Entertaining the Masses
1-American Airlines earliest form of Inflight Entertainment (IFE) was a 1953 radio program called Music Till Dawn, which aired on stations along our transcontinental routes. Aircraft cockpits received the AM broadcasts and piped them into the cabins.
2-In the early 1960s, American officially entered the IFE arena when it began showing in-flight movies. American was the first airline to offer movies on domestic routes.
3-In 1967, American, in collaboration with Bell & Howell, introduced the Astrocolor film system widely regarded as the most unusual IFE system ever devised. It consisted of a reel of 16 mm film that began at a station behind the last coach seat on the starboard side of the plane, continued through seven rearview projectors on that side, did a U-turn forward, and returned through seven more projectors on the port side to the take-up reel. Needless to say, it was a very short-lived system.
4-AA began showing weekly CBS News programs in-flight in 1982. Daily CNN programming was added in March 1990. The current CBS Eye on American (with news, sports, and entertainment segments) launched in 1998.