FREE! Click here to Join FunTrivia. Thousands of games, quizzes, and lots more!
Quiz about What Should We Do The Television is Broken
Quiz about What Should We Do The Television is Broken

What Should We Do? The Television is Broken! Quiz


What did people do before television? This quiz discusses ten different things people did for entertainment before the era of the black box dominating the lounge room.

A photo quiz by Creedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. History Trivia
  6. »
  7. Nostalgia

Author
Creedy
Time
3 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
368,100
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Very Easy
Avg Score
10 / 10
Plays
5370
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: kjshear (10/10), matthewpokemon (10/10), Guest 75 (10/10).
-
Question 1 of 10
1. Before the era of television, this was a favourite game that was once played in many forms by families, friends, and even in tournaments run by different clubs everywhere. What is its generic term? Hint


photo quiz
Question 2 of 10
2. Before television, it was common practice for many families to go to a spacious building in their town to watch images such as these on a big screen. What was a common name for these buildings? Hint


photo quiz
Question 3 of 10
3. Once this old hall would have been brand new, painted and bright. Long before television was invented, and usually on a Saturday night, adults, wearing their best dresses, suits, and special shoes, went to halls such as these in their hundreds. What did they do there on those evenings? Hint


photo quiz
Question 4 of 10
4. Another form of entertainment before television saw families gathering round this peculiar looking box, listening to various shows. What was this box called? Hint


photo quiz
Question 5 of 10
5. Well what a sad old sight is this semi-neglected old building. On certain days of the week, in the days before television, places such as these were packed both morning and evening for various functions. What, however, were their main purpose? Hint


photo quiz
Question 6 of 10
6. Children too had many forms of entertainment in the days before television. You could almost count on the fact that every backyard would have one of these. What is it? Hint


photo quiz
Question 7 of 10
7. This is a form of entertainment once enjoyed by thousands of people on a daily basis, and girls in particular, just as television was beginning to unleash its deadly power. What were this giant rings called? Hint


photo quiz
Question 8 of 10
8. Boys in particular loved this game and, instead of staying indoors watching television, could be seen instead after school and on weekends playing this game everywhere. What was this game called? Hint


photo quiz
Question 9 of 10
9. A popular gadget once regularly seen in the hands of hundreds of people, long before and leading up to the invention of television, was this unusual object. What is its name? Hint


photo quiz
Question 10 of 10
10. After the introduction of early movies, and before television completely gripped the consumer by the throat, places such as these were sold out hours in advance of the show actually starting. What were they called? Hint


photo quiz

Most Recent Scores
Jul 20 2024 : kjshear: 10/10
Jul 19 2024 : matthewpokemon: 10/10
Jul 17 2024 : Guest 75: 10/10
Jul 17 2024 : Guest 24: 10/10
Jul 17 2024 : Guest 173: 10/10
Jul 16 2024 : 1ziggy: 8/10
Jul 15 2024 : Guest 24: 10/10
Jul 15 2024 : Guest 172: 9/10
Jul 14 2024 : Guest 73: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Before the era of television, this was a favourite game that was once played in many forms by families, friends, and even in tournaments run by different clubs everywhere. What is its generic term?

Answer: Cards

Card clubs were once very big throughout the western world. On several nights a week various venues were packed, as pairs, singles or quads lined up to play the different card tournaments going. Games included euchre, bridge, 500, gin rummy and many others along these lines. In Australia, in particular, euchre tournaments were very popular. Once the rules were understood, this was an easy, relaxed game to play. The prizes weren't very big for any of the tournaments, but that's not the reason people played. It was for the fun and fellowship of it all - and of course bragging rights for the winner. Families and friends also held private tournaments on a regular basis, as this was an excellent way for people to keep in touch with each other, socialise and have fun.

Then along came television and the membership for all the tournaments dropped off drastically. People instead were mesmerised by that little box in their lounge rooms, and instead of going out to meet each other, sat in front of it instead, eyes glued to the screen, and with its flickering light playing over their faces for hours. The advantage was it was always available at any time of the day or night. The disadvantage was its isolating factor.
2. Before television, it was common practice for many families to go to a spacious building in their town to watch images such as these on a big screen. What was a common name for these buildings?

