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 languageEnglish
No. of seasons7
No. of episodes336
Running time24–25 mins. (1950–1954)
47–50 mins. (1954–1957)
Original networkCBS (1950–1954)
NBC (1954–1957)
Original releaseOctober 2, 1950 (1950-10-02) –
September 12, 1957 (1957-09-12)
Lux Radio Theater
Lux Playhouse

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.


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 (1935–1955).

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.[2] On August 26, 1954, it debuted on NBC as an hour-long show on Thursday nights,[3] 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[4] (1954–55), Otto Kruger (1955–56), Gordon MacRae (1956–57) and Ken Carpenter (1955–1957). 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.[5]

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. Those broadcasts began on October 3, 1958, and ended on September 18, 1959.[2]

The series finished in the Nielsen ratings at #30 in the 1950–51 season and #25 in 1955–56.[6]


Selected Episodes of Lux Video Theater
Date Title Actor(s)
November 20, 1950 "Goodnight Please" Franchot Tone[7]
November 27, 1950 "The Token" Wanda Hendrix, Dean Harens, June Dayton[3]: 205 
December 25, 1950 "A Child Is Born" Thomas Mitchell, Fay Bainter[3]
May 14, 1951 "Local Storm" Betty Field[3]: 215 
September 24, 1951 "A Matter of Life" Edmond O'Brien[3]: 224 
August 11, 1952 "The Orchard" Geraldine Brooks, Skip Homeier, Anne Seymour, Henry Jones, Andy Duggan[8]
August 18, 1952 "You Be the Bad Guy" MacDonald Carey, Biff Elliot, William Harrigan, Joe Verdi, Joe De Santis, Rudy Bond, Robert Dale Martin, Frank Grosso, Vincent Barbi, Christopher Barbery, Buzzy Martin, Bettye Ackerman, P. Jay Sidney, Andy Sabilia[9]
August 25, 1952 "The Magnolia Touch" Nina Foch, Donald Cook, June Dayton, Jamie Smith[10]
October 6, 1952 "Legacy of Love" Corinne Calvet, Steven Hill[11]
October 20, 1952 "The Country Lawyer" Thomas Mitchell, Russell Collins, Whit Bissell, Harry Antrim, Dorothy Blackburn, Charles Thompson, John McGovern[12]
October 27, 1952 "Autumn Nocturne" Lilli Palmer, Joseph Anthony, Frank Tweddell, Anita Bayless[13]
November 3, 1952 "The Face of Autumn" Pat O'Brien, Anna Berger, Ann Seymour, Frank Campanella, William L. Erwin, Tony Canzoneri[14]
November 10, 1952 "Something to Celebrate" Paul Lukas, Signe Hasso, E. a. Krumschmidt, anna Appel, Nils Asther, Paul Andor, Alfred Hesse, Eva Gerson, Walter Echler, Constance Hoffman, Ella Monnard, Sidney Lee, Jane Sparks, Bruce Reynolds, Mildred Reynolds, Josie Robertson, Walter Teschan[15]
November 17, 1952 "The Man Who Struck It Rich" Barry Fitzgerald, Arthur Shields, Una O'Conner, Rex O'Malley, Barry MacCollum, Peg Mayo, Floyd Buckley, Naomi Riordan, William Portrude, Ann Sullivan, Tom McElhaney, Neil Fitzgerald, Gina Shield[16]
August 26, 1954 "To Each His Own" Dorothy McGuire, Mel Ferrer[3]

Notable guest stars

A 1951 rehearsal for the program. From left: Margaret O'Brien, Pat Gaye, Anna Lee, and script girl Audrey Peters

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. ^ a b Brooks, Tim; Marsh, Earle F. (24 June 2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 823. ISBN 978-0-307-48320-1. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hawes, William (16 November 2015). Live Television Drama, 1946-1951. McFarland. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-4766-0849-5. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  4. ^ Becker, Christine (October 1, 2005). "Televising Film Stardom in the 1950s". Framework.[dead link]
  5. ^ Becker, Christine. It's the Pictures That Got Small: Hollywood Film Stars on 1950s Television. Wesleyan University Press, 2009.
  6. ^ " TV Ratings".
  7. ^ "Television Highlights of the Week". The Boston Globe. November 19, 1950. p. 20-A. Retrieved May 4, 2021 – via
  8. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. August 10, 1952. p. 6. Retrieved April 11, 2022.
  9. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. August 17, 1952. p. 6. Retrieved April 14, 2022.
  10. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. August 24, 1952. p. 8. Retrieved April 17, 2022.
  11. ^ "Monday October 6 (Cont'd)". Ross Reports. October 5, 1952. p. 9. Retrieved February 6, 2022.
  12. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. October 19, 1952. p. 9. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  13. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. October 26, 1952. p. 8. Retrieved March 8, 2022.
  14. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 2, 1952. p. 8. Retrieved March 19, 2022.
  15. ^ "Lux Video Theater". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 9, 1952. p. 9. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  16. ^ "Lux Video Theatre". Ross Reports on Television including The Television Index. November 16, 1952. p. 8. Retrieved March 30, 2022.