Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Nightmare Theater in Seattle

Filed under: Halloween — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is a clip from Nightmare Theater in Seattle.

In Utah, we also had Nightmare Theater on Channel 4 KTVX. I’ve talked about it before here:

There was also a Nightmare Theater in the early 80s in Fort Wayne. Here is an audio clip from The Shroud, the host of that show:

I know I didn’t imagine it, because other people remember it, even though there is nothing on YouTube documenting it. I found this website, E-Gor’s Chamber of TV Horror Hosts. One fan, Steve Anderson, talked about Utah’s Nightmare Theater:

I grew up in American Fork, Utah and I remember clearly watching “Nightmare Theater” each Friday night. The host (voice only) was Fireman Frank. He got the name from an early morning cartoon program he hosted for the same television station (KCPX, Salt Lake City). Each morning he came out and introduced cartoons and had a firehouse set. Many of the fans of Nightmare Theater didn’t even know it was the voice of Fireman Frank. During the mid-sixties KCPX had a program called “The 10:15 Double Nightmare.” Later, about 1966 it switched to the “10:20 Double Nightmare.” I will try to find out his real name and let you know. Great to see someone besides myself remembers this program.

I didn’t watch Nightmare Theater that early. I believe I watched it with Dr. Volapuk in the mid-70s. David Hall had a little information about Ron Ross, the man who played the host:

As Dr. Volapuk, he wore a ghoul mask and a cape over a Dracula-like tux. The background was mostly dungeon-like, and the whole scene was lit with eerie lighting. Then to add to the cheesy effects, the contrast adjustments on the cameras were set too high, so there were lots of weird shadows and odd lights. Most of what he did for Nightmare Theater consisted of voice intros following commercials, and announcements of next week’s shows.

I remember desperately trying to stay awake to watch the entire show, but falling asleep during commercial breaks almost every week. Even though I’m prone to nightmares, I never got one from the movies (or host intros) on Nightmare Theater. In fact, the host intros always made the movie seem so much cooler than it was. I tried to stay awake just for the host because that was a lot more fun than the actual movie.

I suspect that in the future, we will be able to have hosts who heckle scary movies, kind of like Mystery Science Theater 3000. You will just start the movie, they specify, and play them in conjunction with it. I suspect Attack of the Crab Monsters would be a much better movie with a Nightmare Theater Host, heckling it.

I think they showed that movie a hundred times on Nightmare Theater. Now, I can watch it on YouTube any time of the day. I just wish Dr. Volapuk was there to introduce it to me.


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