When the first zombie movie ever made was presented in Tacoma at the Blue Mouse Theater someone thought it would be a great idea to offer a cash prize to any young woman willing to sit through a midnight showing alone, in the dark. On November 3, 1932 eighteen year old Marjorie Yonk agreed to do it- to view by herself “White Zombie” staring Bela Lugosi as a Haitian voodoo master named Murder Legendre. Before the late showing Marjorie was rushed by siren blaring police car to the medical office of Dr. F.J. Hansen where, after careful examination using a real stethoscope, she was medically found strong enough of heart and mind to
endure the traumatic drama that awaited. (Virtually nothing is known about the doctor or mysteriously whether blood tests of any kind were involved in the examination.) Below she is shown with two mirthless, blank expression Tacoma police officers named Schultz and White (coincidental name ?) just moments before being escorted by flashlight through the inky black theater to her single lonely seat and then abandoned to her unknown fate. What happened next I will leave to your imagination but after the showing a photograph was taken of her leaving the theater obviously a different person than going in.
Editor’s note: It is known that during the 30’s through the 50’s some movie theaters engaged in publicity stunts and occasional exaggerations however given the recent reconsideration of the presence of zombies there is no reason to doubt the veracity of Ms. Yonk’s experience in Tacoma’s theater district.