On Saturday, August 6th, “Night Stalkers” premiered at haunted Linda
Vista hospital in Los Angeles. It was held in the chapel “set” of the
hospital, which used to be a cafeteria next to the kitchens. We had
very sparse traffic due to poor planning, and truthfully, no one who
did brave the labyrinthine blockades stayed to watch the whole thing.
I had DVDs available for sale at 3am Paranormal’s table. Those that
found their table hidden away toward the back of the vendor’s row in a
windowless corner of a back room didn’t purchase any DVDs. So I still
have plenty left over!
This entire event was for STU-CON II, the second annual celebration of
Scott Gruenwald’s internet show “The Stu.” I attended last year’s
first “STU-CON” in Porterville, CA, which was a lot more fun due to it
being planned and run entirely by Scott’s Stu-crew without any malice
toward anyone or delusions of false entitlement.
From the beginning, I had asked Scott months ago if there was any room
for showing “Night Stalkers” at this STU-CON. I suggested a room off
from the main event area, to avoid the same thing that happened at the
last big event at LVH.
Disastrous planning resulted in a 2 hour movie being shown, which was
shoe-horned in the middle of the program at the last minute. It bogged
the proceedings down to a standstill, and affected attendance for all
the other speakers after it. I didn’t want that to occur again.
Scott seemed all for the idea, and got on the phone to make it happen.
The plan was to turn the chapel into the “Wayne Poe Theatre”, which I
thought was a bit much, but welcomed the idea of the doc being shown
at all, and thanked him. A full month and a half before the event, I took my
friend Mike down to LVH to see what we would need to make the
screening happen. I met with The Event Planner, who assured me that
the chapel would be decorated and worked on to make it look like a run
down haunted theatre. My main concern were the five six feet tall
windows, casting too much light into the room to see the screen.
The Event Planner assured me that special wooden window blockers with
red fabric would be put in place, so the light wouldn’t be an issue.
My next concern was where to hang the heavy screen. The space in front
of the chapel would have been fine, but as Mike pointed out, we’d
need some kind of chain to distribute the weight properly and to reach
both screws in either side of the wall. The Event Planner said the
chain or something similar could be provided, or even offered to
provide a screen if ours couldn’t be hung. Everything seemed to be
taken care of, and I got regular updates as the weeks progressed on
how well the decorating of the theatre was going.
When we got there Saturday, the chapel was… completely bare bones. The
window blockers were not in place, but stacked outside the chapel. The
fabric that covered them were now over the windows, billowing in the
breeze. We had to duct tape those down. Challenge 2: no power. The
only working outlet in the chapel…wasn’t. I also heard there was no
power in the main hall as well. I don’t know…if it were me, I would
have made certain these things were addressed weeks before, and double
checked the night before. But then again I’m not an Event Planner.
That delayed us about an hour, but we had yet another challenge to
pass the time with.
The screen lacked a chain, rope, or anything else to help hang it. Ray
and I had to improvise, and dragged two unused shelving units from
an adjoining room into the chapel and used them to hang the screen on.
The event began, and we planned on having the first screening of “Night
Stalkers” at 1:00pm. During the entire two months leading up to the
event, no itinerary was presented to the public. I made a very rough
screening schedule up out of thin air because of this. I received a
phone call days before the event asking if “overflow” events could be
put in the theatre. I said absolutely, and I’d call back about the
details. I did call back, but got no answer. I left a message, and I’m
still waiting for it to be returned. The only time I saw a schedule of
events was when I picked it up at the admissions desk. There was no
mention whatsoever of a “Wayne Poe Theatre”. There were no signs
directing anyone to it, or signs even alerting the attendees of its
very existence. I knew it would be a fun day from that point on…
A movie production was filming at the same time STU-CON was happening,
and a “hot set” down the hallway leading into the hospital west of the
chapel was taped off. I’ve never met a film production crew who wasn’t
pushy, and this one was no exception. I left the chapel to attend Joe
Mendoza’s talk on ITC at 12:00. When it concluded about 30 minutes
later, I went downstairs to the chapel only to find that the entrance
to the hallway was blocked off by a table. I moved it, wondering why
it was there.
After our first showing, which was very sparsely attended, I left again
to seek out a bathroom. I asked one of the attendees where it was,
since no signs or anything else designated its location. The attendee
told me she was told that she’d have to use the one across the street
at Hollenbeck Park. I thought for sure she was kidding, but she
wasn’t. I asked one of the STU-Crew, and they directed me to one
toward the front entrance of the hospital.
When I returned to enter the chapel, the table that was blocking the
hallway was replaced by a large door sitting on two plastic sawhorses.
As I moved that blockade and returned to the chapel, I wasn’t
surprised to find it empty. A couple hours later after having no one
coming in to the chapel, I ventured out again to find that a SECOND
blockade of a large door sitting on two sawhorses joined its
counterpart, but this one was right at the very entrance to the
chapel! This made it nearly impossible for anyone to get to the
“theatre”, even it they knew it existed in the first place.
The highlight of this very trying day was having Reina show up for a
screening. She is the woman featured at the beginning of “Night
Stalkers”, who had Psy Paranormal show up at her house to investigate.
Ray and I packed up and left shortly after 6:30pm, which was a good
thing. Numerous reports came in of more friends of mine being treated
rudely, and even confrontational encounters which was really uncalled
for. The entire event soured me on anything further to do with Linda