The Black Hole opened at a Royal World Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London on December 18, 1979. It premiered in the United States on December 21, 1979. And sometime in 1979, Walt Disney Productions released this great little record-book featuring an adaption of the feature film:
If you’re unfamiliar with this type of item, it is actually quite simple: You place the record on the player and turn to page one. You read along with the narrator until you hear chimes, which is your cue to turn the page. Keep doing this until the story is done. You will have to flip the record over mid-way through.
Although the size of a 45 this record actually plays at 33 1/3 RPM.
Let’s look at some sample pages. These contain screen captures from the film:
The book is only 7 1/4″ square
The Indiana Jones ball… of fire!
Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark didn’t hit theaters until 1981, a full two years after The Black Hole. Now note that in the picture on the right (above) that our protagonists are running from a huge ball (here, a flaming meteor) that is rolling down a shaft.
Sound familiar? Oh Indy, and I thought you were so original!
Disneyland Records released many different titles in this record-book format. You can see another version featuring Mickey as the Brave Little Tailor or another larger and much older version, featuring a Silly Symphony, by clicking the links.
Love the miniature Vincent on the label!
Unfortunately, although it made money at the box office, the film didn’t receive positive reviews, and drew criticism for both its violent content and some use of language. It now has a cult following (I’m a charter member) and merchandise based on the film is becoming popular.
For more of such merchandise, check out our earlier post on Disney Movie Buttons to see one featuring The Black Hole!
Now if you will excuse me, I’ve just heard the chimes, and must move on to another post.