This series began in NYC, on local station WOR TV 9, in 1955, and ran for over a decade. It featured first run movies, where each feature would run for an entire week, airing twice nightly. This format, that simulated the local neighborhood movie house, was also adopted by other local stations, realizing that this was one way to reach the most viewers, considering the competition from the networks. The first 3 features were “Magic Town” staring James Stewart, “Body And SouL” staring John Garfield”, and “A Double Life”staring Ronald Coleman. Much of the 1930s and 40s library from RKO were featured. As the station was a subsidiary of “RKO General Tire”, many of those films were rental free, to the station. Those RKO films included “King Kong”,”Gunga Din”,”Citizen Kane” and the “Fred Astaire”- “Ginger Rogers” RKO musicals.
“Million Dollar Movies WOR-TV Channel 9”
In the summer of 1957, a few of those RKO films such as “King Kong” and “Top Hat” were aired, one time only, on ABC Network TV, on Saturday nights, after which they returned to be rerun on “Million Dollar Movie”. Today, those RKO films as well as thousands of others are part of ” The Turner Classic Movies” vault.