Scopitone - jukebox

Behold The Beauty Of The Scopitone Jukebox!

Friends, working with the Projectionist, I certainly have developed a love for film itself. As well as a desire to fill the Retroist Vault with all manner of coin-operated amusement machines. The other day while checking out some older gaming magazines I came across a British jukebox. This of course was an 80’s jukebox that played music videos. However this it turns out is not in fact a new idea. Case in point the Scopitone Jukebox!
Scopitone - Tel A Sign - Chicago

I did my very best to try and find some footage of those British video jukeboxes. Sadly I couldn’t find a single video. It did lead me though to a much earlier version of the device. The Scopitone jukebox. A 60’s coin-operated amusement machine that showed music videos, on 16 mm film.
Scopitone - Film Reels

Now to be truthful, it wasn’t just working with the Projectionist all these years that made me fall in love with film. I have obviously mentioned on various podcasts as well as posts that film has always been intriguing to me. The Scopitone jukebox is something entirely different than I’ve ever seen before though!

While the Scopitone jukebox reels can obviously be considered a precursor to what we would call the music video. While being low budget they still managed to attract all manner of popular singers. Neil Sadaka, Nancy Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, and Julie London to name a few. I particularly enjoyed the 16 mm reel featuring The Exciters singing Tell Him while visiting…a local zoo?

[Via] History Comes To Life

Now when a patron inserted their quarter into the Scopitone jukebox and selected which song they desired. Within the machine a rotating mechanism would spin to the correct 16 mm film selection. Then an arm would swing down with the projection mechanism, the light would be bounced off a mirror to be displayed on the screen.
Scopiton - Jukebox Playing

Ready to see the Scopitone jukebox in action?


The 16 mm film reel that is displayed in the video is of Joi Lansing, singing Web of Love!

[Via] JimVid 1

You want even more fantastic Scopitone jukebox musical entertainment? Then how about Bobby Vee’s The Night Has A Thousand Eyes?

[Via] Lucy Huto

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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