Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday Matinee Online!

The long-anticipated (by me) Saturday Matinee website is now online at (where else?) This is the culmination of a life-long dream of its creator, who first purchased the web domain name ( more than ten years ago!

I need to point out that while you can explore the site now, March is a test period to add more content and iron out bugs. A major press release in April will alert the public at large. Eventually you will find: " less than 10,000 videos, including more than 3,000 movies (including over 100 of the best silent movies), about 1,000 movie trailers, 1,000 or so cartoons, and 100’s of educational and historical documentaries and newsreels, plus over 50,000 old time radio episodes, and over 50,000 still images." I counted 49 episodes of "The Shadow" that you can listen to today, and the quality is excellent.

The full scope of the undertaking is discussed at the
About Us section. To quote a bit:

"Saturday Matinee is about recorded entertainment. Here you will find the entertainers and artists whose work spans the decades, and what they produced, from the earliest days of the “Golden Age” of radio, from the earliest movies made by the pioneers of the industry, and from the birth of the phenomenon that is television. People have always needed entertainment, a means to learn more about the world around them, and a way to escape for a while into the world of imagination.

"Saturday Matinee is also about education. As you search through the immense library of images and programs you will see and hear and learn who the pioneers were, and how their art was produced and the way it has progressed through evolving technology.

"Saturday Matinee is also about nostalgia. It is about reliving the early days of radio, film, and TV, whether you are old enough to remember them or not. Be transported to a different time. For those who do remember the early days, it will spark memories of evenings at home with the family gathered around the big radio to hear the news and to be tantalized by the radio programs that brought comedy, romance, drama, mystery, cowboys and even monsters right into your living room.

"Viewing the original movies--the silents, the black and whites, the first 'talkies', the serial cliffhangers--will inspire memories of the theaters where you stood in line for your ticket, scanned the display cases in the lobby for your special treats (hard candy? chocolate bar?—what to choose?) and inhaled the aroma of freshly popped popcorn surrounding you while you found your seat as a hush fell and the lights dimmed. Where will the movie take you today? How will your hero manage to outwit the villains this week? And then later, watching the early television programs, in the comfort of your own home--cartoons for the children, documentaries for the entire family to watch and to learn from, dramas, comedies, variety shows, westerns--the world, brought right to you."

I have been working with this site for two years now. Eventually Saturday Matinee will carry online my Movie Memories in an area called "Community" where members may post memories of the films, the era, or past experiences that they recall while watching the film clips. They can also view other comments about the same films and post replies.

The success of Saturday Matinee will spur interest in the return of "Matinee at the Bijou." There is no competition since Bijou will be a series of DVDs or an eventual new series, while Saturday Matinee's exclusive domain is the Internet. We are all in this together for the same purpose -- to tell the world: "Hey! These old films are pretty darned fun and better than ever! Come take a look."

Click to visit
Visit my website at Festival Films.

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