William Castle is one of my creative heroes, second only to Ed Wood as an inspiration for me. (I work in show biz, too, remember, when I’m not hard at work reporting on all things fortean and lycanthropic for you fine folks here and at one of our sister sites; vampires.com; darkness.com; topcomics.com; and zombies.org.) Castle was the King of gimmickry. For his film 13 GHOSTS (so much superior to the admittedly decent remake of the early 2000s) he had theaters hand out special glasses that would enable them to see the ghosts, but if patrons got too frightened they could remove the glasses and the spooks would disappear. For THE TINGLER (my personal favorite) he had theaters install joy buzzers in all their seats. For HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL a skeleton would drop from the ceiling. Theater staff nationwide supposedly hated Castle films, as they meant extra work, but fans loved ‘em. If P.T. Barnum had been a movie director, he would’ve been William Castle.
The stunt pulled by Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles would’ve made Sir William (he was never knighted by the Queen, as he was an American, but he deserved to have been, so *I* will refer to him as “Sir” William, thank you very much) proud. Patrons going in to see the cannibal movie RAW, which I’ve reported on before at this site, were given complimentary barf bags. People HAVE reportedly vomited—and fainted—at screenings of RAW. (Lightweights.) Did anyone at the Nuart need their barf bag? The article doesn’t say.