Twenty-four hour television broadcasting, all day news and full-length feature films were not available.. A kids’ film…Tarzan or a western… would be shown on Saturday afternoon and Jackie Gleeson was on in the evening. Disney and Ed Sullivan ruled Sunday. Elwy Yost had serialised episodes on Magic Shadows just after dinner through the week.
The Tonight Show featured Steve Allen, then Jack Parr and Johnny Carson… we were already in bed. Saturday night was for hockey. Sometimes the neighbours came over to share the fun.
The really big deal were the movies shown after the eleven o’clock news on Friday night. My mother, my sister and I, already in pj’s and robes, would curl up with pillows and afghans to watch the old classics. Sometimes we would fall asleep until the national anthem and the annoying beep of the screen test woke us at the end of broadcasting. That was how I saw the wonderful old film classics.
I remembered all this when I was looking on-line for The Snake Pit.
Then I made an astonishing discovery. You Tube again. Now I can watch the old Hitchcock programs any time I want. But I can also listen to Lux Radio Theater! Most of the old programs have been archived here… dramatic readings presented in abridged form by the actors who made the films.
Here is the whole hour-long reading… in five parts of The Snake Pit from Lux Radio Theater.
When we had a few channels, and there was a clear distinction between daytime, prime time, and late night programming, there always seemed to be something worth watching.
Now, with so much choice and 24 hour service, there is either nothing worth while or nothing I have not already seen. What happened?
I will be pleased to listen to the old radio narratives… on the desk-top, on my laptop, on my e-reader with headphones, even on my aging MP3 player. Anywhere I want… sewing, walking, gardening, travelling. Now that is choice.