17 Cartoons.

by James K. Sayre

In the 1950s, kids didn't have VCRs, cable/satellite TV, video games or the Internet to amuse themselves with. They had to make do with more traditional entertainment forms such as movies, a few television channels and radio. One thing that we did have was an occasional Saturday afternoon matinee show at the local Denis movie theater called, 17 Cartoons. You paid the regular kids admission, probably about twenty-five or fifty cents, and you could watch a long series of animated Hollywood cartoons, uninterrupted by ads, promos, food ads, news or other intrusions.

This 17 cartoon show must have been fairly popular, for I remember there always was a bunch of kids there. On other Saturday afternoon matinees, there were typically westerns. I lived close enough to the small downtown of Mount Lebanon, so I could easily walk to and from the movie theater. The Denis movie theater was the only theater in the downtown, otherwise you had to drive to other towns or go out in more rural areas where the infamous "drive-in" movie theaters existed. Those were for big kids (you had to be 16 years old to drive a car) and adults.



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Web page last updated on 23 March 2009.