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Looking back on KTLA's 70 years in Los Angeles

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This week the local TV station, KTLA will turn 70 years old. At its beginning, it was the first station to hit the airwaves and set the course for TV in L.A.

It's the television station that can evoke fond memories of weekend afternoons in the 1980s. KTLA 5 and watching classic movies on programs like Family Film Festival.

KTLA channel 5 got its start 70 years ago this month. In January of 1947, Paramount Pictures and engineer Klaus Landsberg launched the first commercial television in LA.

KTLA was the first station to hit the airwaves and set the course for T.V. in L.A. with a mix of talk shows, wrestling, game shows, and standout music and children's programming. The pioneering station was an early showcase for Lawrence Welk, Jack LaLanne, and Beany & Cecil, and to this day is the home of L.A.'s most watched news shows.  

To celebrate this city's first tv station, LA Magazine editor Chris Nichols is hosting a party Thursday night at the Hollywood Heritage Museum.

Among the honorees is the man who hosted the Family Film Festival… as well as the station's beloved Popeye Show: Tom Hatten. 

Hatten and Nichols stopped by to speak with Alex Cohen about the event and to reflect on the station's 70 years.

Alex managed to get an original squiggle illustration from Hatten himself.

Tom Hatten drew Popeye out of Alex Cohen's squiggle, much like how he used to do with children when he hosted the Popeye show.
KPCC/Alex Cohen
Tom Hatten drew Popeye out of Alex Cohen's squiggle, much like how he used to do with children when he hosted the Popeye show.

To hear the full segment, click the play button above.

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