The Paley Center for Media

Nov 15 2009

Paley Center's Concourse TheaterPaley Center's Concourse Theater

The Paley Center for Media
25 W 52nd St.

Today I ventured over to

Today I ventured over to Rockefeller Center and enjoyed some of the new christmas decorations and windows on fifth ave before heading in to the Paley Center. When I entered there was a nice elderly women who told me everything that was going on in the museum that day. As I ventured my way in there was a gallery with some of the spreads from Entertainment Weekly on the new vampire obsession. It was funny to me to that Twilight is in a museum. Although I did enjoy seeing some of the sketches in preparation for the first movie in the series. After venturing through this I made my way upstairs to some of the viewing rooms and enjoyed that Friends was being shown. Although it was interesting to see that this media museum was showing an episode that had the importance of an old video. It showed that film sometimes captures what can not be seen by everyone in the room. The other video I views was the Classic Stand-Up Comedy on Television. This was entertaining to see the many comedians from over the years and the different things that comedians talk about. My favorite skit that was shown was the soft language one, it shows how our world is trying to be more politically correct in how we speak about things. I truly enjoyed this visit and the different galleries and showing that there was. I wish I had more time to spend in there to have been able to watch even more of the screenings, this museum definitely sucks you in.

I went to the Paley Center

I went to the Paley Center for Media not knowing what to expect. I was very surprised to find out that this was not like any ordinary museum. First I looked through the Vampire movie exhibit which is located right when you walk in. This little exhibit showed how entertainment magazine followed vampire movies from the vary start. Along with showing articles about Twilight and Buffy the Vampire slayer, the museum had old fashion vampire movies playing on multiple screens.
Once I was done looking around in that room I started walking downstairs. I ended up walking in on a speaker who was talking about this Vampire mania that has been going on lately in pop culture. After she was done talking they ended up showing a couple clips from true blood and there was a panel present who talked about each of the clips. The panel mainly talked about why they think people have become obsessed with vampires now. Why now when vampires always been around? The panel also talked about the differences in vampire stories now and vampire stories from the past. One of the panelists realized that there is no religious aspect with vampires anymore. We no longer include the use of a cross to keep ourselves safe from vampires. They have also gotten rid of the coffin aspect of these vampire legends. Now it seems instead of sleeping in coffins, vampires do not sleep at all.
As interesting as the panel was, I could not help but feel that I accidentally walked in on a vampire obsession group meeting. There were all grown people in the audience and they all seemed far too enthusiastic about vampires than I would expect. Once the audience began to participate in a game of Vampire Trivia and decided I needed to leave. This was by far the most bizarre trip to a museum I have had thus far.

The time I spent at the Paley

The time I spent at the Paley was limited but I enjoyed it a lot. Had I known that they had many time slots for certain screenings, I would have planned to devote more time there. Nonetheless, after finding out I could go to their Library and choose two shows to watch for an hour, I decided it would be fun to see what they had. Before I found the library, I was amused at the fact that they had an exhibit devoted to the vampire craze in today’s movies. I didn’t spend that much time there because I don’t really follow the Vampire mania. Anyway, when I was at the library, I was directed what to do for my viewing of shows. A lot of the shows on the list of selections are so old that they were unheard of for me. After having a hard time deciding if I were to watch Boy Meets World, Friends, or My So Called Life, I chose the first two. I wasn’t sure which episode of Boy Meets World to choose so I picked the first on the list which was one of the season finales. The episode of Friends I watched made me feel crazy because I was just sitting there laughing by myself. It was the episode entitled “The One with the Prom Video.” I enjoyed it because it was one of the older episodes and brought back some history and memories of the show’s characters. After my time at the library, I went to the Concourse Theater where I saw the end of a screening called “America’s Teenagers: Growing up on Television: A Museum of Television and Radio Special.” The topic was high school graduation and growing up for college and being on your own. It included scenes from My So Called Life, Party of Five and Happy Days. Later on in my visit, they also showed “Great Television Moments: What We Watched.” I saw old classic clips from Saturday Night Live and the Johnny Carson Show. Before I left, I went to the 5th floor to see footage from The Ed Sullivan Show when The Beatles made their first live appearance. I saw this in my media class in high school but it was cool to see it again. I also stopped by the radio listening room and listened to some of the Sinatra radio clip and the “Black Radio.” Overall, I enjoyed exploring the Paley and I would want to visit again with more time on my hands.

