KRMA's Inaugural Night
On January 30, 1956, KRMA beamed its first two hours of programming into Denver homes. Most of the programs were only 15 minutes long. Station logs from the time show one program was on film, one kinescope, and the rest were broadcast live from the auto body shop studio.
At 6:45pm, the very first program aired was "Thimble Theater." The live program featured Denver teacher Earl Reum and his puppets, Columbine and Watahea. Earl performed magic tricks and provided clues to the puppets who were doing a treasure hunt.
Next came "Power Unlimited," a film produced by the U.S. government as part of a series called the "Magic of the Atom." This episode featured President Dwight Eisenhower's speech offering peaceful "atoms for all."
Following this was an episode on pet care from the series "Colorado Panorama," produced by Colorado A&M College's School of Veterinary Medicine. Then KRMA aired "Religions of Man," a discussion on faith, and an episode of "Denver Yesterdays," produced by the Denver Public Library on the history of Cheesman Park (formerly a cemetery).
The inaugural evening ended with the first episode of a history series titled "Redman's America." Produced by Denver University, the program featured Dr. Ruth Underhill, a DU professor, author and anthropologist.
Read "How do you Start a TV Station" for more information on the founding of KRMA.
Did you know?
- Columbine the puppet was a burro, and Watahea was a Native American boy.
- Most programs had to be broadcast live because videotape had not been invented yet.
- The station only broadcast two hours a day.
- In 1956, every broadcast hour cost $140-$150; today it costs $1,300 an hour.
- Station's Archived Memories (SAM) archives of Rocky Mountain PBS