Lux Video Theatre

Lux Video Theatre is an American television anthology series that was produced from 1950 until 1957. The series presented both comedy and drama in original teleplays, as well as abridged adaptations of films and plays.

Lux Video Theatre
1954 production of A Place in the Sun on the series
Presented byJames Mason (1954-1955)
Otto Kruger (1955-1956)
Gordon MacRae (1956-1957)
Ken Carpenter (1955-1957)
Country of originUSA
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes336
Running time24-25 mins. (1950-1954)
47-50 mins. (1954-1957)
Original networkCBS (1950-1954)
NBC (1954-1957)
Picture formatBlack-and-white
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseOctober 2, 1950 (1950-10-02) 
September 12, 1957 (1957-09-12)
Related showsLux Radio Theater
Lux Playhouse


The Lux Video Theatre was a spin-off from the successful Lux Radio Theater series broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-1935) and CBS (1935–55).

Lux Video Theatre began as a live 30-minute Monday evening CBS series on October 2, 1950, switching to Thursday nights during August, 1951.[1] In September 1953, the show relocated from New York to Hollywood. In August 1954, it moved to NBC as an hour-long show on Thursday nights, telecast until September 12, 1957. With the introduction of the one-hour format and the move to Hollywood, abridged versions of popular films were often used as the basis for shows.

To introduce each act and interview the stars at the conclusion, NBC added a series of regular hosts: James Mason[2] (1954–55), Otto Kruger (1955–56), Gordon MacRae (1956–57) and Ken Carpenter (1955-57). Kruger recalled:

All I do is come up and tell the people who I am and what we're up to. I don't have a single thing to do with producing, directing or casting the show. Yet I get letters every week complimenting me on my production, my directing, my casting, even my script adaptations.[3]

New episodes were broadcast during the summer as the Summer Video Theatre. In 1957-58, Lux shifted sponsorship to a half-hour musical variety show, The Lux Show Starring Rosemary Clooney.

For the 1958-59 season, the dramatic series was brought back with a new name, Lux Playhouse. The new series alternated weeks with Schlitz Playhouse.

The series finished in the Nielsen ratings at #30 in the 1950-1951 season and #25 in 1955-1956.[4]

Notable guest stars

Among those cast in the productions were:


  1. Lux Video Theatre (PDF). Radio-TV Mirror. October 1951. pp. 46–49. Retrieved 29 January 2012. (PDF)
  2. Becker, Christine (October 1, 2005). "Televising Film Stardom in the 1950s". Framework. Retrieved 21 January 2015 via Questia Online Library.
  3. Becker, Christine. It's the Pictures That Got Small: Hollywood Film Stars on 1950s Television. Wesleyan University Press, 2009.
  4. " TV Ratings".
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