The Paley Center for Media

The Paley Center for Media was quite a different experience than I anticipated. When I first arrived to the center, I was redirected out the door, as they do not take credit cards. I walked in the rain to retrieve some cash from a near ATM and then I was able to begin my visit. Once I handed over eight dollars I aimlessly picked a floor number on the elevator. Four was the first floor I arrived on. I wandered into a dimly lit “library.” This library was unlike anything I had ever seen before, as it was filled with computers instead of books. I was then told to go to a computer and select a television program. The computers archived “140,000” shows to choose from. So me being the boring predictable individual I am, choose a television episode I have seen at least a dozen times, the pilot of Weeds. I walked downstairs for my individual viewing, and really enjoyed the next half hour smiling and laughing to myself. After the episode finished, I got back onto the elevator and picked another random floor. I ended up watching the tale end of a Robin Williams comedy act from 1986. That did not hold my interest long so I left and jumped back onto the magical elevator. The last floor I visited was an absolute trip. In the screening room there were old television shows featuring The Beatles and footage of David Bowie. I walked down the hallway and was once again pleasantly surprised; I ended up in a radio room. I sat down in one of the chairs, put the headset on, and pressed a random button. The radio station that was streaming through my ears was from the sixties and I truly felt like I had stepped into a different time. I walked out of the radio room and ventured downstairs, where they were setting up for a “vampires in the media party” (yummy!!) My visit was very pleasant, and I am content that I went somewhere new!


The Paley center was

The Paley center was definitely a fun experience. I had been to the one out in LA many years ago and had a great experience there so I was really looking forward to checking this one out. It was definitely an unconventional type of museum. It was mainly made up of video labs where you could sit down at your on console and watch a video of your choice. The video library was very cool and it was amazing the selections of shows that they had available. The two shows that I choose to watch was an episode of I Love Lucy and the Charlie Brown Christmas episode. I hadn’t seen either of these shows in quite sometime so it was great to watch them. It was pretty crowded when I went so even though I wanted to watch more I didn’t want to break there “two video” policy. My room mate (who had decided to come with me) and I journeyed to go check out the vampire exhibit. My room mate who is absolutely obsessed with the whole vampire craze was in heaven. She was so excited when she saw this list of events that they were having especially the one featuring the cast of True Blood (her favorite show). We were going to attempt to go back on Saturday to go to this screening event but unfortunately we were unable to. None the less the trip to the Paley Center was certainly different then any other.

Certainly The Paley Center

Certainly The Paley Center for media does not give you the sense of a museum; I felt more like going to the movies. It is a place that hosts “history of media” with a particular focus on TV, and Radio. “History of media” in terms of what was shown on TV and the function of radio during past decades. Even thought the day I visited it was Saturday, I was surprised to see that they were not many people; the theaters were almost empty. I had the chance to watch a video that seemed closer to a “documentary” about America’s Teenagers: Growing up on Television, which basically showed how teenagers have been portrayed throughout the function of television during its first fifty years. It was fun to see parts of all the different shows that were playing through the years in the United Sates. It was interesting for me since I am a foreigner because I was able to compare them with shows that were playing in my country. The truth is that they were a lot alike, which shows that even though we might all come from different cultures, however we are all people who worry about the same things, and have the same fears.
My overall impression of The Paley Center for Media was not as I was expecting it to be. I thought that they might focus on other media as well, that are closer to today’s audience. Nevertheless it was nice visiting it and interesting to see the organization of this Center.

On Sunday i visited the Paley

On Sunday i visited the Paley Center for Media with a friend from another class and absolutely loved it! I was a little bummed that we had to pay $8 dollars so my friend and I told the man at the front desk that we were poor college students here for a class assignment and he let us only pay a $2 contribution, it was like an early Christmas present. I found that the workers in the front lobby of the Paley Center were much more friendly and ready to help assist customers than the other museums we visited. The first room we walked right into was the Vampire room, but I’m not very into that whole genre of television and movies so I only spent a second in there. Next I went to the forth floor witch was McLaughlin Library. This library was filled with computers that held over 120,000 radio and television programs that you could watch on the 3rd level. This is exactly what we did for two hours! We wanted to watch something you don’t really see anymore so we picked 2 I Love Lucy episodes; The Girls Go to Work and The Anniversary Present. I never realized how funny that show was and I thought it was amazing at how many shows like this they had available to watch. After spending so much time watching T.V. we didn’t know what else we could quickly do so we went to the 5th floor where they had a radio listening room and a screening of Scooby Doo playing. This section of the Paley Center gave me a great idea to bring my Dad here when he comes to visit because I know he would appreciate all of the media it has.
This was definitely one of the more fun field trips because it was more of a building of archives rather than just a standard museum. I thought it was a really cool way to look back into the history of media and compare it to today.

