Video Vault: 1960s WEWS movie opens and Pat O'Brien promo

WEWS in glorious black & white

CLEVELAND - If you're of a certain age, you remember when TV was in basic black and white. Oh, there were colors, but they were all shades of gray.

I've uploaded two movie opens from that gray world, "Jungle Theater" from January 1962 and "Friday Night Movie" from September 1964. There's also a promo for a show done by Pat O'Brien - the singer/actor, not the Chevy dealer.

After this story was originally posted, Tim Lones at Cleveland Classic Media was able to find a newspaper article on "Here's Pat O'Brien". According to the article, the show was done in  May, 1964 and was a WEWS production. It was produced by Herman Spero, Spero produced many WEWS shows like "Polka Varieties" and "Upbeat".

O'Brien's online biography shows many TV programs and series but doesn't mention "Here's Pat O'Brien".

The Friday movie open is pretty basic, have the local American Searchlight Company on East 55th bring a few searchlights to the parking lot at WEWS and start the videotape rolling.

As for re-creating the jungle, a trip to Pier 1, a few ferns, add jungle music and stir.

The countdown slate lists the date and director for all as Tom Piskura.

Piskura at age 15, came by our studios on East 13th and would look through the windows. He became such a regular, he began to know the employees. At 16, his fascination with TV turned into a part-tme job at WEWS and continued to do part-time work until he graduated from college. He became a studio cameraman, a remote cameraman and then become an executive in news and then a director and production manager.

Piskura left WEWS and in the 80s ran the made-for-TV movie department for USA cable networks.

In his later years, he would often come back to Cleveland from California to visit the station and some of his old WEWS friends and I was lucky to have known him.

He wrote a book on his memories of and history of WEWS with 700 pictures of the studios and staff. The book was never published.

After his passing, his daughter, Kim Price' allowed me to use his manuscript as a reference for the Video Vault.

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