Sinister Cinema, Campy Horror from Portland

Sinister Cinema was a popular local TV show that was on every Saturday night during the early 1970's, on KATU, Channel 2 in Portland, Oregon. It started at 11:15 pm and featured a 15-minute Serial film followed by a horror movie double feature. The real star, though, was Mr Victor Ives.

victor ives

The show was produced and hosted by Victor Ives and later included Jimmy Hollister as both "Head" (blue screened on a silver platter) and Ravenscroft (a goofy-looking side-kick with long hair, a bug-eye and buck teeth, that was sort of like Igor from the Frankenstein movies.)

As a kid, this was one of my favorite television shows in Portland. I would map out my weekend, just to make sure that I caught the campy and silly antics every Saturday night. Although there were many times that I wouldn't make it through the movies themselves because I had fallen asleep, as long as I got to be entertained by Victor Ives and Ravenscroft before they started, I was a happy camper.

sinister cinema

In 1987 KATU Channel 2 brought the television show back from the dead for a successful Halloween reunion full of ghosts, monsters, and the typical lunacy.

Ives was a TV pioneer who, as a high school student in San Francisco  was co-host of a weekly variety show on KPIX TV, geared toward the teen crowd. He and his buddy, Buddy Hutton, also teamed up for a radio show on KSAN Radio.

Victor had his hands all over a ton of projects. He was a newscaster and quiz program host in N. California, Operations Director of a Philadelphia TV station, and in 1971, went on to produce and host Portland, Oregon’s highest-rated local television program on KATU 2 TV, "Sinister Cinema." Stats reported as high as a 60 share for the wildly popular show. That isn't a surprise to me at all. I loved it!

victor ives and ravenscropt
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Ives and Jimmy Hollister were the leading characters on the late night TV show. You could easily tell that they were all having as much fun (if not more) than we were having watching it.

The pair also appeared on KEX in Portland where they billed themselves as "the sit down comedy team of Hollister and Ives." I remember listening to Jimmy on the car radio as my dad drove me to grade school each morning. He was quite the character!

Sad to report, that Victor Ives passed away in December, 2014.

Sinister Cinema was a classic, local Portland television show that I really miss. It was an on-going part of my childhood history and as those things disappear and become history themselves, it tends to leave you melancholy.

If you have special memories, insights, or behind-the-scenes looks into Sinister Cinema, I'm sure we'd all love to hear about them. Use the form below and share.

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Your Sinister Cinema Stories and Memories

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Sinister Cinema Was My Dad's Treat Not rated yet
Our Daddy would let my sisters and I stay up on Saturday night and watch Sinister Cinema! We would have popcorn or a box of Crunch and Munch,etc.. I …

Tribute To Victor and Sinister Cinema Not rated yet
KWVT is rounding up some of it's worst horror movies and thanks to many others is running a tribute to Victor on the 31st (Halloween) evening. Clips …

Sinister Cinema: Popcorn, Laughs, and Lots of Hammer Horror! Not rated yet
Saturday nights, Mum and I would spend that time between the end of the Carol Burnett Show and the start of Sinister Cinema changing into pajamas, making …

I Loved Sinister Cinema! Not rated yet
Every Saturday, my mom would make me a big bowl of popcorn and I would have a huge glass of Coke. I would have my blanket and a pillow on the floor. I …

Sinister Cinema: Missing In Monster Land Not rated yet
When I was 10 years old, living in Portland,Oregon, I ALWAYS would watch Sinister Cinema. Well,I had a sleeping bag and my little TV set up in my closet …

Sinister Cinema's Goofy Horror Hosts Not rated yet
I remember they (Victor Ives and Ravenscroft) were silly, stupid and made it kind of hard to stay awake. The movie would come on and I'd fall asleep, …

Sinister Cinema And Waking Up To The TV's White Noise Not rated yet
M dad, my brother and I would stay up late, waiting for the last of the late news to finish up so we could watch sinister Cinema. The excitement would …

Sinister Cinema And Tooth Picks In My Eyes Not rated yet
When I was a young child, my brother would want to watch Sinister Cinema with me because he would get scared. He would want me to be with him and I …

I Loved Sinister Cinema! Not rated yet
When I was a pre-teen through teenager, I loved watching the Sinister Cinema show. Just as the author here says, I would stay up as long as I could …

Sinister Cinema Not rated yet
I started watching Sinister Cinema in late grade school and continued into High School. I think Mr. Ives left town in 1975 or 1976 and I was heartbroken. …

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