STOP PAY TV: Remember this 1960’s campaign ???

posted by ArchStanton007 on February 9, 2007 at 7:40 am

Was the “Stop Pay TV” campaign run by TV networks, or theater chains as well? I remember seeing a standee for it in the late 1960’s at a local General Cinema theater and possibly some of the larger newspaper ads also mentioned it. Somebody on this site mentioned seeing the phrase on a NYC United Artists marquee. A petition drive may also have existed in the participating theaters.

Anybody have more details please ?

Thank You and stay warm at your local movie theater.

Comments (13)

lauraann151 on February 9, 2007 at 11:46 am

I remember seeing the advertising for it at my neighborhood drive-in theater. It was run by the theater chains, and it involved the showing of an on-screen ad, and there was a petition that the movie-going public could sign.

rivest266 on February 9, 2007 at 3:19 pm

It was never seen in Canadian theatres as the biggest chain, Famous Players had an pay-tv system called International Telemeter. It was in use 1959-1966 in the Minco bay area of Toronto. This system eventully became Rogers.

steelbeard1 on February 9, 2007 at 4:04 pm

The Save Free TV trailer is available on one of the Something Weird Video trailer compilations titled “Hey Folks, It’s Intermission Time”. I forget which one but you can ask at The direct URL for the series is at View link

RobertR on February 9, 2007 at 8:39 pm

I definitely remember the UA Oasis having it on the marquee.

scottfavareille on February 10, 2007 at 9:17 am

The Something Weird version is not the full version of “Stop Pay TV”—The full version (which even has Dracula & Frankenstein) is on a DVD from Elite called “Drive-In Discs Vol 3: I Bury The Living/The Hand”. Worth checking out.

dfc on February 10, 2007 at 11:43 am

I remember the “Stop Pay-TV” campaign in Brooklyn, NY around 1965-66. In the NYC area the Pay-TV they were so afraid of was cable TV, which was in the process of being built in Manhattan. Cable TV didn’t arrive in the other 4 boroughs until the 1980s.

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on February 10, 2007 at 2:47 pm

I think this was aimed less at cable than at proposed over-the-air scrambled TV systems. Los Angeles eventually got two of these, ON TV and SelecTV.

dhroc on February 18, 2007 at 11:23 pm

The local Loew’s had the phrase slapped on their marque for a month and ran an ad.
Remember the “stop blind bidding” ad? They even asked you to sign a petition in the lobby before you left. The ad was from NATO and was pretty poorly done. It featured a couple buying a car before they even saw it, on the word of the salesman. The open curtain revealed a beat up something or other, then compared the purchase to what theatres went through to book movies.

dave-bronx™ on February 24, 2007 at 8:05 pm

We had the “Stop Pay TV” campaign on the late 60s at General Cinema in Cleveland – a standee in the lobby with a card table with a petition on it for people to sign. I think NATO was behind it.

jimpiscitelli on March 2, 2007 at 8:47 pm

In the Chicago area from 1981-1985 we had ON-TV (WSNS-Channel 44) and Spectrum (WFYN- Channel 66 before WGBO).

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Never heard of it,most of us growing up in the sixties,as kids never heard of the time I got in the business Cable,certainly Video were nothing anyone at Plitt theatres seem to worry about.On the weekends our theatres were full with it petering out by the last show Sunday evening.Most of the stuff I see on HBO and Showtime have nothing to do with movies,so what about a ban?Ban Nurse Jackie? Fine with me.

GaryMeyer on November 25, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Blind bidding was a totally different issue where theater owners had to competitively bid for movies that had not been screened for them.

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