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Collectors’ items: Ticket stubs from the 1940s & 1950s

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Collectors’ items?

Joel Tator, a director with KNBC in beautiful downtown Burbank, has spent 17 years collecting tickets to Hollywood radio and TV shows, and he doesn’t even bother to see them. When he was 11 years old, Tator went to a performance of “The Gene Autry Show,” keeping the ticket as a souvenir.

That was in 1953, when network radio was dying and network television was flourishing. Tator and his friends went to lots of shows back then, collecting tickets the way other boys harvested ticket stubs and programs after football games.

As Tator’s collection grew, he eventually stopped going to shows. He got his tickets from the networks, found others in the street, and even took over his friends’ collections when they lost interest in them.

Today, he has something like 10,000 tickets. His oldest is for a Dec. 22, 1942 performance by Harry James and His Music Makers, who then labored for the greater glory of CBS.

[Above]: a nostalgic sampling from Tator’s treasure trove.

Ticket stubs include: NBC television show – Fred Alle, Two for the Money; The Colgate Comedy Hour presents Martin & Lewis; Dotto, an exciting new TV quiz show starring Jack Narz; NBC Studio 4, October 17 1958, An Evening with Fred Astaire; The De Soto-Plymouth… present Groucho Marx in You Bet Your Life (Children under 14 will not be admitted); NBC Television Theatre 1735 No Vine Street, Hollywood, NBC Presents The George Gobel Show; NBC Premiere Show Jackpot Bowling starring Milton Berle; Take a Good Look starring Ernie Kovacs, Panelists Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cesar Romero, Jim Backus; ABC TV presents Dr IQ – Audience participation; Philip Morris & Proctor and Gamble present the Lucille Ball – Desi Arnaz show I Love Lucy; Reynolds Metal Company presents Mister Peepers starring Wally Cox; CBS Studio Building, NYC, Arthur Godfrey Time.

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