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Dewey70

Christmas Programs

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Years ago, late '50s early '60's, in the Philadelphia area (at least) there were two Christmas shows performed with marionettes depicting the birth of Christ and The Night Before Christmas. They were always broadcast together. Each program was about 45 min. Does anyone out there remember these? Could these programs possibly be available on video?

 

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I definitely remember those two programs from the late 50's. It was another part of the anticipation leading up to Christmas to see that show each year. Well, we only had one channel in those days. My memory may be hazy, but I thought each story was only 15 minutes long ...it was just a 30 minute show. There weren't too many 90 minute programs in those days. And it was sponsored by the phone company, for some reason. I don't know of any video that's available for the two episodes. Maybe TCM can dig them up, who knows who owns the rights to them.

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"THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS" was shown at one time on Channel 3, WRCV in Philadelphia every year as public Relations for the Bell Telephone Company. It was first released in 1950, with the inserts of Bell workers updated every few years until (as in it's present state) about 1962. It went into disuse because of it's age, but the PBS station in philadelphia (actually in nearby Wilmington, in Delaware) Channel 12 WHYY, has secured the film and now runs it themselves as a local Christmas tradition. They will show it a few times this month, so check out their site. The print is somewhat scratched and patched up. Alexander Scourby narrated both stories.

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Scourby must have been a very religious man. If you check his credits, he did the narration or voices for many Christian films, including cartoons.

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You are correct, they were only 15 min. ea. I found them on DVD at Amazon under the title, "Spirit of Christmas; a Philadelphia Tradition".

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