I arrived at the Paley Center

I arrived at the Paley Center at five o’clock pm. Since it was an hour before it closed the lady at the front desk told me it was free admission and told me I could either watch an exhibit already in progress or watch a tv show upstairs. Being a huge fan of Television, I opted to watch a tv show. I went to the fourth floor and was very confused, I was not sure of what to do or what to ask. Then this nice lady dressed like a flight attendant, told me how to pick a tv show and what to do after i picked one. I was in television heaven, i perused through the television catalog and wished I had more time to watch everything. So i decided to pick a half an hour sitcom classic. The Cosby Show, I watched the one when Theo decides he wants to be a model and move out the house, and in old Cosby fashion, he turns his house into “The Real World”. It was a grand old time. I was the only one there and had a great time watching the show. I plan on visiting there again, so I can explore the entire center and see some of the exhibits i read about in the newsletter.

The purpose of the Paley

The purpose of the Paley Center for Media is to allow the average citizen access to programs that have aired on both radio and television from the past one hundred years. Located in Midtown Manhattan the Paley center is a quite impressive building tall and brightly lit, very recognizable in the cityscape of Manhattan. Inside, the center contains one of the most impressive collections of radio and television programs that I have ever seen. One of the most interesting items in the collection is the Streets of New York or Poverty is not a Crime program. It is one of the earliest known videos to ever air on television it was aired in 1939 and the audio track to the program has been lost somewhere in the annuls of time. There was some mystery surrounding the find but eventually people were able to decipher the images and figure out exactly what the program was. It features a series of black and white images that looks like an old silent film. The sets appear as though they were right out of a Broadway play and the actors are heavily made-up and they are constantly under a thick film of fake snow. It truly looks as though someone simply filmed a high school play, but I assume that for the time that it was the norm for such programs. And perhaps that is the most important role that the Paley center plays, to remind people of what television once was.

The Paley Center was nothing

The Paley Center was nothing of what I expected! I thought it would perhaps be another traditional museum layout, but it definitely broke tradition - in a good way! The slogan at the Paley Center is “Leading Today’s Media Conversation,” which is the best way to describe it. The center is on the cutting edge of media topics and I found it to be exciting from the moment I walked in the door. The bright, vibrant setting made me excited and eager to start wondering around. The McLaughlin Library was so cool. I could have spent hours flipping through the television catalog and laughed out loud during a nice I Love Lucy episode that I’ve seen too many times. I loved the archival feel of the library and I couldn’t believe the amount of television media at my fingertips. The Paley Center also really opened my eyes to the enormity of the generational vampire craze. Up until now, I had not realized how obsessed our generation is with the idea of vampires. Years from now, our generation will most likely be largely represented with vampires in the media. The Paley Center is definitely somewhere I hope to return to and I would definitely recommend it to any tourist who wanted a modern museum experience. I also think it will be interesting to return to the Paley Center in another decade to see what the future “media conversations” will be.

The notion behind the Paley

The notion behind the Paley Center itself is very interesting - a museum that essentially is a tribute to popular culture. Usually when you think of a museum you imagine an austere atmosphere with a sort of scholarly overtone with paintings or sculptures or even newer art like film or performance art - but instead this was a tribute to pop culture and its importance to Americans. I guess this weekend was a special exhibition because of the upcoming release of “New Moon”, so there was a section devoted entirely to Vampires detailing our culture’s recent (and not so recent) obsession with stories that are usually relegated to Halloween. As someone who absolutely hates the Twilight series, I have to admit that I was none too interested. Those books are so poorly written that it makes me weep for JK Rowling and other Harry Potter die hards such as myself for whom the series was originally geared. Not okay. Anyway, sometimes I tend to get too caught up in my own prejudices when it comes to art so I sucked it up. Then I decided to move on to the area where you could watch different TV shows that are relevant to our culture - this was amusing to me because we are talking about the exact same topic in my other Media class. I’ve always been a huge fan of “Friends” so of course I chose to watch that. It was really interesting to see a museum dedicated solely to new media and popular themes. The museums we end up going to really have changed my perception about what a museum should be.