Answer: Picture Theatres

Almost every town, big or small, once had what was known as a picture theatre. This is where the current movies were shown on several nights of the week and most weekends. Saturday mornings and afternoons were the times when children's movies were shown, and in the evenings more grown-up films were on. Saturdays in particular were usually sold out before the screening began and people had to be turned away, such was the demand for this form of entertainment. If a theatre wasn't built specifically to show films, church halls were rented out instead, and fold away picture screens were used for the purpose. Amazingly so, a large white sheet could also be pinned to the wall and used as a substitute screen as well.

There were always two movies shown each session, with a break in between. That was when people dashed out to buy sweets, popcorn, hot chips, ice-creams in cones, or drinks from a nearby caf. To be readmitted for the second half of the screening, their ticket stubs had to be presented to the usherette or usher at the door. These people were dressed in dinky uniforms for easy identification, and, as the lights dimmed prior to the movies beginning, they ushered people to their seats with torches. Most theatres, particularly the bigger ones, had giant velvet curtains which opened as the film was about to begin, and comfortable padded seats to sit in, for maximum enjoyment and comfort. Then along came television, and those lovely old theatres gradually began to close down everywhere because of lack of patronage. People switched from watching the movies on a big screen to watching them, and other shows, on tiny screens about 18 inches wide. The advantage was in the choice of program. The disadvantage was the loss of socialisation with others.
3. Once this old hall would have been brand new, painted and bright. Long before television was invented, and usually on a Saturday night, adults, wearing their best dresses, suits, and special shoes, went to halls such as these in their hundreds. What did they do there on those evenings?

Answer: Dancing

In the days before television, and even before the movies, one of the highlights of the working person's week was the Saturday night dance. In the country, places such as this old hall sprang to life then. All the women turned up in their prettiest dresses, wearing special dance shoes, and carrying plates of food. The men also togged up in their best suits, shiny shoes and with hair slicked back with hair oil. The band, such as it was, may have consisted of a drummer, a piano player and a fiddle player, and if the town was really lucky, a few woodwind or brass instrument players. Sometimes though it was just a piano player. In the cities, they often had much bigger bands and much bigger, posher halls.

All the old dance steps and moves took place on the wooden floors of the halls (sprinkled with sawdust to stop the dancers slipping over) during these evenings, with breaks now and then for supper. This was usually sandwiches, cake and cups of tea for the ladies, and sandwiches, cake and perhaps a careful glass of beer or two for the men. Hundreds of people turned up for these weekly events all year round. It was the one time people could really socialise with one another, particularly in the country. The parking areas were filled with either new fangled cars, or patiently waiting horses harnessed up to buggies, from the time the hall opened for the night, until it closed late that evening. The most definite advantage dancing had over television was in the exercise and the fun.
4. Another form of entertainment before television saw families gathering round this peculiar looking box, listening to various shows. What was this box called?

Answer: Radio

Radios could be described as the thin edge of the wedge of the forthcoming advent of television. They also had the power to keep people gathered round their little electric box for hours, where they listened to music and other programs such as game shows, quiz competitions (what am I saying?!) and ongoing serials. They were a very necessary means of mass communication if newspapers were not readily on hand with the latest news. One could even listen to their favourite sports being played at various times of the week as well. So in that regard radios had all the appeal of the later televisions. The difference was they weren't visual, but auditory only.

One could, for example, leave the radio on in the background and still carry on with their daily lives to a degree. There were no pictures and moving images to keep one mesmerised in the one spot or facing in one direction. Nor was the choice of program as wide as those eventually shown on television. Sometimes, too, the reception was so bad that all listeners could hear was a pile of crackles. Before television then, radio played an important part in the lives of many. It made them feel part of their society if they were unable to physically do so. The isolated big cattle and sheep stations, for example, found the radio to be a lifesaver in some cases, and small country towns also found it to be a bridge that connected them to the rest of their country and the world. Radio was a tool as well as a toy in that regard. Television, instead, has become the master of the household. So easy to reach out and switch it off, but impossible to do so. Its lure was and is irresistible. In a very real sense too, television, coupled with the convenience of take away foods, and the lack of exercise associated with its viewing, has played a very dangerous part in what has become an obesity epidemic in the western world.
5. Well what a sad old sight is this semi-neglected old building. On certain days of the week, in the days before television, places such as these were packed both morning and evening for various functions. What, however, were their main purpose?

