Ambitious Star Trek convention became “The Con of Wrath"

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  • #2125
    ZLoth
    ZLoth
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    From Ars Technica:

    How an over-ambitious Star Trek convention became “The Con of Wrath”
    In 1982, nearly the entire TOS cast gathered for a disastrous four-hour variety show.

    Even by modern convention standards, it sounds crazy. It wasn’t just a Star Trek convention. Not just a Star Trek convention with nearly the entire original series cast present, either. It was a Star Trek convention with a “multi-media extravaganza,” a laser show, and live musical performances all on a custom-made, constantly slowly rotating stage built like the Starfleet uniform badge insignia with a captain’s chair right in the middle.

    As Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was being released, that’s exactly what was planned for “Ultimate Fantasy” in Houston, Texas, at the Shamrock Hilton Convention Center and the adjacent Summit Arena in June 1982. The show was advertised all over Starlog and TV Guide. Huge billboards went up across the Houston area, and some organizers really believed that fans would come from overseas to see this four-hour live show.

    There was only one problem: no one came.

    FULL ARTICLE HERE


    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz

    #9571
    Steve W
    Steve W
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    Your link goes to a PC Gamer page about cheap Steam games.

    Gee, people don’t want to go to Houston? What a shock. Years back, Time Magazine had a sponsored contest in it where the winner would be awarded a week long all expenses paid trip to Houston. The issue in question sold really well. And yet only one person entered. I remember this because early on, the Daily Show (before they went headlong into hardcore politics) sent one of their people to Houston to do wacky interviews and things. That was where I found out that Houston has the most amounts of strip clubs in the nation (or at least at that time). And they also they consume the most egg rolls out of the entire nation (I might have read that someplace else, though). Yeah, not really a great town. Putting a convention in Houston will automatically limit its draw. Austin would have been a better choice. Or maybe New Orleans, a four or five hour drive away. At least they’re towns with some appeal to tourists.

    #9572
    ZLoth
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    @Steve W wrote:

    Your link goes to a PC Gamer page about cheap Steam games.

    Whoops…. it’s fixed now.


    “We’ve never lost an American in space, we’re sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.” – Gene Kranz

    #9573
    Steve W
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    Oooof, that sounded like a punch in the face of fandom. The guy putting it together really should have reached out to, say, all those ’70s California Trek convention people and gotten some advice beforehand. He’d been involved with smaller comic conventions and things, but he was out of his depth. And it was really nice of the actors to plow on ahead with the show even though they were performing to a mostly empty room.

    #9574

    This guy sounds like the Tim Brazeal before Tim Brazeal. (Who is Tim Brazeal, you ask? Whoa – I’d forgotten Texas was the common denominator here. Sorry, Steve.)

    Larry Nemecek has been putting the finishing touches on his documentary for almost as long as I can remember; I can’t wait to see the finished product. This is gonna be some top-shelf, VH1-Behind-the-Music funny stuff.

    I’d like to think that Larry will be connecting the dots in his movie: that stuff like this led to the rise of gigantic Creation Conventions and Wizard Cons…neither of which I can actually afford to attend because those wild-for-1982 ticket prices are now the norm.

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