‘Fright Night’ A spooky good time

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A radio troupe in Jessamine County is gearing up to take audiences back in time this Halloween.

The KCAL Old Time Radio Troupe re-enacts what viewers and listeners may have experienced when witnessing a live radio show from 1940.

“We want to try to make it look as close as possible to what it did look like in a 1940 radio studio,” said Doug Fain, one of the producers of KCAL.

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Though troupe members are replicating the older radio programming as much as possible, they also put their own little twist on it. Actors wear costumes to annunciate which characters they are playing, so it comes off as a combination between a radio show and a stage play, Fain said.

“We try to do a combination of both to try to make it entertaining, not only to the ear, but to the eye as well,” he said.

This Halloween Fright Night, which happens to be the second anniversary of KCAL, is the third of four shows in 2016. The first sold out a month in advance, the second three weeks in advance, Fain said. Now, with a few weeks left until Halloween Fright Night, 75 percent of the tickets already have already been sold.

“It’s grown into more than we ever believed,” Fain said.

Once word traveled from different groups and churches, the troupe was selling out every show.

“It’s gotten to the point where we are seeing the same faces every time,” Fain said. “They just keep coming back.”

This Halloween KCAL will recreate episodes of “Lights Out” and “Escape.”

Each is 30 minutes long.

“Lights Out,” is one of the earliest horror radio programs, airing from 1934 to 1947, and it eventually made the transition to television.

“It was a program that was meant to scare you,” Fain said.

The CBS radio show “Escape” ran from 1947 to 1954. Each episode was a 30-minute micro drama filled with adventure. The show did a bit of everything, including the horror episode that will air on Fright Night, Fain said.

The shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 30, and Saturday, Oct. 1. The Sunday matinee will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 2.

All three showings will be hosted at the Polvino Art Center, 109 South Main St.

Reserved seating tickets are $7.50 each and can be purchased by calling 859-885-5363. CAL Cards, the group’s discounted season passes, also are available for $25 each. All proceeds go toward the Creative Art League of Jessamine County and its many art programs.

“This is our contribution to the art community in our county,” Fain said.

Members of KCAL volunteer their time, including the producers Fain, Denise Cline and Norman Cline.

In addition to the episodes, there will be live singing, commercials, and special treats. The troupe will provide most of the sound effects.

“Anything from thunder rolling to a doorbell,” Fain said.

Thanks to donations from the community, and sponsors such as the most recent Lyles BBQ, the radio troupe purchased most of the equipment.

The shows appeal to all ages, Fain said. They provide memories for those who listen to the original radio programming, and they teach lessons to the younger generations about what it was like.

“This is pure family entertainment,” he said.