Television launched in South Australia on 5 September 1959 from the Tynte Street North Adelaide studios of NWS Channel Nine. Television sets in homes were not yet commonplace and many people gathered at shop windows to watch.
Television had arrived in Australia three years earlier on 16 September 1956 in New South Wales with Nine Network station TCN-9-Sydney. Bruce Gyngell greeted viewers for the first time with the now famous words ‘Good evening, and welcome to television’.
Videotape technology was still a very new technology in the 1959s and video recorders were not widely available to Australian TV stations until well into the 1960s. For the first few years of television in Australia, the only available method for capturing TV programs was via a fixed movie camera filming broadcasts screened on a specially adjusted TV monitor. The playback of pre-recorded programs to air was only possible at this stage vua a process in which films or kinescoped TV recordings were played back on a movie screen which was monitored by a TV camera.
As a result of these limitations, it was relatively difficult and expensive to record and distribute local programming and so the majority of locally produced content was broadcast live-to-air. Very little local programming from these first few years of Australian TV broadcasting was recorded and in the intervening years the majority of that material has since been lost or destroyed.
Most programs in this early period were based on popular radio formats with musical variety and quiz formats the most popular.
The North Adelaide studios hosted many programs for Nine not just for Adelaide but for national audiences: Adelaide Tonight, The Country And Western Hour, The Jackpot Game, The Channel Niners, Here’s Humphrey, The Curiosity Show, C’mon Kids, Postcards, Christmas pantomimes, 30 years of telethons and over 50 years of news broadcasts.
A host of celebrities emerged from Nine’s Tynte Street studios: Anne Wills, Lionel Williams, Ernie Sigley, Kevin Crease. And who can forget Winky Dink or Humphrey B Bear?
In September 2015, Channel Nine Adelaide relocated from Tynte Street to new premises in Pirie Street Adelaide. The doors were closed on 56 years of history and memories at Tynte Street.
I highly recommend “Miracle On Tynte Street” by Rex Heading and Trevor Jones for a comprehensive history of the Tynte Street studios.
Demolition works are advanced and the site will soon be replaced with apartments and retail.
Thankyou for the memories Nine Adelaide