lux radio theater
These words introduced broadcast radio’s biggest and most important dramatic program. For two decades, The Lux Radio Theater presented radio versions of movie attractions, current or coming, while the biggest names in cinema played the leading roles.
The Lux Radio Theater debuted in 1934, dramatizing Broadway plays from New York. In an effort to improve ratings, the show moved West in June 1936 to capitalize on Hollywood talent and popular movie fare.
Lux’s extravagant productions were a huge success. Renowned director Cecil B. DeMille—whose films were synonymous with spectacle—was brought in to host the show. Stars were routinely paid up to $5,000 to appear and over 50 actors, musicians and technicians were on hand every week for productions which ranged from "The Thin Man" to "The Jazz Singer" to "The African Queen."
Before the show left the air in 1955, DeMille—and subsequent hosts William Keighley and Irving Cummings—welcomed nearly every major movie and radio star to the Lux microphone, including Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Bing Crosby, Katherine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Roy Rogers and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
The Lux Radio Theater was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.