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There is one question I'm surprised I've never seen brought up during this TCM 15th Anniversary celebration time. That is, did anyone actually see that first day of TCM on April 14, 1994? How many people got the channel right away that first day? Or first week? Or first few weeks?

 

I was certainly aware of the station (from before it even started) and followed the exciting film schedules, so frustrated that my lame cable company didn't offer it (and wouldn't for a few more years). Fortunately a few good friends who received TCM on satellite were able to record some requests for me during those early years (thanks Brian, David and Jim!...I still have and treasure those old tapes!)

 

So, what was the earliest anyone got TCM, and does anyone have any particular memories or stories of those very early days of TCM?

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I do remember hearing about TCM shortly after it had launched, but unfortunately at that time it was carried neither by cable or satellite providers where I lived, so it really wasn't an option for me.

 

Seems to me that TCM used to buy a lot of ads in Premiere magazine.

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I don't know if I had it from the very first day, but Comcast in my area added soon after it launched. I remember some of the interstitials, like the big band playing which they used for a long time. However at the beginning, they didn't cut it off with a trio singing TCM--they had a girl trio and guy soloist that sang at the end. And they used to have a guy that was in a old time radio booth that announced the upcoming feature. That was really early in the days of TCM.

 

There were those weekly feature like Darkness after Dawn (film noir) and Lonestar Cinema (westerns.) But my favorite early program was Hollywood on Hollywood. At first it was on Saturday nights at 7 pm Eastern then moved to Fridays at 7 pm, but they showed all kinds of documentaries about films. I guess the only showcases that have survived from those days are Silent Sundays and TCM Imports, which used to be on earlier and a different night (I think the imports were shown on Fridays before TCM Underground started.) I'm getting old so it's kinda hard to remember. Oh, and I remember that Bill Irwin did promos for the silent films. He was kinda known for mime back then (he was in that Don't Worry, Be Happy video with Robin Williams at the time.) He's since moved on to other ventures, like being a serial killer on CSI.

 

I also remember that Robert O. would occasionally have a night where he would read letters from viewers and play some requested films, before the internet got big.

 

The channel was is so much more sophisticated now.

 

Message was edited by: helenbaby

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> {quote:title=helenbaby wrote:}{quote}

> I also remember that Robert O. would occasionally have a night where he would read letters from viewers and play some requested films, before the internet got big.

 

The Internet is big; it's the pictures that got small.

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I don't remember watching it in it's earlier days. I remember watching it in the late 90's. Where i currently live, both Comcast & AT&T U-Verse charges extra for TCM! As before I moved it was part of the basic package. I hate Comcast & AT&T U-Verse TV. They both suck.

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I heard about TCM well before it was launched, but I was in the TV Research/Programing field, and read the trades constantly.

 

But I was knocked for a loop that we didn't get it on our cable system right away, after all, I'm on Time-Warner cable in Queens, NY. It took about five years until it showed up and one could say that was when I gave up watching network TV.

 

I had so looked forward to TCM during those years, and even contacted TW cable, but all I got for my efforts was a form letter. I wrote again, this time asking how they could be so disloyal to the parent company, and I suggested that they drop one of the half-dozen home shopping channels and take one for the team.

 

I got back the same form letter.

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I was aware of TCM early on, but not a TV watcher, so no cable. My bf at that time didn't know what the heck to give me for Christmas, so I asked for, "a year of cable TV" That was around '95 or '96. I thought I had missed out on the early years of TCM, but apparently not really.

 

In that city we received an international movie channel and I discovered Bollywood on top of it. This city doesn't offer it, so I have to get my B'wood fix at the theater or DVDs which at least offer subtitles to help me along. But I actually used to watch 3 hour movies not understanding a word! That's hardcore film watching.

 

I've been hooked, addicted to cable ever since.

If for any reason TCM left the air, I'd cancel my cable subscription the next day.

I'm not kidding.

 

When I watch stuff recorded from TCM in the early days, I enjoy seeing all the opening bits no longer used. They're like old friends.

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I can go back to about some time in 1995. So, not too long after it was launched. It wasn't offered on our cable system, so I couldn't get it. I remember going to the magazine area in the local grocery store and spending more time than I had checking out the listings for TCM. Boy it was rough not being able to see any of that stuff. Luckily, some friends received it through their satellite (sp?) company and they recorded some things for me.

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