1966 Halloween - Ben Cooper

A Cub Scout 1966 Halloween Party Captured On 8 MM Film!

I do believe that after almost seven years with The Retroist I have made it clear I love Halloween. As well as movies and older film technology like 8 mm projectors. So when PlCary contacted me – telling me he picked up two 8 mm reels. I was interested, but then he told me one was a 1966 Halloween party, I was all ears.
1966 Halloween

Be that as it may, there was one problem. Phillip didn’t have access to an 8 mm film projector. Thankfully I could help with that issue and we agreed to meet up at the arcade. As I felt my co-workers would certainly want to see this bit of history.

However, as fate would have it, my 8 mm projector chose that moment to break. Under those circumstances you can understand how disappointed we were. Having said that though, Phillip was able to secure a projector all his own. One that I might add cost him the staggering sum of fifty cents!

So Phillip and I agreed to meet up again. Furthermore he had made sure to check the mechanical aspects and the bulb itself. All was good to go. In addition to the 1966 Halloween reel we would be able to watch something called “Kay’s Navy”.

On the contrary, it seemed fate was aligned against us one more time. I will let you take a look at the Bell and Howell projector yourself. See if you can spot what the issue might be.

Despite our best efforts of checking everything, the projector that Phillip purchased didn’t have the actual lens. In the light of this predicament I rushed home and stole the lens from my non-working projector.

In spite of all these difficulties we were able to overcome the obstacles at last. As a result we were totally treated to this Cub Scout 1966 Halloween short film. Furthermore both it and the “Kay’s Navy” were filmed at Grand Lake in Oklahoma, just about an hour and a half away.

It was an amazing treat for Phillip and myself to finally see the film.

The Cub Scout 1966 Halloween party was the real treasure although having said that we were all shocked at how well the film has survived.


Coupled with what looks to me to be a Ben Cooper or Collegeville skeleton costume it is certainly an undeniable pleasure. In fact if you look closely at the moment where the costume is shown there are vintage lunchboxes too!

“What Retroist Means to Me…” By Allison Venezio

In salute to the ongoing and unending appreciation for Retroist by the people that are the heart and soul of the site, I (among others) was asked to tell the world (preach from the rooftops, if you will!) what Retroist means to me. Give me eleven minutes, and I’ll be happy to tell you why!

Not exactly short, sweet, and to the point, but it is important to remind our readers and contributors about why we do this.

As we move into 2017, I’d love to continue to give unending thanks for the opportunity that has challenged me, made me excited to write, and given me a huge source of pride and contributed to the happiness I was able to find within myself.

And if my response wasn’t short, this one is:

Allison has been contributing to Retroist since July 2015, and has published a new article almost weekly since then. She has bragger’s rights to a large collection of retro commercials, plus she has a knack for finding the obscure nostalgia we may have forgotten…or never knew about. If you like everything you’ve seen here (check out her Retroist writer’s profile), she has her own blog, Allison’s Written Words. You can follow her blog on Facebook, and her on Twitter @AllisonGeeksOut.

Please express your appreciation for Retroist (and what it means to you) with #ThankYouRetroist. She is huge on solidarity, and feels this is a great step in that direction. She’ll see you in 2017!

A Christmas Carol

Toon In: Enjoy 1971’s A Christmas Carol!

I mentioned in the last of the Retro Radio Memories Podcasts – I love A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens 1843 novella really gets to me. I’ve as a matter of fact have pretty much loved all adaptations of the classic tale. Just a few of my favorites include 1951’s Scrooge, 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1984’s overlooked made for TV version featuring George C. Scott and of course 1970’s version of Scrooge!

[Via] Plains Video

It most certainly has a bit to do with the supernatural elements…I mean I AM a monster kid. But more than that is the message that a person can be saved from a destructive path, they can better themselves. The act of redemption of course is what keeps me coming back to A Christmas Carol again and again.

Now having said all of that. There appears to be a version of the story that I’ve not seen before. An 1971 animated special that aired on ABC on December 21. But proved so popular that it was later given a theatrical release. Then secured an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1972!

Which by the way the Academy changed the rules right after that win – so a made for TV short film cannot be eligible. A bit of humbug with that, right?

While the stunning animation style was based on the illustrations provided by John Leech and Milo Winter. Who in fact provided the artwork for the 1930’s version of Dickens’ novella. The short film also had legendary Chuck Jones as a producer with direction by Richard Williams.

