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Studios experimenting with theatrical television systems

Photo caption: A television technician monitors images of Eve Arden during an early TV broadcast.

Source: National Archives

IA projectionists were the logical technicians to operate this equipment.  In 1949, television systems were set up in many theatres around the country, including the Fabian-Fox in Brooklyn, the Comerford West Side Theatre in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and the Pilgrim Theatre in Boston.

In these theatres, customers watched live television transmissions of the World Series and similar “big events.”

The picture projected by theatre television was 15 to 20 feet high.  President Walsh himself appeared on one of the earliest telecasts of Tonight on Broadway, as a sponsor. When he appeared on the show on October 2, 1949, President Walsh told viewers: “You know, ladies and gentlemen, right here on Broadway is the world’s greatest entertainment, and this program makes it possible for us to show some of it to you.  We hope that seeing a bit of Broadway each Sunday night on television will make you want to see more -- in the theatre.”

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