Seeking an old-fashioned, TV Christmas experience? This Wednesday, join me at The Westdale theatre in Hamilton, Ont., for a retro TV on Film party.

You’ll see two vintage holiday episodes from cherished series from the ’60s:

The one and only Christmas episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, “The Alan Brady Show Presents,” aired 60 years ago this month in 1963. See it in glorious black and white up on the big screen, complete with vintage commercials from the series, which was sponsored by Kent cigarettes! This episode marked the first appearance of series’ creator Carl Reiner, on stage dressed as Santa Claus as his writing staff puts on a show for the studio audience.

Then jump ahead one year to 1964 and the first of several Christmas episodes from Bewitched. This one, “Visions of Sugar Plums,” featured Billy Mumy — prior to his three seasons as Will Robinson on Lost in Space — as a troublemaking kid who gets adopted by Samantha and Darren Stevens (Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York) over Christmas. Shot during the first season when Bewitched was still in black and white. Does Gladys Kravitz (Alice Pearce) lose it when the Stevens and the lad climb aboard Sam’s broom for a trip to see Santa at the North Pole? That poor woman, and her husband Abner (played by George Tobias) was no help.

The Bewitched episode has commercials as well, including promo spots for other ABC shows from the mid-’60s including Combat!, F-Troop, McHale’s Navy and Dennis the Menace. For fans of this summer’s blockbuster hit “Barbie” there are also a couple of Barbie ads from Mattel, in colour!

There will be other surprises as well, including a cartoon from 1933 — 90 years ago — in stunning technicolour.


Plus — come prepared to answer some TV trivia questions and you could leave the theatre with some very cool prizes, including a year’s subscription to Paramount+ — home of a mountain of entertainment, including the new Frasier series — plus, from our friends at Retro Festive, a Leg Lamp right out of the cherished holiday feature film, “A Christmas Story.” You could also win something you need this time of year — a stylish CBC toque!

This is a matinee screening, at 1 p.m., so take a break from shopping, start your holidays early or just simply go ahead and quit your job! For tickets and information go to Support this magnificent neighbourhood cinema, which dates back to 1935. I’ll be the one threading the 16mm projector at the back of the auditorium. See you there!

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