Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Rant #548: Movies On a Plane
Yes, it is the middle of summer. Not much is going on that I want to talk about here.
But I came up with an odd anniversary for today, so I thought I would share it with you.
On July 19, 1961, TWA became the first airline to begin showing regularly scheduled in-flight movies. It presented "By Love Possessed," starring Lana Turner, to its first-class passengers.
So for the past 50 years, airline passengers--and not just first-class passengers--have been treated to movies on flights to various destinations.
This must have been interesting 50 years ago. With no videotapes or disks, I wonder how they showed movies on planes. Did they use projectors?
Of course, in today's world, all that is taken care of. I still don't know how they show movies now, but I would assume that they use the disk format.
I do know that they charge for the headphones, and that they show television network versions of the films, so you won't see any nudity or hear any cuss words when you view a movie on a plane.
When I am on a plane, probably the last thing I want to see is a movie. I read a newspaper, read one of the magazines that are provided, or just relax. I can't get into a movie, especially one that is cut to shreds.
But to others, I guess it relaxes them. They can make believe that they are in a movie theater on the ground, and just get caught up in the film.
But in today's world, there can be so much more to do on a plane.
On some planes, you can watch television, and on others, you can hook up to the Internet. You can also watch something on your portable DVD player or on you phone. You can listen to music with your MP3 device.
Or you can just sleep.
All this for what they put you through to actually get on the plane.
What did people do before all of this stuff was available on planes? Did they just look at their feet, look out the window or fall asleep?
I remember one time I bought my mini-TV onto a plane, and watched David Cone pitch a perfect game for the Yankees. That anniversary was yesterday. That was fun, because I went on a plane that offered nothing special, so my little TV was literally the only game in town.
Today, I couldn't even get any reception on that TV.
What would I do today?
I will find out later this year, when my wife, son and I have to take a plane to Florida as we go on our first cruise.
Let me ponder just what I will do.
Until then, maybe I will watch a movie to get in the swing of things.
Let me figure out what movie could stand some cuts ... maybe the latest edition of "Transformers"?