Soundies - Jukebox Music Videos of the 1940's

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jamoke

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212
Location
Somewhere in AZ
Here is something I never new existed.

Amazon link for the 4-BD set

During the 1940's there was a new state-of-the art technological appliance called the "Panoram" which was a video jukebox.

Panoram2.jpg

For 10 cents you could not only hear but watch your favorite bands, musicians, and dancers perform. These jukeboxes were located in bars/restaurants and any place a regular jukebox could be found.

About the size of a modern refrigerator, the video was internally projected via 16mm film. There were 8 videos or "Soundies" per film reel which was played on a loop. The reel was changed out on a weekly basis so that fresh content was always available. They made over 1800 of these film videos which have largely been forgotten. The Library of Congress has been involved in the preservation and restoration of these musical gems.

This collection just made available on BluRay is a forgotten piece of history.

I have found them ASTOUNDING.
Worth your time if interested.
 
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Here is something I never new existed.

Amazon link for the 4-BD set

During the 1940's there was a new state-of-the art technological appliance called the "Panoram" which was a video jukebox.

Panoram2.jpg

For 10 cents you could not only hear but watch your favorite bands, musicians, and dancers perform. These jukeboxes were located in bars/restaurants and any place a regular jukebox could be found.

About the size of a modern refrigerator, the video was internally projected via 35mm film. There were 8 videos or "Soundies" per film reel which was played on a loop. The reel was changed out on weekly basis so that fresh content was always available. They made over 1800 of these videos which have largely been forgotten. The Library of Congress has been involved in the preservation and restoration of these musical gems.

This collection just made available on BluRay is a forgotten piece of history.

I have find them ASTOUNDING.
Worth your time if interested.

I had run across a few articles & info on the hardware involved but never thought much of the content would be available. The restored edition is a great choice at a great price. You can sample this material on YT & if interested spring for the good set:

 
It is amazing how often I learn something new on QQ. Never knew this existed and while not what I listen to some of these clips are quite good and preserve musical moments from that era. A window into the past.
 
I think in France they were called scopitone. But I don’t remember if it was the name of the jukebox, or the music movies that would be played by the machine.

Edit: I just looked it up, and scopitone movies were much later, in the sixties. What I remember is when music videos in the late seventies were starting to be very popular on TV, old geezers would dismiss them saying that it was just the return of the scopitone!
 
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I think in France they were called scopitone. But I don’t remember if it was the name of the jukebox, or the music movies that would be played by the machine.

Edit: I just looked it up, and scopitone movies were much later, in the sixties. What I remember is when music videos in the late seventies were starting to be very popular on TV, old geezers would dismiss them saying that it was just the return of the scopitone!
Late fifties Italy saw a similar machine named CineBox, but it didn't last too long; Scopitione in France arrived early sixties but lasted longer into the seventies in some french-related market.
The good thing about these machines are the videos, which are a lot of fun to watch.

Here's for some history about these machines:

https://scopitonearchive.com/cinebox/index.html
That's one of the funniest ones, look at the girl dancing: she's watching outside camera to check what is the next dance move:




and here for a yt channel with a lot of videos:

 
I actually tried to participate in the video juke box business, but in the 1980s. I had a single-board controller that hooked up to a Panasonic industrial VHS deck and could locate spots on the tape to start and stop playback. It did everything it was supposed to do except sell at a profit.
 
After reading the pdf linked, i just wondered why they didn't implement already the selection mechanism in order to play the desired clip. 78rpm jukes were there by many years so fitting 8 reels with a single clip instead of a single reel with al the 8 clips that always played in sequence was not a impossible task. That would had predated Cinebox and Scopione by nearly 20 years.
 
It makes you wonder why in the heyday of MTV video jukeboxes weren't resurrected. See Barfle above I guess.
The problem was cash flow. A reccord-playing juke box could be bought for around $300 in the early 1980s. A Panasonic industrial VHS deck was almost $1000 by itself, add in the TX, amp, speakers, cabinet, coin box, and now the video juke box is an order of magnitude more expensive than the record player.

I even gave a shot at a cable-TV channel based unit, but by then the money had run out. There isn’t hardly anything on the Internet about this, because it died about a decade before the Internet was even a thing. Hell, it was in its death throes when PCs showed up.
 
I got a response from a friend who was into music sound restoration etc. He was floored by this. He had never heard of soundies.

I'm likely to follow Clement after the holidays and get that collection.....but then there are the 1960s versions....youtube here I come
 
After reading the pdf linked, i just wondered why they didn't implement already the selection mechanism in order to play the desired clip. 78rpm jukes were there by many years so fitting 8 reels with a single clip instead of a single reel with al the 8 clips that always played in sequence was not a impossible task. That would had predated Cinebox and Scopione by nearly 20 years
Being able to select one of eight film clips would require 8 separate projectors because it would be impossible to thread the individual film loops on the fly.

See how the projector works here:


and the Panoram in action here:
 
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