Documentary Commemorating 1980’s “Billboard Boys”

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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.


  • Poonus

    jersey joey, bawahahahahahahahahaa – your so funny. Boy is the correct word. loved by women? no one believes that. Go back to NJ. No one in PA needs you Boy.

    • area52

      I remember reading about this while it happened in the paper back in the 80s when I lived in the Lehigh valley. From my recollection, one of the contestants was arrested for drug possession. The other two remained on the billboard but made allegations against one another. Because of this bickering, the company running the contest decided to call them both down and they were going to come up with an alternate method to determine a winner. Both of the remaining contestants refused to leave the billboard believing that the first one off the billboard will lose. Therefore they settle it by offering both contestants free trailers which brought this debacle to its end.

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