Give-A-Show Projector

Kenner Give-A-Show Projector

Grab some popcorn and dim the lights – it’s show time! And best of all, no movie theater required. Thanks to the Kenner Give-A-Show Projector, you could be the envy of your friends and be the proprietor of your very own movie theater.

Well, sort of…

Back in the days when a home VCR was inconceivable, the Give-A-Show Projector was an innovative way for kids to bring the movies home. Well, not exactly movies, but rather a slide show (hey, let’s not be picky, we’re talking 1960 here). This was groundbreaking stuff at the time. The Give-A-Show Projector basically amounted to a combination slide projector and flashlight that had a slot on the side for you to insert a strip of film that contained six frames of action packed entertainment. All you needed was a blank wall to project upon and sufficient darkness to be able to see them. Pretty simple stuff really, but entertaining enough to keep this product on store shelves for over three decades.

Of course, as cool as the technology might have been at the time, it certainly didn’t hurt that there was plenty of popular content available, thanks to some extensive licensing agreements. No matter who your favorites were – Woody Woodpecker, Bugs Bunny, Yogi Bear, Mighty Mouse, Rocky and Bullwinkle … even Star Wars – there was probably a filmstrip or two to suit your tastes.

Just like in Hollywood, the silent era would eventually come to a close as sound was introduced to the Give-A-Show Projector, first by playing a record along with the slides, and later, one of those newfangled cassette tapes. A few years after that, the Hand Held Stereo Viewer would be introduced, which bore a bit of a resemblance to another toy you might remember, the View-Master.

The Give-A-Show Projector was simply one of those great ideas that lasted much longer than anyone could have anticipated. It was easy to pull out of the closet when mom wouldn’t let you go to the movies and provided hours of enjoyment for the whole gang. Not too bad for a mere flashlight and slide projector.

If you were once the proud owner of a Kenner Give-A-Show Projector, or if you were ever invited over to a friend’s house for an afternoon of Give-A-Show entertainment, we welcome all of your memories in our comments section.

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3 Responses to “Give-A-Show Projector”

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  1. Rod Whitenack says:

    I had the “Star Wars” Give-A-Show that Kenner put out. I used to shake the film strip around during the space battle frames to give the scene a sense of action. I had always wanted my own movie theater. My favorite movie theater related toy (aside from our 8mm projector which was used for Summer screenings of Mighty Mouse and Spider-Man cartoons and Halloween screenings of Universal Monster shorts) was my Snoopy Drive-In Theater. It was a hand cranked mechanism that was shaped like a drive-in screen and you could buy film cartridges to show on the screen. I had a ton of cartoons, including the Mickey Mouse “Lonesome Ghosts” reel and a bunch of Saturday Morning cartoons like “The Great Grape Ape”, but the best reels were the “Star Wars” reel and–the most inappropriate film strip for kids of all time–the infamous “Alien” reel. We could watch Sigourney Weaver strip down to her space skivvies in slow motion and, incredibly, still frame a scene where Yaphet Kotto gets his brains bashed out by the Alien! That’s a good toy!

  2. SEC says:

    Christmas 1964, I got a Kenner Give a Show projector. Great childhood memories watching Bozo and Mr. Magoo on the bedroom wall….

  3. chris osbourne says:

    Mum was cleaning out the shed the other day and handed me my old Give-a-Show Projector with a stack of slides. I thought it had gone to the rubbish years ago. Brought back hours of fun in my bedroom as a kid watching these on my wall. Simple fun, but great!

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