Keeping guests entertained while waiting on line for rides has always been a challenge.  Video screens in queues can help pass the wait time, while also offering advertising opportunities for things available both inside the park as well as products offered by park sponsors.


 
     
For the 1991 season, Great Adventure rolled out Six Flags Television in the queues for many of its most popular rides.  The park-wide television network was a huge undertaking.  Installation began with wiring being added throughout the queue areas to supply both electricity for the television power and coaxial cable for the programming feed. 

Metal poles to support a series of large CRT screens and their enclosures were strategically located at the edges of the park's biggest queues with the idea that it would improve the wait for guests by keeping them entertained. MTV was a big influence at the time and the park looked to engage the MTV demographic which was also their target demographic.
     
     
     
     
     
In the days before flat screen monitors, a 26" tube screen TV was a large piece of equipment which was sensitive to weather. This required an even larger elaborate enclosure to hold the TV- about the size of a washing machine. The enclosures for the screens were really bulky and
overall awkward looking, and as a result some of them were given basic theme elements to match the attraction or area where they were installed. Being they were out in the sun they also required large sun shades to reduce glare, as well as external speakers so they could be heard by the guests.

At the time of the original television network, Magnavox was a corporate sponsor for many Six Flags rides and attraction.  A a result they partnered with the park in the design, installation, and execution of the Six Flags Television network.
     
     
     
     
     
     
The Six Flags Television network was controlled and programmed on site from a small office under the Great Lake Grandstand in an area that had been a shop when the stadium was first built. The techs ran a variety of music videos, and promotional spots for the park, interspersed with Warner Bros. cartoons and animation, trivia, and commercials for products that were targeting the young demographic that the park attracted.

The TVs worked to help entertain to a certain extent, but if lines moved quickly it made viewing the content difficult as guests moved between the screens. Screens were purposely not installed near stairs or steps to avoid having guests accidentally trip or fall.  Sometimes the programming would tie lines up as people stood and watched the videos rather than paying attention to the line ahead of them.
 
     
     
The screens were located all over the park and ranged from just a couple of units at a smaller ride to fifteen TVs at the Great American Scream Machine. The sound was kept at a fairly high volume level which was sometimes too low when it was crowded and noisy in a line, and then way too loud when the park was relatively empty on a slow day or at night when things quieted down. Regardless, it was still a welcome diversion to have some kind of entertainment while waiting on a long line for a ride.
     
     
Log Flume Skyride Runaway Train
     
Rolling Thunder Joust-a-Bout Great American Scream Machine
     
ShockWave Autobahn Scrambler
     
Looping Starship Splash Water Falls FreeFall
     
HBO Commissary Big Wheel Flying Wave
     
Spin Meister Lightnin' Loops Parachuter's Perch
     
Traffic Jam Buccaneer Typhoon
     
Skyride - Dream Street Irrawaddy Riptide Asian Tower
     
As the 1990's drew to a close Six Flags Television went away as the TVs gave out.  The biggest contributor to the system's demise came in 1999 when so much of the park was excavated for power line installations for all the new War on Lines attractions.  A lot of the coaxial cable lines which carried the programming signals to the televisions were severed.  For a while many of the old TV enclosures remained in the lines empty and unused.
North American Tower   Congo Rapids
     
     
  The original Six Flags Television installation was a huge undertaking for its time.  It was viewed by Time Warner, a multi-media company, as a necessity in promoting their programming and products.

Since the removal of the initial network, several attractions have made use of smaller local networks including El Toro, The Dark Knight Coaster and the Safari Off Road Adventure queues.  Other informational monitors have also been installed to share park events and attraction wait times.

Today, cell phones allow guests to have a portable programming network in the palm of their hands offering an exponential amount of viewing options to guests compared to the original Six Flags Television.  Even so, in its day, Six Flags Television was a welcomed addition to the park keeping visitors entertained while seemingly reducing the amount of time waiting in long lines.
 
   
   
     
     
Original Spotlight:  November 12, 2022.  GAH Reference#:  FACI-1991-001