Events in Film & Television in 1936

Music History

Jan 9 Noël Coward's stage drama "Astonished Heart" premieres in London

  • Jan 16 Screen Actors Guild incorporates with King Vidor as president

Film Release

Feb 5 "Modern Times", silent film directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released

  • Feb 7 Felix the Cat, animated film released by Van Beuren Studios licensed from Otto Messmer

Olympic Gold

Feb 15 Sonja Henie of Norway becomes the most successful Olympic figure skater ever by winning her 3rd consecutive gold medal at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen Winter Games; beats Cecilia College of Great Britain by 6.4 points

  • Feb 17 The world's first superhero, The Phantom, a cartoon strip by Lee Falk, makes his first appearance in comics
  • Feb 22 Sonja Henie of Norway follows up her Winter Olympics victory with an incredible 10th consecutive women’s World Championship figure skating gold medal in Paris, France

Film Premiere

Mar 22 "The Great Ziegfeld" directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring William Powell and Luise Rainer premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1937

  • Jun 1 "Lux Radio Theater" moved from NYC to Hollywood

Music History

Jun 29 George M. Cohan is the first artist to be presented with a US Congressional Gold Medal, by Franklin D. Roosevelt (for raising war morale)

  • Jul 7 RCA shows 1st real TV program (dancing, film on locomotives, Bonwit Teller fashion show and monologue from Tobacco Road & comedy)
  • Aug 10 4th Venice Film Festival opens

Film Release

Sep 4 RKO Radio Pictures releases "Swing Time", directed by George Stevens, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

  • Sep 28 Bachelor's Children debuts on CBS radio (at 9:45 am)

Music Premiere

Oct 29 Cole Porters musical "Red Hot And Blue", starring Ethel Merman, Jimmy Durante, and Bob Hope, opens at the Alvin Theatre, NYC; runs for 183 performances

  • Nov 2 At 3pm the BBC begins the world's first regular high-definition TV broadcast service from specially constructed studios at Alexandra Palace, North London
  • Nov 2 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is established
  • Nov 12 1st ever TV Gardening show "In Your Garden" shown on BBC television
  • Nov 24 Noël Coward's anthology "Tonight at 8:30" premieres in NYC, runs for 118 performances
  • Dec 16 John Monks and Fred Finklehoff's play "Brother Rat" premieres in New York City
  • Dec 17 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen & dummy Charlie McCarthy, appear on TV

Film & TV History

Dec 30 Beginning of the "feud" between comedians Fred Allen and Jack Benny on Allen's "Town Hall Tonight" show