Check out our new Etsy Shop. We've got Scopitone T-Shirts for guys and gals and tote bags too! (You can fit about 20 LPs into one). We've also got some other interesting music and vinyl related designs and many more to come.
"We received a lovely gift here at PCL from Steve Crichton, who offered to send along a collection of Scopitone music MP3s for more portable listening. Surely a song such as Jody Miller's The Race Is On loses a great deal without the go-go girls and their horsy-tails, but trust me, you'll thank yourself for downloading this one next time "High Boots" comes up on your iPod and you break out into uncontrollable giggles"
were really excited to stumble upon a Scopitone machine in a
coffeeshop/thrift store in Montreal! Scopitones were like film
jukeboxes. They were invented in France in the early 60s and inspired
the music videos of our more modern times. Brian has long been a fan of
Scopitone "music films", after learning about this site where you can watch some of them!"
Italian Cinebox and Scopitone expert Michele Bovi has an amazing new book
out on the history of the film jukebox. It's written in Italian with an
English translation (the photo captions are just in Italian, though).
It's a very thorough history of the
invention and marketing of the competing "film jukeboxes" with
interviews of inventors, executives, producers, directors, and the
artists who appeared in the films.
There's a bunch of interesting
tidbits about folks such as Debbie Reynolds (her production company
made many of the US Scopitones), Francis Ford Coppola (who lost a small
fortune he invested in the new technology), Robert Altman (who directed
at least one Scopitone film), as well as details about the US Scopitones business's extensive ties to the mafia.
"Some pictures you might like to use on your site. I took these at London's Hayward Gallery a while ago in 1994 when there was an exhibition of optical illusions. I think the owner was Swiss. Half the machine was full of porn films. One of them can be seen in one of the small pics! A good example though and in good condition.
again, we've ordered from you before, and I had you send The Robot to
my husband in Iraq. He came back in January, and told me how he would
shows these DVDs to friends and though many of the guys thought my
husband was nuts, they laughed at the videos too. James had this flag
made up over there, to remind him of the boring days at The Palace,
scaring other people with his Scopitone hobby. i've attached a couple
of photos of his "guidon!" Heidi Crabtree" That's too cool. Thank you Heidi and James. Good to have you back over here James!
"This is a re-list because the high bidder from the original auction failed to complete the sale.
This Scopitone is complete and DOES
work. This machine plays the film GREAT! They look great too! My camera
just couldn't capture the sharpness of the film because of the motion,
but it DOES have a shape picture! The sound is wonderful. I was
surprised to hear such a great sound from ONE speaker and a REALLY old
amp, but it DOES sound great! Everything Does work on the machine and
you'll LOVE watching the old films.
but it does need a little
something to be perfect. You have to press the selector buttons a few
times to get it to start the film and when it does, the machine makes
noise while the turret rotates, It's one of the relays clicking like
crazy. I just don't know which one! There's 10 or 12 relays in there
and they're all right together. I can't see it happening, but if you
put your hand on the relays, you can feel that one is switching back
and forth, but which one???
I have a manual that goes with the
machine, but I'm not an elecrician, so I have no way of troubleshooting
the problem. I'd bet that once the bad relay is replaced, there won't
BE a problem.
There is 58 films that go with the machine. 36 are
installed, the rest are all on spools and ready to install. I also have
100' of 16mm film leader that goes with this.
your doors before you bid! The machine looks great, I just don't have
room to keep it! It's 6 feet, 9 inches tall, 39inches deep and 31 1/2
inches wide!! YEAH!! It's big and heavy, but it's on casters and moves
across carpet surprisingly well. The machine has a coin acceptor and
will work on quarters. I currently have it set on "Free Play" but ther
coin acceptor DOES work fine.
The films are in good condition, I
was surprised to see films from the mid 60s that looked SO clear! The
american series films are all very colorful, but the french series
films all are red cast and not very good looking, but they do sound
great! I've been looking for Scopitone films for a couple years now and
NO ONE has goos french films from what I can tell."
"Hi Spike, Thanks for answering my e-mail. The pix attached are of the shoot early Sixties taken from a slide. You're welcome to use them if you like. The cast was Smokey Warren on fence, Dottie Mae, Shorty Benjamin on Drums, Harvey Reynolds on Steel Guitar, And me, Jerry Hatton on Bass.I only saw the film on a Scopitone once after we did the shoot in NJ in PA. I found info about Scopitones when searching the net. Once again, Thanks For your help Jerry Hatton" If anyone has Jerry's Scopitones: Smokey Warren "Where the Old Red River Flows" (#K 242) & "Out Behind The Barn" (#K243) email me for his contact info, Thanks Jerry!
Time Magazine Modern Living Scooby-Ooby Scopitone Aug. 21, 1964
In some 500 bars, restaurants and servicemen's clubs throughout the U.S., the center of attention these days is a monstrous new machine called Scopitone. It is a cross between a jukebox and TV. For $.25 a throw, Scopitone projects any one of 36 musical movies on a 26-in. screen, flooding the premises with delirious color and hi-fi scooby-ooby-doo for three whole minutes. It makes a sobering combination.
Scopitone, which has been the rage of France for the past four years, was invented by a firm that sounds as if it had been founded by Jules Verne; Compagnie d'Applications Mecaniques à Electronique au Cinéma et à Atomistique (CAMECA). Since then it has spread from Marseilles to Macao; Nikita Khrushchev even has one, loaded with Marxian uplift featurettes. Actually, Scopitone's "musies" are descended from U.S. Soundies, which during World War II filled bus terminals and B-girl grottoes with grainy, black-and-white productions of The Flat Foot Floogee with the Floy Floy and A Boy in Khaki, a Girl in Lace. Television and Lucky Strike's Hit Parade put a merciful end to Soundies, but it looks as if Scopitone will be here to stay awhile.
Rights to Scopitone for the U.S. and South and Central America were snapped up for $5,000 last year by Alvin I. Malnik, 31, a Miami Beach attorney, who will soon start distributing machines manufactured in Chicago. He already has installed them in New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas and dozens of military bases, and has a backlog of 2,500 orders. If Malnik has his way, every public place from the hoitiest cocktail lounge to the toitiest pizza parlor will be swinging to musies, all of which are eventually to be produced by Malnik himself. Meanwhile, Scopitone screens are filled by French films. One typical Gallic offering, El Gato Montés, captures the jollity of the annual Pamplona fiesta with trumpet playing, flamenco dancing and the shrieks of small boys being gored by rampaging bulls in the streets.
The production possibilities of Scopitone films make their promoter sound like Cecil B. DeMalnik. "Take Hello, Dolly! " he says, eyes moist with enthusiasm. "Maybe we'd have an actress getting down from a train in a little hick town, and, you know, she's Dolly coming back—I really don't know the rest of the words—but then there'd probably be some people meeting her, dancing along. There's just no end to the storybook film devices we can prepare." Just for a start, he might try My Funny Ballantine, Tea for Tuborg, and Music to Cry in Your Beer By.
I found this little pic while looking for more info (there's not much) on the Cinebox , another film juke box that competed with Scopitone and was popular in The UK and Italy. It's taken from a PDF I found promoting "Weird And Wonderful Sydney". "Weird And Wonderful Sydney".pdf