Answer: Church services

Churches, with their usually attached halls, weren't simply for Sunday worship. These buildings, particularly in the smaller towns, were also the hub of social activity in addition to Sunday worship. Sadly, in many places, this is no longer the case. The church itself was normally, but not always, kept apart for weddings, funerals, baptisms and Sunday services, but the hall, which was either attached to the back or side of the main building, was where the social activities of a parish took place. There were bingo evenings, cake fairs, church fetes, parish business, choir practice, local drama group practice, CWA meetings, debating clubs, a centre for visiting baby nurses and doctors, local town committees, small libraries and a host of other activities once carried out in these spotlessly maintained buildings.

The church itself, particularly in the days before television, also featured prominently in the lives of its local residents. It is indeed no exaggeration to say that there, too, there was sometimes standing room only. People came from miles around every Sabbath, dressed in their Sunday best, to be continually reminded, by the local member of the clergy, of their moral and spiritual obligations to the Lord. Children fidgeted, adults frowned, then quickly resumed their Sunday expressions, lonely widows lost their sad expressions, weary farmers and workmen rested for a couple of hours, housewives planned the next day's menu in their heads - yet all continued to sit on those well worn pews, year after year, as the sermons rang forth, wearing nothing but expressions of devout attention on their faces. Following the service, subdued talk went on among the locals as they milled around the entrance to the church, the minister was congratulated, and then off they'd all go home, for another week, happy in the assurance that God was in his place and all was right with the world once more. It was a happy and secure time.

Today, and sadly so, many of these old buildings are now empty, neglected, echoing, filled with nothing but memories - or, in the bigger towns, sold and turned into houses, trendy restaurants, and small sets of convenience shops. It's all really rather sad. Television isn't really to blame for the huge drop in church membership and its associated social life, but it, like so many other changes in the western world, has most definitely played its flickering, deadly part. It's so much easier, after all, to stay home and watch the cricket or the football or Mickey Mouse on its seductive screen, on that weekly day of rest, than to dress up and drag the complaining children off to church. The world has switched channels.
6. Children too had many forms of entertainment in the days before television. You could almost count on the fact that every backyard would have one of these. What is it?

Answer: Tree house or cubby house

The good old cubby house - or its more luxurious high rise relative, the tree house - featured strongly in the lives of children everywhere in the days of long ago. It was there every afternoon and most weekends that children spent hours of endless fun. Tree houses, obviously, were built in trees, either by the children themselves, or by a sympathetic older relatives with happy memories of their own childhood. The cubby, on the other hand, tended to be made from scratch by children themselves. Who knows which provided the most fun in its creation. One strongly favours the cubby, however. Both edifices could be quite impressive affairs, complete with shelves, flooring, windows and furniture, or as simple as a few strategically placed boards against a wall or tree, or even an old discarded tent that had once seen better days. The secret was not in the structure, but in the dreams and games they inspired. They were the domain of children, and there children reigned supreme.

Tree houses and cubby houses can still be seen in the occasional back yard today, and they're excellent for enticing children away from the sedentary life of television watching. Even more importantly, because of the games children play, as in the days before the ubiquitous black box, they encourage running around, chasing, other forms of physical activity, imagination, socialisation skills and creativity. Television, as its enthusiasts are wont to inform us gravely, is an excellent form of education for children, and that would indeed be true IF it was used for that purpose. Therein lies the rub, for, even if used solely for education purposes, it can only, at best, be described as passive, and not active, education.
7. This is a form of entertainment once enjoyed by thousands of people on a daily basis, and girls in particular, just as television was beginning to unleash its deadly power. What were this giant rings called?

Answer: Hula hoops

The hula hoop was "invented" in 1958 by Arthur K. Melin and Richard Knerr just as the appeal of television was beginning to grow in force. This form of entertainment had been around much longer than that, however, for it is at least two thousand years old. It was greatly valued by early native American peoples in particular, where it was interwoven into their dance stories. Moving forward to the 1950s though, and after its re-invention, the hula hoop held the appeal of the lounge room black box at bay for several years before, like so many other forms of early entertainment, it too was gradually overtaken by its insidious rival.

