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Galloway Playhouse

A Manitoba family watches Galloway Playhouse.

Galloway Playhouse was a weekly radio program that presented dramatizations of contemporary and classic novels. As its name indicated, it was sponsored by the Galloway Locomobile company of Michigan City, Indiana. The program continued under the original name Galloway Playhouse after Galloway Locomobile was merged with several other locomobile companies in 1921 to form North American Motors. By then, it was the most popular radio program in the Confederation of North America.

Beginning in September 1922, Galloway Playhouse began broadcasting on vitavision as well as radio, which caused an upsurge in the sale of vitavision sets. By the end of the year, the combined listenership and viewership of Galloway Playhouse had risen to 40 million people.

The best-known broadcast of Galloway Playhouse was that of 25 December 1922, a dramatization of Charles Dickens' novel The Christmas of the Magi starring Rudolph Vincent and Dame Mary Willingston that had an estimated audience of 60 million at a time when the population of the C.N.A. was 140 million. The broadcast is remembered not for the performance, although it was superb, but because North American Motors President Owen Galloway appeared afterward to present his Galloway Plan for dealing with the growing social disruptions of the early 1920s. Galloway continued the practice of giving addresses after the Galloway Playhouse, and watching them soon became a weekly ritual among North American viewers.