Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shock Theatre - Timeline on WGHP

Dick Bennick as Dr. Paul Bearer

I have been researching archived newspapers and old NC editions of TV Guide to try to confirm the timeline of Shock Theatre on WGHP channel 8 in High Point,NC. Here is what I have come up with:

Friday Oct.18,1963: Shock Theatre debuts on WGHP.

Friday Nov.6,1964: The first run of Shock Theatre comes to an end with "The Boogie Man Will Get You" (1942) starring Boris Karloff. Les Crane's "Nightlife" debuted on Nov.9,1964 and aired each weeknight through Friday May 28,1965 on WGHP.

Friday June 4,1965: Shock Theatre returns to WGHP with "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942) starring Lon Chaney Jr.

Friday June 23,1967: Shock Theatre ends it's Friday night run with "Svengali" (1931) starring John Barrymore.

Saturday July 1,1967: Shock Theatre begins it's Saturday night run with "The Manster" (1959) starring Peter Dyneley.Shock Theatre would remain in it's late Saturday night timeslot until April 26,1980 when "The Creature From The Black Lagoon" aired. On May 3,1980, "Solid Gold" aired in Shock Theatre's timeslot.After that WGHP resumed showing a variety of movies in the Saturday 11:30 p.m. slot such as "Walking Tall" starring Joe Don Baker.

Saturday January 10,1981 : WGHP brings back Shock Theatre once again.This time in a later timeslot of 1:30 a.m. with "Tales of Terror" starring Vincent Price.

The tv listing at the top of the page is from Saturday June 27,1981.It is the last one I currently have for Shock Theatre on WGHP. The Code of Scotland aired at 12:30 a.m. that night or rather the next morning.

Update : March 19, 2013

April 24,1982 - Currently I have information that indicates that Shock Theatre on WGHP 8 ended on this date with "DoomWatch" (1972) starring Ian Bannen and Judy Geeson.

May 8, 1982 - WXII 12 in Winston-Salem, NC began it's own version of "Shock Theater" with channel 12 writer Paul Iacono and director Tim Whitt as hosts. The first movie was "Dr. Phibes Rises Again" with Vincent Price.

November 20,1982 - "Shock Theater" on WXII 12 ends with "Shock Waves" (1972) starring Peter Cushing.

I have not yet been able to determine whether WGHP 8 brought 'Shock Theatre" back to it's schedule anytime after this. I keep searching.


~~ Sabre ~~ said...

Wow...I was just doing research on Shock Theater the other day because I ran across an article about "Dr Paul Bearer" (Dick Bennick).

Carroll W Hall said...

Hey Sabre.If you find anything that you can add to this timeline,I would love to add it.Thanks!

James Pagan said...

Alas, Shock Theatre no longer had a host by the time I began watching it in 1974, but I vividly recall the program's animated opening, which was accompanied by a pounding heartbeat and screams. Those late-night double features were an essential part of my film education, opening up new and sometimes terrifying worlds of wonder to me. The program's May 1977 broadcast of Bob Clark's "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things," for example, is forever seared into my consciousness, and certainly kick-started my enthusiasm for zombie movies.

"Code of Scotland," incidentally would appear to be George King's 1946 "Code of Scotland Yard," originally titled "The Shop at Sly Corner." I've never seen the picture, which centers on a Devil's Island escapee masquerading as an antique dealer in London; at any rate, it seems a rather curious selection for Shock Theatre.

WXII produced its own brief version of Shock Theatre, which aired from Winter to Summer 1982 after "Saturday Night Live." I thoroughly enjoyed this program, which had first one, then two hosts and some very amusing sketches sandwiched between the feature presentations.

Your blog is, as always, a delightful stroll down Memory Lane!

in-gun-ear said...

Interesting side note, the guy who did the "floating head" for the 80's version is still at WGHP after all these years. In those days, he was a studio and tape room operator they used a screen/cloth to create the "floating head". It is the same technology weather people use to display maps today. Today he is a manager of engineering.

We still have a lot of people at the station from that time period.

~~ Sabre ~~ said...

I think you found out way more than I did about the show, so I really cant add anything.
I was surprised that Dick went to WTOG in St. Petersburg, Florida and became pretty popular.
And on a side note, I remember that first Saturday night broadcast with The Manster! I always wondered when that was.

Carroll W Hall said...

I hope I am still around in Oct.2013 to see what WGHP does for the 50th anniversary.The show that aired during the last Christmas holiday season was a real treat seeing some of the video from the past.I hope to see more.

Mark said...

Man, I loved to stay up and watch Shock Theater.. That truly was "the good old days".

Carroll W Hall said...

Those truly were the good old days Mark.

Carlton Davidson said...

Just the mention of Shock Theater has me in a flash back to my youth,sittin waiting ever so excited on it to come on. Knowing I had to be quiet or it was off to bed,it was the first big boy thing I was allowed to do,lol. I wish someone had a copy of the opening video or the pictures at least.

Steven Garmon said...

Back in the 1970's whenever my dad would come home on leave from the Air Force,I would stay with him at my grandparents.One of my greatest memories was staying up on Sat.night to watch Shock Theatre! Seeing this brings back great memories!

Carroll W Hall said...

I appreciate the comments.I have just updated the Shock Theatre Timeline post with new information I just got during this past week.

phil smoot said...

I watched the first Shock Theater on WGHP TV Channel 8 in 1963. It was "House of Frankenstein" with Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney (Jr), John Carradine, George Zucco, Glenn Strange (as the Monster)
A great experience at the time to have a clear local channel to watch monster movies without video noise/snow/dropouts.

LOUDFAST said...

The first time I was allowed to stay up and watch Shock Theater was in the late 60s, and the film was Zontar, The Thing From Venus. I was suitably creeped out.