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TV Terror of MechaGodzilla

3.29.2022

I made an amazing discovery during a Google search. I found this wonderful The Terror of MechaGodzilla advertisement in The Philadelphia Inquirer TV Week from the week of October 29, 1978. This is amazing piece of local television history that documents the first time this Godzilla movie appeared on television in my hometown. Now I can more accurately reconstructed a moment in my childhood and deepen my memories of nostalgia growing up Godzilla. The Terror of MechaGodzilla was released in theaters in March of 1977, two years after its release in Japan in 1975.

The Philadelphia Inquirer TV Week, October 29, 1978 (Source: “Tonight’s 8 o’clock movie – The Terror of MechaGodzilla. First time on TV!” WKBS-TV Philadelphia (1978) posted by byu/Keltik on reddit.com)

When I stumbled across this ad in the early morning hours, I frantically searched across the web for a copy of that issue of TV Week. When I found what I believed was the right TV Week issue, I also found a corresponding issue from Lancaster County which is right outside of Philadelphia. And I’m glad that I did, because my eBay purchase of the former ended with disappointment when the seller was unable to find it in his inventory. Fortunately, the Lancaster Sunday News TV Week listed The Terror of MechaGodzilla on Friday, November 3 at 8:00 PM on channel 48’s 8 O’Clock Movie on page 43. Because TV Week contained all the Philadelphia listings, it fully corroborated The Philadelphia Inquirer ad above.

Lancaster TV Week (Oct 29 – Nov 4, 1978) cover

The Terror of MechaGodzilla aired on the local favorite UHF WKBS Channel 48, once home of Wee Willie Webber, Creature Double Feature and other great programs. The year 1978 was a special year marking the beginning of the Godzilla toy boom with the release of the Mattel Shogun Godzilla and Godzilla’s Gang figures.

Lancaster TV Week (Oct 29 – Nov 4, 1978) listing for The Terror of MechaGodzilla (1977 US)

I was watching The Terror of MechaGodzilla on that day for the first time. Armed with my dad’s tape cassette recorder I didn’t miss a moment of movie action. It was not until later in the 80s with the advent of the VCR that I secured the movie video for the future. Here is the opening of The Terror of MechaGOdzilla with its H.G. Saperstein prologue that aired on Theater Bizarre on channel 29 WTAF-TV that I recorded.

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