Bijou Bob remembers movie matinees before the sixties. Audiences were served a banquet of entertainment - much more than just the feature film. Each trip to The Bijou included a mini-movie and an action-packed cliffhanging serial before the main attraction began. The menu featured wacky cartoons and comedies, ET-style newsreels gossiping about Hollywood celebrities, musical shorts, sports reels, and “coming attractions” trailers designed to lure viewers back next week. And you know, they always did. Old movie theaters even had curtains in front of the screen, back in the day, and ushers or usherettes that would take your ticket and show you to your seat. Listen to an interview with Greg Luce of Sinister Cinema.
CARTOONS were always fan favorites, and Matinee at the Bijou will show masterpieces of brilliant animation produced, for the first time, in HD. The show will bring back all those goofy, over-the-top cartoon characters we all know and love like Betty Boop, Tom & Jerry, Casper, the Friendly Ghost, Felix the Cat, as well as lots of terrific seldom seen toons. Bijou Bob really likes the super stylish Max Fleischer Superman cartoon series. Leave a comment and let the producers know what you’d like to see.
SHORT SUBJECTS were mini-movies with titles like The Star Reporter, Hollywood on Parade, and Voice of Hollywood. Some were curiosities, like the Shirley Temple “Baby Burlesk” series, with an all-toddler cast. Matinee at the Bijou will show comedy classics starrring Laurel & Hardy, The Three Stooges and Edgar Kennedy. And, once in awhile, Joe McDoakes will step out from behind the eight ball to tickle our viewers’ collective funny bone.
SERIALS at the Bijou were always exciting, and each 15-20 minute chapter ended with an awesome cliffhanger where our hero or heroine’s fate was left hanging—until next week.
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is the 12-chapter serial in Bijou’s first new season, and will be followed in future seasons by serial heroes like Zorro, Dick Tracy, Tarzan and Ace Drummond.
Compare all that to what you get at the movies today--overpriced tickets and refreshments and a ton of commercials. Matinee at the Bijou is all about the real experience—and the film junkies at The Bijou Blog are working overtime to bring it all back on PBS, except the popcorn and the sticky floors! That part is up to you.