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Arrr! Shiver Me Spotmasters!

New movie takes voyage down memory lane

Whether the new movie “Pirate Radio” is a success, one thing is for sure, old broadcast pros will be scrutinizing every frame for “authenticity,” as they’ve done with any movie that touches on radio including “American Graffiti,” “Play Misty for Me” and “Howard Stern’s Private Parts.”

Broadcast Electronics has already claimed a prize, spotting a pair of its Spotmaster 500 cart players in “Pirate Radio” scenes involving the illicit 1960s radio broadcast operation.

To radio personnel over the age of, say 45, the Spotmaster was a beloved (and occasionally cursed) piece of studio equipment from the 1960s through the 1990s, when, first, CD and other media players (often designed to look and function sort of like cart machines) and then digital automation supplanted them.

Broadcast Electronics manufactured the Spotmaster line from 1959 to the early 1980s and maintained them until spare parts ran out, according to a press release from BE.

Shown in the photo below in back of the illuminated lamp is one of the two Spotmaster 500s, with DJs played by Rhys Ifans in forefront and Tom Sturridge in the background.