November 6, 2015

80th Anniversary BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN series
The Monster Goes Dancing

The Monster crashes the annual May dance sponsored by the Fire Department, one of several “personal appearances” promoting BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, coming to the Astor Theatre in Reading, Pennsylvania.

According to the Motion Picture Herald of June 29, 1935, the “makeup stunt” was cooked up by house manager Dwight Van Meter using the Astor’s doorman as stand-in for The Monster. The transformation — said to have cost all of $2.15 — proved popular. High school seniors arranged a mock wedding — The Monster Demands a Mate! — and the very odd couple was seen driving around town in a bannered car and popping up at local nightclubs. One stop was at the swanky Riverside Club on Friday, May 17, same day the film opened. 

The Monster gag had kicked off a week earlier when the Astor ran the film’s trailer. The live Monster appeared in a green spotlight, chained to a large chair — as Karloff was in the film’s dungeon scene — rising out of the stage floor on the organ’s elevator loft, to weird sound effects. As the trailer played out, the snarling Monster broke his chains and escaped into the wings.  
Dubbed “unique bally”, The Monster’s manifestations in and around Reading helped drum up some excellent business at the Astor. By Sunday, the theatre was boasting 18,904 in attendance over two days and the film would be held over for a second week. 

Sources: Motion Picture Herald via the Media History Digital Library, and The Reading Eagle.

1 comment:

Wich2 said...

He looks great for a local job!