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Dead medium: the Scopitone
From: (Dan Rabin)
Source(s): Request Magazine October 1995 p 10; James Sullivan, reporter; Sam Wasserman, Scopitone collector

The Scopitone was a precursor of the rock video, a visual jukebox introduced in France in 1963. It was a coin-operated large-screen device intended for the bar and nightclub market, showing brief 16mm color films of such period popstars as Lesley Gore, Dion, the Tijuana Brass and Nancy Sinatra. These devices were essentially extinct by 1968 -- "victims of slot-machine racketeers and censorial prudes," according to Request magazine writer James Sullivan.

San Francisco's Roxie Cinema has run three Scopitone festivals in recent years. Sam Wasserman is a Scopitone collector, owning six Scopitone players and "thousands" of their films. He has been transferring his Scopitone reels to VHS cassettes and will send a catalog of his prizes for a self-addressed stamped envelope. His address is P. O. Box F, Daly City CA 94017.