When I walked into the Paley

When I walked into the Paley Center for Media I was surprised to see the vampire genres because it’s not what you expect to see at a museum. I’m not a big fan of all the vampire stuff, although, I really enjoyed watching Blade. It’s strange to see how this new fascination with vampires has ended up in a museum. Looks like twilight is setting the stage for other shows to make their way to the big stage. This museum was interesting because it showed things that were both from the present and the past. I wish I had spent more time there, I feel like it’s a place that I can just go and hang out all day and watch shows, which is different than watching it on TV because I get to choose. I was most shocked when I saw different stand up routines because I most enjoy comedies. And, what was even more interesting was that they have Family Guy. I watched the pilot episode for Bones which I have actually never seen before, but I do watch some episodes. I decided to watch bones because David Borneaz had his own show called Angel, so it just seemed right to watch a show I like that has a character that used to be in a vampire show. Unfortunately, I could not just stay and watch shows the whole time. There were so many shows to choose from that I just decided I enjoyed my trip to the Paley though because it was a lot different than the other museums we had to go to. It reminded me of when I went to the Brooklyn Museum and there were videos from the Feminist movement, except, this museum had shows.

Whoever came up with the

Whoever came up with the concept to the Paley Center for Media is a genius. It was amazing to watch old reruns of sitcoms that are usually only played late at night on TV. I loved the Vampires part of it, only because Twilight is my guilty pleasure I never like to admit. It was exciting to see because the movie, New Moon, is coming out this Friday. This place was so much fun because it was so different. I feel like the purpose for this Media Center is for pure entertainment. I’m reading over other comments left and I’m amazed to see all the different types of shows that were available to watch. My personal favorites were watching Friends and the Cosby Show. I’m definitely going back and bringing friends with me.

It was nice because I could actually laugh at this place. Other museums are usually so stuffy and quiet and I felt like I had to pretend to be an intellectual person. Sometimes I would look at art and just feel like it was so ugly, but because of the atmosphere it didn’t seem appropriate to make my feelings known. I remember back in the beginning going to the Morgan library/museum and thinking “this stuff is beautiful, but I’m going to fall asleep.” The Paley Center seemed different because they have TV shows to watch! It was like a complete 180 degree turn.

The world of media (as far

The world of media (as far television and movies are concerned) always seemed very elite to me…something that one either immersed themselves in from the very start of life through their families or colleagues and hard work. For this reason I was really interested to visit the Paley Center for Media in hopes that it would meet my expectations in educating me a little more on the pop culture and film/TV scene.

I am happy to say that the center totally met my expectations. Walking around and sitting through the various television shows was like a crash course in pop culture for me, as I hadn’t really watched shows like Friends at all, yet it’s something that everyone else seems to know. It was a much more comfortable environment than I had imagination of the place was more like a stark, cold, very contemporary and sleek environment with many different pieces of technology on display for the common, misunderstanding digital constituents of contemporary society to look at but never touch and not necessarily explain. I was really pleasantly surprised by the fact that the Center focused so much on incorporating pieces of culture which we have grown up hearing about and that we have grown up watching.

Reading through everyone

Reading through everyone else’s comments I feel I should give the Paley Center another chance. I was annoyed with the place before I even got there. First of all the center is closed Mondays and Tuesdays (which is the reason why this post is late and even though it is my fault it is still a nuisance); and my friend Mari was accompanying me on the trip had informed me on our way there that it would cost me eight bucks. Lame.
Mari had to go for a class as well and she heard that you could watch old episodes of Lavern and Shirley. As soon as we got our ticket Mari asked the helpful lady at the desk where the library was. We went up to the fourth floor and were greeted by another helpful employee who should us how to use the computers to browse through the huge selection of shows they had. Mari changed her mind and decided to watch a Twilight Zone episode. We went downstairs into the viewing room to watch the episode. Mari and I both have the attention spans of goldfish and got bored thirty minutes into the Twilight Zone episode. We decided to punch in random numbers to see what programs would pop up: M*A*S*H, Saturday Night Live, Gidget, and an old news program popped up. This was probably the best part of the trip. I would have liked to stay longer and explore more but I had to go to the Museum of Moving Images before it closed.