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Weird Programming


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A bit of background for those who might not be aware:  If not a month with “31 Days of Oscar” or “Summer Under the Stars” programming, TCM has been scheduling a “Saturday Matinee” theme on Saturday mornings.  This theme is an attempt to replicate what movie-goers would find at theaters on Saturday mornings during the Golden Age of the studio system.  In addition to feature films, a Saturday matinee consists of cartoons, shorts, and serials, where one chapter of the serial is provided each week.  Each chapter of a serial typically ends in a “cliff-hanger,” to entice you to come back to the theater the next week to see how the heroes avoid their certain fate.  I believe all of this was provided at the cinemas for something like a nickel each week.  In the early days of DVDs, Warner made several classic movie DVDs where they would also simulate the movie-going experience by including cartoons and shorts with the main feature, and you could select a menu option to show the content in a certain order similar to the approach that TCM is using on Saturday mornings.  Unfortunately now there are fewer and fewer of us who actually know first hand what it was like to go to a Saturday matinee.

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5 hours ago, cmovieviewer said:

Unfortunately now there are fewer and fewer of us who actually know first hand what it was like to go to a Saturday matinee.

True, that--I remember the old 70's, when local theaters were independent, there was nothing for families to go to when Disney didn't have a comedy or revival, and whatever fell in the cracks in between were "Saturday matinees" every week.  Our local theater (which was a three or four-block walk) tried showing some old classic comedies, since most of the Hal Roach classics were public domain, and that's how I first saw "A Night at the Opera" and "The Fatal Glass of Beer".   Big studios even tried to get into the Saturday-matinee market, with kiddy reissues of "Forbidden Planet" and "Seventh Voyage of Sinbad", and that was another first-experience another generation's parents couldn't replicate on DVD.

But yes, unlike today's binge culture, Flash Gordon and Captain Marvel Saturday-afternoon serials are best savored one episode at a time--Just like the days when you went to the theater every week because it was Saturday, and had to look up what else they were playing.

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On 4/3/2022 at 7:24 PM, JamesJazGuitar said:

Uh,,   because they will play another episode next weekend.



Back in the '70's Detroit's UHF station WKBD(channel 50)  used to show 'em  that way.  One episode on Saturday night(@11 pm)  each weekend until the run concluded.  After that they did the same for BUSTER CRABBE'S "Flash Gordon". 


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