Saturday, May 25, 2013


Even though Jedi Week has started, I had to post something to celebrate the 36th anniversary of Star Wars! I'm reminiscing about this 1983 Movie Channel monthly preview guide.

It was February 1983 and we were magically getting The Movie Channel for free! My family had been enjoying The Movie Channel and Showtime free for a couple of years before Star Wars premiered on cable TV. It would be two more years before we got a VCR, so I was really excited for the opportunity to watch Star Wars multiple times in the comfort of my own home. 

For my family, it truly was must see TV on a Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. on February 1st, 1983. We were all parked in front of the Zenith with soda and popcorn anxious to return to that galaxy far far away! It really was a fun night, especially for my parents and grandma who hadn't seen the film since 1977.

Because we were receiving The Movie Channel for free, we naturally didn't get the monthly preview magazine in the mail. I really wanted a copy for my Star Wars collection in a bad way, but the only way to get one was to visit our local cable company. I talked my mom into taking me there. Inside the office, I asked the clerk if I could have a preview guide. She replied that she could only give them out to Movie Channel subscribers. I'm sure my eyes rolled back into my head, but I blurted out, "Oh yeah, we're subscribers!" The clerk handed me the preview guide that you see above. Great elation fell over me at the success of my quest! As I turned to leave, the clerk asked for my address. Due to my young age and the blinding glee from my prize, I had no clue why she needed my address. I gave it to her freely with a big smile on my face. Instead, I should have ran out, jumped in the car and told my mom to cheese it out of there as fast as possible.

The next day I came home from school to find out that we lost The Movie Channel and Showtime. I only had the pleasure of watching Star Wars over and over for about a week. Maybe three or four viewings and that was all. I tried to get my parents to subscribe, but they said no.

Luckily, I used my trusty tape recorder and captured the whole movie on audio cassette tape. I listened to this over and over and it helped take the sting out of the thought of missing the movie the rest of the month. Here's my tape with original Coca-Cola stains!

In the back of The Movie Channel preview guide is an ad for the First Ever Great Robot Giveaway!

Of course, I missed out on the chance to enter this contest, but at least we can see the commercial. Video uploaded to YouTube by platypuscomixll.

Be sure to check back later today as we start Jedi Week in celebration of the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi!


Mike Middleton said...

Way to go NC! You'd probably still have that channel if you hadn't opened your big mouth! :)

plcary said...

I love the fact that you recorded the audio! Did you just stick the recorder by the tv speaker?

Brother Bill said...

Back in '83, towards the end of the school year, a classmate brought in his videotape of the original Star Wars from a cable TV broadcast (pay TV? His parents must be rich!) and we watched it in class. I audio-taped the whole thing on two 90 min cassette tapes and played the hell out of it all summer. To this day whenever I watch Star Wars and the X-wings are about to descend on the Death Star, I can hear the lunch bell ringing just like it did on that tape...