While some marketing gimmicks today are still impressive, like the faux Quick E Marts for The Simpsons Movie, there is no one that can touch the gimmickry of the great William Castle. From the Roman-inspired thumbs up/ thumbs down cards for the film Mr. Sardonicus, where the audience decides the fate of the protagonist, life or death! ; to the joy buzzers installed in some seats for the Vincent Price classic The Tingler, Castle was a joyous mischief maker.
While his tricks, like fake fainting movie goers and plastic skeletons, may seem silly today, I kind of wish movie theaters got desperate enough to try out such goofy ploys to get our business again. More can be read about him in his autobiography Step Right Up! I'm Gonna Scare the Pants Off America. And yes, that is the real title.