Lux Video Theatre


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

From Wikipedia:

Lux Video Theatre, a weekly television anthology series, was produced from 1950 until 1959. The series presented both comedy and drama in original teleplays, as well as abridged adaptations of films and plays.

The Lux Video Theatre was a spin-off from the successful Lux Radio Theater series broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-1935) and CBS (1935-55).

Lux Video Theatre began as a live 30-minute Monday evening CBS series on October 2, 1950, switching to Thursday nights during August, 1951. In September 1953, the show relocated from New York to Hollywood. In August 1954, it moved to NBC as an hour-long show on Thursday nights, telecast until September 12, 1957. With the introduction of the one-hour format and the move to Hollywood, abridged versions of popular films were often used as the basis for shows.

To introduce each act and interview the stars at the conclusion, NBC added a series of regular hosts: James Mason (1954-55), Otto Kruger (1955-56), Gordon MacRae (1956-57) and Ken Carpenter (1955-57). Kruger recalled:

"All I do is come up and tell the people who I am and what we're up to. I don't have a single thing to do with producing, directing or casting the show. Yet I get letters every week complimenting me on my production, my directing, my casting, even my script adaptations."

New episodes were broadcast during the summer as the Summer Video Theatre. In 1957-58, Lux shifted sponsorship to a half-hour musical variety show, The Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney.

For the 1958-59 season, the dramatic series was brought back with a new name, Lux Playhouse. The new series alternated weeks with Schlitz Playhouse.

Highlights
Angela Lansbury on her first television appearance on Lux Video Theatre
00:17
Jerry Mathers on meeting Alfred Hitchcock backstage while appearing on the Lux Video Theater, leading to his casting in the feature film The Trouble with Harry
02:33
Elinor Donahue on appearing in Lux Video Theatre's "The Life of Emile Zola"
02:08
Actress Maria Riva on a gaffe that happened on "live" TV in the 1950s when the prop gun that actor Rod Steiger was using didn't fire— prompting him to instead say "bang" (possibly on Lux Video Theater: "Cafe Ami" [their only confirmed co-starring TV show])
01:26
Ben Wolf on shooting Lux Video Theatre
02:42
Who talked about this show

Elinor Donahue

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Elinor Donahue on appearing in Lux Video Theatre's "The Life of Emile Zola"
02:08

Shirley Jones

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Shirley Jones on appearing on Lux Video Theatre's "Dark Victory" and on The Ed Sullivan Show
01:56

Angela Lansbury

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Angela Lansbury on her first television appearance on Lux Video Theatre
00:17
Angela Lansbury on getting a case of the giggles in rehearsal on a show with Richard Kiley, likely Lux Video Theatre's "Operation Weekend"
02:00

Loring Mandel

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Loring Mandel on writing "House of His Own" for Lux Video Theatre
01:49

Jerry Mathers

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Jerry Mathers on meeting Alfred Hitchcock backstage while appearing on the Lux Video Theater, leading to his casting in the feature film The Trouble with Harry
02:33

Marian Rees

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Marian Rees on working on Lux Video Theatre  in New York with Franklin Schaffner, George Roy Hill and Fielder Cook
06:36
Marian Rees on working with George Roy Hill and Buzz Kulik on Lux Video Theatre
02:27
Marian Rees on artistic disagreements over Lux Video Theatre
03:26
Marian Rees on the "rules" the sponsor had for Lux Video Theatre
03:37
Marian Rees on working on the Lux Video Theatre  production of "Zola" and the empowerment of drama
05:26

Maria Riva

View Interview
Actress Maria Riva on a gaffe that happened on "live" TV in the 1950s when the prop gun that actor Rod Steiger was using didn't fire— prompting him to instead say "bang" (possibly on Lux Video Theater: "Cafe Ami" [their only confirmed co-starring TV show])
01:26
Actress Maria Riva on a terrible mishap on live TV when an actor was injured and she discovered him unconscious and bleeding during the show (possibly on Lux Video Theatre: "Cafe Ami")
03:37

Ret Turner

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Ret Turner on working on the live Lux Video Theater
01:18

Ben Wolf

View Interview
Ben Wolf on shooting Lux Video Theatre
02:42

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