Managing a hoop was a skill that was sought and mastered by both children and adults alike, but perhaps by girls more than anybody else. The lure behind its appeal to the fairer sex was the solemn assurance that twirling a hoop around their waists would help give them slimmer waistlines, and thus make their bodies curvier - a highly sought after target during that era in history.

Originally they were made of rattan, woven grasses or other natural products, but when the now plastic re-introduced hula hoop hit the markets in the late 1950s, they were so popular that 100 million were sold in the next two years alone. There were hula hoop competitions held everywhere, with more and more complex tricks presented at each. Lunch time school yards were filled with twirling, twisting children, and after school hours followed suit. Then, as quickly as it had hit the markets, the hoop fad died out again. Since that time, the craze had cropped up again from time to time, but never to the extent of its heyday back in the days when "hooping cough" spread everywhere. In the interim, though, the appeal of the television set began to grow stronger and stronger.
8. Boys in particular loved this game and, instead of staying indoors watching television, could be seen instead after school and on weekends playing this game everywhere. What was this game called?

Answer: Marbles

The game of marbles was another very popular lunch time and after school hours game played by children, but particularly by boys. Like the hula hoop this game also goes back over several thousand years, with ancient marbles made of clay and stone frequently found in homes uncovered on archaeological sites. Then, as it was two thousand years later, competition was fierce as boys vied with one another in the various game played inside that large chalk ring drawn on the ground. That was all that was required to play - a piece of chalk and a bag of marbles. Easy, inexpensive, fun in the fresh air.

The first mass produced marbles of the modern age were made in the US in the late 1890s, and from that time until the advent of the television set, barely a day would pass without groups of boys being seen here, there and everywhere playing this game. The object, more or less, was to aim and then flick one's marble, with the thumb, towards whatever target was on board. Strict rules had to be followed of course and any transgression of these rules was severely frowned upon by the boys taking part in any current game. And they weren't just plain old marbles of all the one size and colour that were used. Perish the thought! Marbles instead came in many different sizes and colours, each with its own particular name. More than thirty different types, sizes, styles and colours in fact, and as many different games to match. Marbles were big business for small fry indeed. Then along came television - and that's when everybody...er...lost their marbles.
9. A popular gadget once regularly seen in the hands of hundreds of people, long before and leading up to the invention of television, was this unusual object. What is its name?

Answer: Yoyo

Old vase paintings going right back to ancient Greece reveal that the yoyo has been around for several thousand years as a form of entertainment, but it is believed that this toy was invented much earlier than that, in ancient China. Whatever the case, it has well and truly stood the test of time as far as keeping people occupied goes, making periodic re-appearances over the centuries that followed, until finally finding its way to the western world. Come 1928, following another upsurge in its popularity, and the yoyo was being mass produced in the united States at the rate of 300,000 a day. Wow!

With a resurgence in demand in the early 1960s, and still with the television taking a back seat in the race to claim the attention of the masses, it is ironic to note that the yoyo was advertised on that very same medium as a wonderful means of entertainment and fun. Up and down went its popularity over the next few year. The yoyo craze and its subsequent competitions and tricks and special moves became an almost obligatory part of every fun day, festival, fete, or children's shows that were once so much a part of daily life. Even well into the 21st century, the yoyo is still relatively popular, with competitions held nationally and internationally every year. Yet, as far as the lure of the television goes, if the two were placed side by side today and people were asked to choose between the two, it would be no competition at all. The yoyo, sadly, would lose. There are only so many tricks it can do. The television, on the other hand, has a constant, endlessly spinning flow of new and different programs and tricks to keep its vast audience mesmerised.
10. After the introduction of early movies, and before television completely gripped the consumer by the throat, places such as these were sold out hours in advance of the show actually starting. What were they called?

Answer: Drive in theatres

One of the saddest casualty sights to be seen today, in its lost struggle to the death with television, is an old abandoned drive in theatre. Seen everywhere at one time, and such was their popularity, the movies displayed at these huge outdoors settings, with their giant screens and thousands of microphone sentinel posts, were frequently sold out hours ahead of time. Instead of the fun of the visit to the local theatre to see a film in an enclosed building, which necessitated a certain amount of dressing up, the outdoor theatres allowed people to pile the family into the car, pyjamas and all, and drive to their nearest location, looking, if they wished, like something the cat dragged in. There, in the comfort of those old cars, they could watch the very latest movie up on a giant screen, with the sound piped into each vehicle from the speakers wired into every nearby post. Life indeed was wonderful. Then, alas, as slowly and inexorably as it killed every other form of pre-television entertainment, television, almost overnight, also killed the drive in theatre.

