Documentary Commemorating 1980’s “Billboard Boys”
ALLENTOWN — For 261 days, it was the billboard that captured everyone’s attention. Now, the story of the “Billboard Boys” is living on in a new documentary.
From September 20th, 1982 to June 7, 1983, several people camped out atop a billboard in Whitehall Township as part of a radio contest with the last person standing winning an $18,000 mobile home.
Ultimately, it was the organizers that put it to an end, giving the remaining two contestants each a mobile home of their own.
Now, the whole ordeal is being turned into a documentary debuting this weekend.
The spectacle was put on by a mobile home dealer and a local AM radio station and earned international attention.
“Contests were different then,” said Tom Woods, former WARM Radio DJ. “Nobody was out to sue anybody over a contest.”
“It’s changed a lot,” said Jeff Walker of WKRZ Radio. “The word is safety – and liability. Actually, that’s two words. But we can’t do most of the things we used to do as far as crazy contests.”
Jeff Walker has been a staple on the air for decades. and is quick to admit that radio stations just can’t do those kinds of spectacles anymore.
“We didn’t get people that were so insane they would stretch it into weeks,” he added. “We ended up in days. I’m not sure that would be allowed anymore. Because people push themselves to crazy lengths.”
The documentary “Billboard Boys” debuts on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Alehouse Cinemas in Bethlehem. The director tells Newswatch16 he hopes to have more showings of the documentary in the near future.