A comment by Phil jogs my memory about the first times I saw television. Bohanan Electric had the first TVs for sale in Cedar Vale. They had one set up in their showroom and there were many folding chairs set up like theater seating for the locals to try out the new medium. The screen was inside the console pointing in an upward direction. You raised the top of the console, which swung upward on hinges at the back, revealing a mirror through which you could view the screen.
Cedar Vale was far from any station so the signal was quite weak. The first TV station was in Tulsa later followed by a station in Wichita. To receive any signal at all required a fairly tall antenna tower and the antenna had to be turned very precisely in the direction of the station, requiring a motorized antenna rotator if you wanted to be able to tune in to both Tulsa and Wichita.
Early programs I remember were Milton Berle and Kookla Fran and Ollie. Of course, there were sporting events such as baseball and wrestling. If it was a good night and the atmosphere was cooperating you could get a picture that was recognizable through the constant snow. On a bad day it was just shadows moving in a blizzard.
It was quite some time before we had a TV in our home. Those who had television sets early on had nightly company as neighbors and friends came to watch. By the time we had a TV they were plentiful enough so that we were not the local theater.
For those of us who are old enough to remember our first TV experiences write in with your comments. What was your first experience with the new medium? When did you get a TV at home? What was it like being the local theater every evening?