Happy 50th Birthday, In-flight Movies

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  07.19.11 | 10:15 AM ET

Fifty years ago today Trans World Airlines screened By Love Possessed starring Lana Turner on a Los Angeles to New York flight. It wasn’t easy. Given the technology of the time, it took David Flexer three years and $1 million to make it happen. Writes Angela Watercutter:

The airlines weren’t Initially interested in Flexer’s wares. But then TWA, which at the time was looking to increase its profile, agreed to give Inflight a shot. Flexer and his team took a Boeing 707, fitted it with their equipment and spent the early part of 1961 flying around and fixing bugs.

In July of that year TWA began offering films to first class passengers. The response was extraordinary, and soon flyers were paying huge fees to get into first class to catch the show. Before long, in-flight movies were everywhere.

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