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ABOUT – Matinee Classics
Matinee Classics 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.
Matinee Classics 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.
Matinee Classics 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 and place. 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.
And even if you are not old enough to remember those early days, here at Matinee Classics you can "experience" them. You can take a look into the past and find the programs, the movies, the pictures that will take you back to see how it was. See the work of the giants upon whose shoulders our modern producers, directors and performers now stand. The earlier radio and television programs and movies may not be new, but they are, in spite of the passage of time, entertaining and enlightening.
This site is the result of a vision, and is an ongoing labor of love to bring the best of recorded entertainment to you. As you meander through the site, you will find radio programs, movies, television programs, and more.
Matinee Classics is a dream come true for its creator. The plethora of content available for your viewing and listening pleasure and entertainment – over 20,000 pages, 5,000,000 words of information, currently over 10,000 videos of movies and television programs and more, over 50,000 radio episodes, and over 50,000 still images – is the result of one man's efforts to acquire content over more than twenty years.
There are more than 50,000 recorded radio shows from the "golden age" of radio and beyond. The genres included in the radio programming are comedies, detective shows, dramas, horror programs, mysteries and westerns. Listen in and hear the type of programming that held people riveted in front of the radio—including the Orson Welles' classic "War of the Worlds". Radio was so important and so riveting that some of the audience believed the broadcast was relating real events.
There are over 50,000 color movie posters, lobby cards, and black and white still (publicity) photos from the greatest loved movies ever, as well as movie titles screens. These movie posters and black and white stills, by their very nature, were intended to promote the movie and as such the great majority was never copyrighted because the intent was solely to advertise the production. Many will be available as prints.
As of September 2013, there are an additional 10,000 more videos available to be uploaded, so that when completed, you will find no less than 20,000 distinct videos, including more than 5,000 movies (including hundreds of the best silent movies), about 2,000 movie trailers, 2,000 or so cartoons, and 1000's of educational and historical documentaries and newsreels. There are in excess of 4,000 television programs from the earliest days of TV, including those that were filmed live and in kinescope. The genres represented for movies are numerous: action, adventure, cartoons, classics, comedy, crime, disaster, documentary, drama, epics, exploitation, family fantasy, film noir, holidays, horror, musicals, mysteries, science fiction, serials, silent movies, sports films, thrillers, travelogues, war movies, westerns, and wildlife. And in television programming there are cartoons, documentaries, dramas, game shows, kid's shows, medical, news, police, sitcoms, soap operas, suspense, variety programs, and westerns. There are even over 1,000 of the earliest television commercials. These videos total more than 9,000 hours of viewing pleasure.
The site offers content that, in essence, makes it tantamount to having a classic movie channel or cable television channel available to you 24-hours a day 7 days a week, with the programs YOU want when YOU want them.
Thanks to today's technology, you can also enjoy the content of the site on your portable devices (such as iPhones, Xboxes, iPads, eReaders, MP3 players, and others), and on web-connected televisions.
As you wind your way through the site, enjoying the discovery of everything that is being offered, you are asked to remember that, since some of the videos and images being presented are from the late 1800's (therefore being over a century old) they may not appear to be of the same polished quality that is expected in recent productions. Bear in mind that they are being offered in their original production quality, using what was then the latest technology, and should be expected to show some age. These productions have intentionally been left in their original condition.
Not only is the site entertaining and educational, it is also a heartfelt way to preserve these gems of entertainment. Many of the items being offered to you here are being salvaged from extinction. For the earliest radio programs and for movies and TV productions, this is a repository, a library, a database, a warehouse, indeed a museum where rare and wonderful works can be treasured and shared with you.
Radio, film and TV are like cousins that have grown up together, influencing one another in technology, technique, and style. As you search the site, you will also be able to see the connections between the different mediums. Often, programs that were popular in one medium were adapted to another medium, and you will see how radio programs progressed into movies, and how movies progressed into television programs, or vice versa, from television programs into movies.
There is also a community area being offered where you can express your views on the different programs you enjoy, and where others can share their comments with you. This area is only for the purpose of discussing and disseminating information about the programs and images being offered, and no member advertising will be allowed.
For the devoted fan, different products will be offered for sale, either through the mail or by
. Movie posters and stills, mugs with scenes or stars from your favorite programs, T-shirts and sweatshirts, radio programs and other products will be available.
Matinee Classics is a family-friendly site with something for everyone, from the ages of 1 to 99, to enjoy.
This is an evolving, ongoing project, with new programs and movies being added all the time. It should be considered an encyclopedia of entertainment, and a database for programming which will eventually contain every movie and television or radio program produced and still in existence.
You are invited to relax, settle back, and wander the site to discover all that is being offered. Experience the pleasure of the earliest in recorded entertainment, and the more recent as well. And spread the word--tell your friends about Matinee Classics and share the pleasure with them!
Take your time-- add the site to your favorites or bookmarks--you'll want to return often. Because of the sheer volume of entertainment possibilities here…it will take more than a lifetime to enjoy it all.
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