This Movie Jukebox of the 1940s Was the Future of Entertainment
The Panoram Soundies existed before the proliferation of television, meaning they existed as a kind of communal small-screen entertainment before TV would take over those same spaces.
The jukebox was everywhere in the second half of the 20th century—a machine anyone could drop a coin into and hear their favorite songs at places like bars and soda fountains. But the 1940s saw the fast rise and even faster fall of a special kind of jukebox that didn’t just play music. The Panoram Soundies machine could play short films, popping up in about 3,500 locations during its short life. And it promised to be the future of pop music decades before MTV would ever play a music video.
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