could get into the movie and have a treat. Those were the days.

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    1. We subscribed to TV Guide and I too would analyze it (on the day it arrived) to determine what movies to watch the next week. Plus, I'd read Judith Crist's pithy column reviewing the network movies.

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  3. Thank goodness for being allowed to stay in the theater and watch the movie as many times as you wanted. :) But you couldn't do that if you were a kid. The 'matron' would chase you out at a certain time. 'The lady with the flashflight' struck terror in our young hearts.

    I do remember the 4:30 Movie. AND of course, Million Dollar Movie which enabled my love of early movies. The Late Show was a movie too at one time as was, if I'm remembering correctly, The Late, Late Show.

    35 cents? I remember when I was a kid, rushing down to the movie theater to see two movies plus 10 cartoons for 25 cents. We also saw the serials (mostly Roy Rogers) but I think this was when I was even younger. I do remember serial watching later on TV. Naioka of the Jungle was a favorite.

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  4. I remember as a young teen having to pay adult movie ticket price (50 cents),yet was forced by the old biddy movie matrons to sit in the children’s section.

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    1. You could probably sue for that kind of treatment these days! Our theaters sold a "hi card" for a few years that allowed teens to play a price between children and adult tickets.

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  5. Couldn't recall the name, but I guess it was the Million Dollar Movie that played on KHJ/Channel 9 here in L.A. during the '50s, hosted by Ted Myers. I know they played a "million" sci-fi movies, and that's where I got to see them all. Same movie every night during the week, and twice on Saturday and Sunday. (Maybe more?) To this day "The Thing From Another World" (1951) remains my most watched movie, thanks to Ch. 9.

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    1. Back in the 1970s, I convinced my Dad to pay for cable because it included a UHF station that showed movies at 9:00, 1:00, 4:00, 8:00, and 11:00. In those days, that was a bonanza of classic film choices!

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    2. I did first see "The Day The Earth Stood Still" on NBC's Saturday Night At The Movies. Speaking of cable TV, do you remember the Z Channel? It was the alternative choice to HBO and the other then-current cable channels. Foreign films, avante garde, noir -- very eclectic choice back then. Z was very popular for a long while, then it wasn't, and then it went away.

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  6. I've never heard of bars that show classic films, and never lived in a "Dialling for Dollars" area. I'm feeling ripped off! Ah well... But I really enjoyed your memories, Rick, and all the comments they inspired. :)

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  7. Remember neighborhood theaters? http://denofcinema.com/last-picture-show/

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  8. Memories . . . light the corners of my mind! Enjoyed the umbrella titles and the world television premieres especially.

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