Adult and Family Entertainment of the 1950's and 1960's

Entertainment: the action of providing or being provided with amusement or enjoyment.


what the common television would of looked liked in the 50's and 60's.

The television was a status symbol during the 1950's. Television struggled to become a national mass media in the 1950's, but became a cultural force in the 60's. The television became popular in the 1950's because of the increase in broadcasting and the variety of options in shows. Between 1949 and 1969, the number of households in the U.S. with at least one TV set rose from less than a million to 44 million. Between 1959 and 1970, the percentage of households in the U.S. with at least one TV went from 88 % to 96 %. A massive spike in sales was thought to be because of the baby boom, a growing economy and an increase of suburban lifestyle.

Some Popular Television Shows from the 50's and 60's are:

  • The Ed Sullivan Show
  • I Love Lucy
  • Looney Tunes
  • The Three Stooges Show


During the 1950's and 1960's movies were a big part of culture and the social experience. Around this time, the movies that were made and released in the 50's and 60's would later on be known as classics from Hollywood's golden age.

Some iconic movie stars were:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Audrey Hepburn
  • James Stewart
  • Judy Garland
  • Frank Sinatra

Cinema: Cinema attendance decreased as more families purchased televisions and began spending more family time at home. As the demand of purchased theater tickets decreased, cinemas attempted to win back their audiences by offering new innovative features. These features included: Technicolour, wide screens, stereo sound, and 3D which became much more common in theaters in Australia.

Drive-In Theaters: In the late 1950's and early 1960's drive-in theaters reached the peak of their popularity. Drive-in theaters were very popular with the large amount of teens from the baby boom. With the rise in the television and cable networks drive-ins slowly lost business and fell off the cultural map.


Magazines were used by majority of the population in the 1950's and 60's to keep them informed and in the know how about the ever changing culture.

Life magazine was one of the most popular and common magazine of the 1950's. It showed the "American Experience" and shaped the western culture throughout the 1950's and 60's.

Unfortunately with the boom of the television, print media began to fall to the side as media could be updated in a moments notice within the comfort of your own home.
With all the demand for televisions, hundreds of different models of televisions were created between 1950 and 1960.


Even though TV programs in the 50's and 60's were becoming increasingly popular, the radio remained the basis of Canadian entertainment, and catered to the employment needs of musicians as well as satisfying music listeners' expectations.

Programs of orchestral, choral, recital, and chamber music were presented from CBC studios across the country in large quantity, not only for adult audiences but also in many broadcasts fitted to the needs of school classrooms.


The new record technologies such as the 45 RPM single, the 33 and 1/3 RPM long playing album, 45 RPM jukeboxes, along with solid body electric guitars and electric bass guitars emerged. The rapid adaptation of these new technologies change the way people create and listen to music. It changed what people were listening to on the radio and jukeboxes, along with the records they were buying.

Some well known popular musicians from the 1950's and 1960's included the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley etc

Other Entertainment in the 1950's and 1960's

Comic books were very popular in the 1950's and 1960's and American toys like hula hoops began to gain popularity and become a trend.

A popular past time was swimming at beaches and learning how to surf. Because of the popularity of swimming and surfing at beaches, lifeguards began to patrol beaches and swimsuits evolved into a more comfortable and practical design.

Reba Sharma - CHC 2DP - Mr.Pupulin - Friday, June 6th, 2014

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