MWOTRC has monthly meetings in Parish Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church at 2217 Columbia Pike in Arlington, VA.
The Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club (MWOTRC) was created in 1984 by our President Jim Burnette (1945-2001). The initial group of charter members, consisting of a half-dozen OTR fans, was drawn from the region of Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Monthly meetings have been held ever since then, usually in Northern Virginia. The purpose of this hobby group has always been to exchange, collect, and preserve any materials from the Golden Age of Broadcasting. Individually, and as a club, members collect and share OTR audio copies, books, scripts, and related radio broadcast materials.
By the end of the first year, the club had grown to 34 members and had established a cassette library and an infrequently published newsletter. The club donated its services by presenting special OTR panel discussions and programs at the Smithsonian, NOVA College, the Newseum in Arlington, VA, and numerous senior citizens' groups and retirement homes.
The club started accepting out-of-area memberships about 1987 and new members were accorded all privileges, including a subscription to the newsletter, access to rental tapes from both a cassette and open-reel library, and an invitation to attend monthly meetings. Membership at this time had grown to about 50 members. The club maintained its policy of charging a lower dues rate to those outside the DC area who could not attend meetings, as well as a lower rate for senior citizens. A routine was established of having regular meetings on the second Friday evening of each month. Each meeting usually included a special presentation, occasionally by an OTR cast or crew member. Sam Edwards, Laurette Fillibrandt, Arthur Peterson, Ed Walker, and Frank Bingman are among those who have shared their memories with the membership.
In the early 90s, a printed materials library was organized, including scripts, books, and magazines, which the members could rent. The membership totaled over 130 members, one third of whom came from several states outside the Washington, DC area. The club newsletter had involved into a regular publication that was published every other month, under its new name of RADIO RECALL. In the late 90s, the open reel library was disbanded, due to lack of usage, and a massive dubbing project began to convert much of the open-reel tapes archives to cassette format.
Currently the club has about 200 members, about 40% of them are "by-mail" members who live in distant states and seldom attend our monthly meetings in Virginia. But they continue to enjoy all other membership benefits, including:
- Subscription to RADIO RECALL, published every other month (12 pages jam-packed with OTR news, reviews, background articles, obituaries, and Q & A's.
- Access at modest rental fees to our extensive audio library of cassettes and CDs.
- Access at modest rental fees to video and printed materials library of book, magazines and scripts.
- "Gather Round the Radio", an email bulletin that regularly goes out with OTR updates, news about members, announcements of OTR festivals, and listings of new OTR web sites.