1965. On January 10, 1967, ABC-TV broadcast the one hour color special “The Beatles at Shea Stadium,” a chronicle of the group’s record-breaking August 15, 1965, concert. If you were in front of your television on that Tuesday night in ’67, you may have seen this very same copy of the ABC-TV special.
The show was simultaneously broadcast from Los Angeles and New York City to ABC-TV affiliates nationwide. Our consignor has recently acquired the original 35mm color film on three reels from the assistant to the film’s editor that originated from Los Angeles. The lead-in film of each reel has handwritten notes. On one reel is written “The Beatles At Shea Stadium…1/10/67…Los Angeles Air Print…Color…Tape…R-3 Tail,” on another “Tail R-2.” “SMPTE UNIVERSAL LEADER” is also visible on the lead-in. The amount of film on each reel varies since commercials were inserted between segments.
This film does not come with copyright and can not be copied or distributed. Apple Corp. does own the rights, but to this point have opted not to release the historic event commercially. And what a shame that is! For those of you that have seen the segments included in “The Beatles Anthology” or John Lennon’s “Imagine,” the sound and film clarity far surpasses any of the many bootleg copies that have circulated for years.
This 35mm Los Angeles air print master does, of course, hold great historical interest to a collector. Maybe that collector is you.