The Late James Dean Causes Teen Convulsions


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February 27, 1957, Vol. II, No. 18

Van Doren-Nearing Going Gets Tough

It took a Villager to stop a Villager.

Last Monday night Mrs. Vivienne Nearing, an attorney from Christopher Street, managed to hold the erudite scion of the Van Doren clan to a tie for the second week in a row on the TV show called “21.” Next week the stakes will be $2000 a point, which will make it possible for Charles Van Doren to come away with as much as $185,000 or be stripped down to a trifling $101,000.

Teen-ager Has Convulsions at ‘Horror’ Show

A girl who gave her name as Pat Thompson of Thompson Street, suffered shock and convulsions Friday midnight during the blackout climax of the “Stage and Screen Horror Show” at the Jefferson Theatre, 14th Street and Third Avenue.

A late teen-ager, the girl was found slumped and writhing in her seat when the lights went up after the 5-minute total blackout of the theatre. Two younger male members of the audience were fighting in the aisle adjacent to her. The girl, interviewed later in a nearby snack bar, claimed she had been kicked in the head while the lights were out.

Features of the midnight show, attended by a full house principally compose of adolescents, had been an audience-participation program in which volunteers went on stage to experience electric shocks, face-slappings from invisible hands, weird noises, and similar phenomena, followed by the appearance among them of a “gorilla” named Gargantua — that is, a man dressed as a gorilla — and “the materialization of James Dean.”

The latter event consisted wholly of the showing of an illuminated photograph of Dean’s face during an earlier blackout.

In the final blackout every light in the theatre was extinguished, including exit lights, while people with luminous-painted features chased up and down the aisles. The entire event, which was followed by a screening of “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy,” was conducted under the surveillance of perhaps a dozen uniformed New York City policemen.

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