Just to give you an example of how very, very popular these outdoor theatres were, and if you have the time, this following old newspaper report from 17th February, 1954, which appeared in Australia's Argus Newspaper, describes the arrival of a new theatre in town. Written by Lynn Buckler Walsh, this was reproduced on the internet on 14th February, 2014 on the following site: http://theme.wordpress.com/credits/lynnwalsh.wordpress.com. It's absolutely priceless.

... ... ...

"At dusk this evening "Skyline," Australia's first drive-in theatre, will open in Toorak Road, Burwood, with 1,500 picture-goers snugly seated in their own cars in a ten-acre auditorium. Probably the most interesting development in entertainment here since the advent of sound pictures, the drive-in theatre provides the ultimate in relaxation and comfort for movie patrons.

The key note is informality. Unlike the ordinary cinema-goer, you can smoke to your heart's content, crack peanuts, wear slippers or shorts or a dressing-gown, come unshaven, or do your knitting. What's more, you can bring along liquor - provided it's drunk in moderation. And if you don't care for the movie . . . just settle back for forty winks and snore your head off. You're in your own car and can't disturb a soul.

There are no gossips in the seat behind to irk you, nobody to squeeze past your knees just as the villain draws a bead on the hero. The programme is continuous, and you may come and go as you please.

Husbands who for years have refused to budge out of the home to go to an evening show will relent when they can jump into the car and roll off to the movies without having to "get all dressed up." If it's a night out for the family you just pile into the car, pay at the ticket office without getting out of your seat, and let a "car hop" direct you to your parking spot.

The screen, the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, towers 50ft. high and 34ft. wide at one end of the large enclosure. It is designed to take not only standard 2-D movies, but also technicolor films and 3-D offerings.

A small loudspeaker hangs on a post beside every parking space. You merely, lift it into your car, attach it to your window or steering column, and adjust the volume to suit yourself. Above the loudspeaker's volume control is a small switch which, when pressed, flashes a red light on your parking stand and summons an attendant to carry out your slightest whim.

If you feel peckish during the show, nattily-garbed refreshment boys, travelling through the theatre on tricycles, will serve you with hot-dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks, sweets or cigarettes. But that's not all. If your car develops a mechanical fault there's the specially selected staff of "car hops" who will fix the trouble.

No need to hurry home after the show, either. There are hot and cold meals available in the ultra-modern snack bar inside the big projector-room building.

As each car enters, the theatre attendants give windscreens a thorough cleaning to ensure perfect vision during the show. At the first sign of rain your car's windscreen will be coated with a special glycerine preparation to make raindrops run off the glass without blurring your view. Even a thick fog won't mar the show. Heat from portable braziers standing inside the theatre's fence will clear away all but the most dense "pea souper."

Later this year, patrons will be able to join in supper club dances after the show, on a dance floor in the middle of the theatre ground. This will be inclusive of the admission price, and music will be supplied from modern dance recordings.

Skyline's doors are open to any vehicle on wheels, except bicycles and scooters. So if you drive a motor-cycle, utility van, or even a horse and cart, all this is yours - and movies, too !

And two shows a night for only 4/- (four shillings) per adult, with half price for children"
Source: Author Creedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor bloomsby before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series History Allsorts 2:

Ten more history quizzes on a range of subjects for you. "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots"...Marcus Garvey (No little Johnny, these are not questions about gardens)

  1. Famous Firsts By American Women Average
  2. Legends or Legendary People Average
  3. Brilliant Mistakes Easier
  4. In the Year 1900 Average
  5. Interesting Facts on the Popes Average
  6. Xystons and Kopides Easier
  7. Historic Sydney Average
  8. What Should We Do? The Television is Broken! Very Easy
  9. Famous Female Firsts Easier
  10. Origins of London Streets and Suburbs Average

Also part of quiz list
7/22/2024, Copyright 2024 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us