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KTBC-TV's Theatre 7 Intro and Conclusion

Gordon Wilkison

Sound | 1960s

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  •  Interior of the Paramount Theatre, Austin, TX 
  •  Welcome to Theatre 7. 
  •  Good Evening. 
  •  Two seats up front. 
  •  Right this way, please. We have two right in the center. 
  •  Another great movie tonight, just like every Saturday night, here at Theatre 7. Yes sir, the best from Hollywood, hand picked by KTBC-TV for your enjoyment. 
  •  Pardon us, please. Hope you enjoy the movie here at Theatre 7. 
  •  You see the great stars of Hollywood in the finest movies available to television on Theatre 7. Join us next Saturday night when KTBC-TV again presents Theatre 7. 
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Since the advent of broadcasting, movies on television have been popular for audiences (as well as for advertisers.) In Austin, local affiliate KTBC-TV introduced Hollywood movies with specially crafted interstitials. This film represents one example, featuring images of famous stars such as Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Clark Gable, and Robert Mitchum. It also shows an usher escorting patrons to their seats in a local cinema. Voice over by Austin broadcast legend, Cactus Pryor.
Gordon Wilkison began work as a cameraman at the local Austin television station KTBC (now FOX 7) during 1952, its first year of operation.  At the time the station was owned by the Texas Broadcasting Company, which was owned by Senator Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. This relationship would continue to shape Wilkison's career well into the next decades - during the Johnson administration, Wilkison covered the president's visits to Texas, preparing material for national and international news correspondents. 
A particularly notable moment is his career occurred on August 1, 1966, when Wilkison and KTBC reporter Neal Spelce risked their lives to capture footage of the Tower shooting at the University of Texas. 
Wilkison was also the General Manager of Photo Processors at the LBJ Broadcasting Corporation, which he later took over and renamed Cenetex Film Labs. In addition to his camera work and film processing, his work at the station also included direction of a number of television film productions.
Outside of KTBC, Wilkison shot, edited, and processed Longhorn football game footage for the University of Texas, a partnership that lasted nearly 30 years.    
Recognizing the historical value of film and news footage, Wilkison kept the material, later contributing hundreds of reels to the Texas Archive of the Moving Image's collection.