Another key point to remember about this adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the sometimes frightening images. Whether it be the likes of Jacob Marley – shocking Ebenezer to keep him silent.
A Christmas Carol

Or the Ghost of Christmas Present’s charges Ignorance and Want. Memorable and visually striking to say the least.

Another feature in the short film’s cap is the vocal talent they secured. For example you have Michael Redgrave as the narrator, Michael Hordren as Jacob Marley, Joan Sims as Mrs. Cratchit, and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, it is true that Sim reprises the role he played in 1951’s film adaption!

So sit back and Toon In for 1971’s A Christmas Carol – and from all of us at The Retroist have a Happy Holiday!

Just Jeff 53

Christmas Carol

Retro Radio Memories Podcast Ep. 087 (A Christmas Carol)

A Christmas Carol might be the most well known story of the Holiday season. Charles Dickens found himself with an immediate success on his hand upon it’s first publication in 1843. There have been no less than 20 film adaptations of A Christmas Carol starting in 1901 with Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost.
Christmas Carol - 1901

If I am being honest though, one of my favorites besides 1970’s Scrooge is 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol. On the other hand even as a small child I felt it should have another title. Uncle Scrooge’s Christmas Carol. After all the part of Ebenezer is played by Scrooge McDuck , right?

Now for our latest episode of Retro Radio Memories we have something special. The 1939 adapation of A Christmas Carol on the Campbell Playhouse. Yes, that is indeed the radio program sponsored by Campbell’s Soup. Furthermore it boasts that talents of both Orson Welles as the narrator of the story and Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge.

So why not pour yourself a generous cup of eggnog and join us on Retro Radio Memories with A Christmas Carol?

If you have any comments or feedback for the show you can e-mail them to at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also reach me on Twitter and of course on Facebook.

The music on the podcast was provided by Peachy! You may contact him by e-mail at peachy@Retroist.com. And be sure to “Like” him on his Facebook page.

Subscribe To The Retro Radio Memories Podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the Podcast directly in iTunes. Moreover you might leave us a nice review to help spread the word about the show?

Directly download the Retro Radio Memories Podcast:
Episode Mirror #1 (MP3)
Episode Mirror #2 (OGG)

Now how would you like to see that 1901 short film for A Christmas Carol?


Thanks to the BFI National Archive you can do that very thing. Bear in mind after all that it’s only three and a half minutes long and silent.

Phantasm Ornament

Mondo’s Phantasm Ornament Is A Ball. Madballs Too!

I should absolutely clarify that statement. Mondo is totally offering the Sentinel Sphere as an ornament for your Christmas tree. I ask you, what is more festive than a Phantasm ornament? Who wouldn’t want to hang the deadly flying device of the Tall Man from 1979’s cult classic Phantasm on their bough? How can it get any better than that?

In this case I suppose the answer might be an ornament of the Tall Man himself. Although a strong argument could be made of course for the addition of the deadly Dwarves from the film.
phantasm-angus-scrimm-sentinels

However, it IS the time of year to be thankful. As always of course Mondo gives plenty of reasons for that.

Phantasm Ornament

All images courtesy of Mondo.


This has been given the blessing of the creator of Phantasm, Don Coscarelli. Of course. Which is why Mondo teamed up with Middle of Beyond to produce the Sentinel Sphere ornament.
Phantasm ornament
Seriously. How can you not want Phantasm’s Sentinel Sphere on your tree? Now you can hop right on over to Mondo’s Official shop site to order your very own.

Now how do you top the Phantasm ornament? With Madballs of course!

[Via] American Greetings Entertainment

Madballs was created in 1985 by American Greetings – that is totally right. The same company that dreamed up the Care Bears had a hand in this 80’s merchandising property. Why were these goofy balls so popular to kids in the mid-80s? For one thing all sorts of gross-out properties were popular at that time. I give you the Garbage Pail Kids as an prime example!
Garbage-Pail-Kids-cover

Now thanks to Mondo and Middle of Beyond you too can proudly display Horn Head, Slobulus, Dust Brain, and Skull Face on your tree! You can click here to visit Middle of the Beyond’s official site to purchase the Madballs ornaments.
madballs-christmas-ornaments-mondo

I can only presume by next year we will be able to purchase Inhumanoids and Beetlejuice ornaments!