If you’re from the New York/Long Island area and are over 40 years old, do you remember this?
Back in the late 70’s, if you didn’t find any of us kids playing softball, football or basketball on Kings Drive in Riverhead, NY, it was likely due to The 4:30 Movie on WABC-TV in New York. We’d be playing outside but invariably a couple of us would race home in time, switch on the TV (or push your sister away from it) and await that awesome theme song.
Airing on channel 7, The 4:30 Movie every weekday schooled hundreds of thousands of kids in the 70’s on the glory of the cinema. Particularly when they did theme weeks. There was Lassie Week, Planet of the Apes Week, Secret Agent Week, Horror Week; dozens of actors got their own weeks devoted to their movies – Steve McQueen and Dean Martin immediately come to mind. The best of all the theme weeks was MONSTER WEEK. I remember Monster Week always airing various Godzilla and King Kong movies which were my favorites.
All the movies were heavily edited, primarily to make the 6:00 newscast; and they would often split the movies over two days. I drove my grandmother and my mom crazy because dinner wouldn’t start until 6:00 if there was a great movie on channel 7.
It’s funny to think today that a network affiliate would schedule movies for 90 minutes every weekday. There was no early new casts then, nobody jumping up and down screaming about who impregnated Maury’s baby, just really cool movies every day. The 4:30 Movie aired until 1981 when it was replaced by The People’s Court.