From the archives: Have a monstrous Thanksgiving
We blogged this over at amNY's Digital Popcorn film blog last year, but thought we'd share it with Urbanite readers:
TV Guide ad via www.dvddrive-in.com
To this day, I associate Thanksgiving with Channel 9's Holiday Movie Festival. You could forget football, or reminiscing with the family around the dinner table. The real action was in front of the tube as WOR trotted out monster classics from its RKO library. On Turkey Days from 1976 to 1985, New Yorkers were treated to such classics as King Kong, Mighty Joe Young and a host of Godzilla movies.Now, I am not a big monster movie fan, but what appreciation I have for these films comes from repeated exposure by local TV stations back before they spiffed up their schedules, affiliated with networks, and turned their backs on classic reruns, cartoons and creaky movies. Now, you have to go to niche cable channels or turn to DVDs to see films that were once part of a regular TV diet. It's too bad these changes mean many kids today will not be exposed to nontraditional programming fare, nor will they form precious "holiday film festival" memories such as the ones New Yorkers over 30 share.
Indeed, like many longtime New York television traditions, the Thanksgiving film festival faded in the mid 80s as viewing habits changed with the advent of the VCR and cable. Soon, other movie traditions like Drive In Movie on Channel 5 -- a tremendous showcase for rare Kung Fu and horror films -- were also gone. For a superb overview of these TV traditions, visit www.dvddrive-in.com. Here's their write-up on the Holiday Film Festival, along with a tribute to Drive In Movie, Chiller Theater from Channel 11, and Creature Features from Channel 5.
But we digress. Returning to the Holiday Movie Festival, a YouTube contributor who offers rare-as-a-hen's-tooth videos from old New York television has compiled an almost 10-minute-long sequence of movie clips, bumpers and even old commercials for New York staples such as Crazy Eddie that will give you a sense of what it was like to spend Thanksgiving watching monster movies on Channel 9 in the early 1980s. Watch below, and happy Thanksgiving!
-- Rolando Pujol