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You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1948 - On the Radio - Hallmark Playhouse
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Welcome to Retroville! It's 1948!
We're all familiar with the Hallmark Hall of Fame. Long regarded as wholesome, family movies presented in Hallmark's classic format and always sponsored by the world-famous Hallmark stores, Hallmark actually had its beginning on radio.

The original program started life as Hallmark Playhouse. Though it experienced several variations on its original theme, one thing has remained true for Hallmark presentations since their early days--everyone could watch (or listen) and parents could be entertained as well as the kids.

Main Characters:

  • varied

Show Concept:

  • Hallmark Playhouse presented works of literature similar to the Theater Guild on the Air. Many of the performances included stars of the day from radio and the movies. The show remained unchanged until 1953, when it was reborn as Hallmark Hall of Fame and began presenting true stories of famous people in history.

Hosts or Guests:

  • Author James Hilton was the original host for Playhouse
  • Lionel Barrymore became host for Hallmark Hall of Fame in 1953
  • Some of the stars who appeared:
    • Irene Dunne
    • Lionel Barrymore
    • Jane Wyman
    • Gregory Peck
    • Barry Fitzgerald
    • Fred MacMurray
    • Roddy McDowall
    • Claudette Colbert
    • Ethel Barrymore
    • Douglas Fairbanks, Jr
    • Rosalind Russell
    • Joan Fontaine

Writers or Producers:

  • unknown


  • Hallmark Cards

Networks or stations:

  • CBS (1948-1953 as Playhouse)(1953-1955 as Hall of Fame)

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered on June 10, 1948
  • Final episode on February 1, 1953 for Playhouse
  • Hall of Fame premiered on February 8, 1953
  • Final episode of Hall of Fame on February 13, 1955
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