Airing weekdays at 5:00 for just one year, “Theater Five” was an unexpected gift: an ambitious, expensive, and sophisticated series launched just when radio drama was dismissed as dead. By the summer of ’64 all the action had moved to television, with radio reduced to tunes and hourly news. Yet a network saw fit to launch a lavish new series, offering comedy, science fiction, suspense, horror, fantasy, crime, and melodrama to adults of adventurous taste. Some episodes merged two or three genres at once.
Although it wasn’t clear where the latest episode of “Theater Five” would be headed, it was certain to sound polished, employ excellent actors, and not insult the listener’s intelligence. And since it was intended for an up-to-date mid-60s audience, the subject matter was often closer to contemporary life than content from the ’40s and ’50s. Even Alexander Vlas-Daczenco’s theme music still works: a seedy, seductive swirl of crime-jazz percussion and horns.
• Complete, locally stored episodes—no wireless connection needed to play
• Sleek and simple episode list and playback controls
• Full-width progress/seek bar to quickly jump to any spot
• Background audio support, for switching between apps
• 65 episodes, with running times from 17:53 to 22:30
This is part one of a four-part set ... be sure to hear them all:
• Theater Five 1964-65 #1
• Theater Five 1964-65 #2
• Theater Five 1964-65 #3
• Theater Five 1964-65 #4
As with nearly all the classic radio shows, these recordings are considered orphan works: copyrights have lapsed and assorted versions of mixed quality can be found in old-time radio collections.