Dropbox/OneDrive/pCloud - Hallmark Playhouse/Hallmark Hall of Fame v2303 #new-distro
OTRR-maintained Hallmark Playhouse and Hallmark Hall of Fame v2303 (20.4 GB on Windows/256 episodes) is available for download from Dropbox, OneDrive, or pCloud. Thanks to all those who made this collection possible.
IMPORTANT: This is being distributed as four zip files. In Windows, right-click on the file and choose Extract all.
These links will be available for 30 days. The episodes of this set will be released on our YouTube channel at https://otrr.cc/yt starting April 1.
Hallmark Playhouse was introduced on June 10, 1948 as a summer dramatic series bankrolled by the Hall Bros., Inc. which had been sponsoring the Radio Reader’s Digest for the previous two years. In the autumn of that year, the Playhouse ratings helped convince Hallmark executives that they no longer wanted to have their cards marketed alongside the Reader’s Digest magazines and dropped the Digest program entirely in favor of continuing the Playhouse.
The package was negotiated by Jack Hunt, account executive for Foote, Cone & Belding with the CBS network and the estimated initial cost for talent was $5,250 per week. By the end of 1948, the Hall Bros. were on pace to spend $1,500,000 per year on the show, about half of the company’s entire advertising budget and a reported 10% of its gross income. James Hilton, a British novelist, was convinced to serve as the voice of the program, both as host and story selector.
Dee Englebach was the first producer-director with Lyn Murray responsible for musical direction and Frank Goss serving as announcer. Notable scriptwriters including Jean Holloway, Milton Geiger, and the team of Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee were regular contributors to the program. The cast changed from week to week, with radio workhorses such as Barb Eiler, Earle Ross, Howard McNear, and Lurene Tuttle assuming many roles and Hollywood names like Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Joan Fontaine, and Irene Dunn providing a dash of star power.
The Hallmark Playhouse ran for almost five years, from June 1948 to February 1, 1953. The series was overhauled in the course of a week and The Hallmark Hall of Fame premiered on February 8, 1953. Gone was the man of letters James Hilton and in his place was the inimitable Lionel Barrymore who introduced weekly profiles of famous figures from history including Sam Houston, Mary Todd Lincoln, and Albert Schweitzer. The Hallmark Hall of Fame aired for two years from 1953 until 1955 before transitioning to television in a series of productions that still air to this day.