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The Journal Gazette

  • Jan. 27, 1962: A crowd gathers at Embassy Theatre for the premiere of "Night of Evil," which was filmed in Fort Wayne. (Journal Gazette file photo)

  • Jan. 27, 1962: Director Richard Galbreath, left, stands with Tippy and Chet Huntley and Jerry Lipow. Lipow was with Pathe America, the distributors of the movie.  (Journal Gazette file photo)

  • Jan. 27, 1962: Fort Wayne actor Jack Morey, left, stands with "Night of Evil" stars Lisa Gaye and William Campbell in the lobby of Embassy Theatre. (Journal Gazette file photo)

  • Jan. 27, 1962: "Night of Evil" star Lisa Gaye and director Richard Galbreath look at some newspaper clippings. (Journal Gazette file photo)

Thursday, October 10, 2019 4:00 am

Jan. 27, 1962: 'Night of Evil' premieres

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette

The film "Night of Evil" premiered at Embassy Theatre on Jan. 27, 1962.

Starring Lisa Gaye and William Campbell, "Night of Evil" was filmed in Fort Wayne in the summer and fall of 1960.

Despite it's name, it's not a zombie movie or slasher flick. It tells the story of Dixie Ann Dikes, a real-life former Colorado beauty queen who was secretly married and disqualified from the Miss America pageant. Her husband also turned out to not be the nicest guy before Dikes became a stripper to make a living.

Director Richard Galbreath hosted a cocktail party in the Embassy lobby at 6 p.m. that Saturday with the cast, media, the mayor, locals and plenty of photographers. The lobby was packed, according to a Journal Gazette story the next morning by Dell Ford.

Shrimp, cheese and crackers were served before the movie's first screening. The doors opened at 8 p.m. and mobs of people streamed in looking for seats that weren't already taken by the celebrities and local notables.

Buddy Nolan played the theater's pipe organ, but could barely be heard over the crowd.

At 8:30, master of ceremonies Hilliard Gates introduced several people including the director and local cast members who had speaking roles.

As the movie played, the crowd chuckled when they saw a familiar location like St. Joseph Hospital and Fort Wayne Country Club.

cmcmaken@jg.net