The 1966 Yule Log, long assumed to be permanently lost, was found and restored. It will air as a one-hour presentation exclusively on PIX11 on Christmas Eve 2016, exactly 50 years after its debut and again on Christmas morning.
New York, NY -- The 1966 version of the Yule Log, filmed at Gracie Mansion, aired each Christmas Eve through 1969 until the film degraded. A new Yule Log was filmed in 1970 as a replacement, and has aired ever since.
In July of this year, PIX11’s digital director and archivist, Rolando Pujol, discovered the original 1966 Yule Log in the WPIX archives. It was part of a vast WPIX film collection donated by the estate of former PIX11 executive Bill Cooper and his wife, Kay Arnold. Cooper, who died in the 1980s, had produced the 1966 and 1970 versions of The Log. After Arnold's passing in 2014, PIX was invited to retrieve dozens of tapes and film reels from their home in New Jersey.
As Pujol was exploring the film cans from the Cooper/Arnold collection, he happened upon a 16mm film titled “Original WPIX Fireplace." Stunned and hopeful this might be a Christmas miracle, PIX immediately had the film digitally transferred at Technicolor-Postworks in Manhattan. A few days later, the station had confirmation; it was indeed the lost 1966 Yule Log.
The master film contains two minutes of color footage, and the fireplace itself loops every seven seconds. PIX11 is thrilled the 1966 Yule Log has been found and restored, and will air as a one-hour presentation exclusively on PIX11 on Christmas Eve from 11pm to midnight, 50 years after its debut.
After the 50th Anniversary airing of the Yule Log, PIX11 will air Midnight Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. PIX11 will also air the 1966 Yule Log on Christmas morning from 7-8am followed by the traditional 1970 version of the Yule Log from 8a-12p.
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