NPR logo

Rise and Fall of the Scopitone Jukebox

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5630027/5630028" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Rise and Fall of the Scopitone Jukebox

Pop Culture

Rise and Fall of the Scopitone Jukebox

Rise and Fall of the Scopitone Jukebox

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5630027/5630028" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Scopitone was already a huge hit in France when it was introduced to America in 1964, at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel. hide caption

toggle caption

The Scopitone was already a huge hit in France when it was introduced to America in 1964, at the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel.

In the hip and swinging days of the 1960s, a strange contraption called the Scopitone jukebox seemed poised to be the next big thing.

The machine the size of a refrigerator projected short films — precursors to modern music videos — on a 26-inch screen.

Independent producer Jennifer Sharpe investigates the rise and fall of the Scopitone jukebox — and finds a rare, working model not far from her home in Southern California.

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.