Junior-Senior Prom
Marion, IL High School
Friday and Saturday, May 10-11, 1957
By Thomas L. Wimberly
     The picture above was taken of the Juniors-Seniors attending the prom on May 18, 1956. This prom was the first "All-Nighter" in which the class saw a premiere showing of "The Birds and the Bees" at the Orpheum Theater after the prom dance ended at Midnight. After the movie, the "happy dancers" attended an all-night dance and refreshments at the Elks Club where they stayed until sun-up on Saturday. The Elks Club, Shriners, V.F.W., and American Legion sponsored the all-night event. It was a big success.
1957 Junior-Senior Prom Night at the Movies!
Friday, May 10, 1957
Orpheum Theater, Marion, IL 

     On our Junior-Senior prom night, we danced at the high school "girls gym" which lasted until midnight. I believe we danced to the music of Jack Stalcup. If anyone has a "dance card" from this event listing the correct dance band, I would appreciate knowing the correct band. 
     The gym was decorated  in colorful "crepe paper" streamers by the prom committee, usually girl volunteers from our class. After the dance, we attended a special movie presentation at the Orpheum Theater. After the movie was over, we walked down the alley (East of the Orpheum) to the Elks Club where we danced, ate sandwiches and/or "munchies", and drank sodas until morning! 
     This all-nighter was sponsored by the Elks Club and was the forerunner of the present day Graduation Spree sponsored by the Marion Chamber of Commerce. The main purpose was to keep us off the highways and off "booze" so we wouldn't get killed in an automobile accident! This event did not keep everyone off the roads! 
     For example, after the 1956 Junior-Senior Prom, but before the movie, yours truly, along with Tom Spiller and our dates, Julie and Nancy, took my father's 1955 Buick hard-top V8 out east of Marion on Old Rt. 13 and headed towards Miller's Crossroads. On the way back to town, there was no traffic so I rev the engine up and soon the speedometer needle was touching 100mph before I eased up on the gas pedal. Everyone in the car was excited, especially Spiller, until I got towards the magic 100 number. Then everyone in the car was scared, including me. Nothing happend but I vowed never again!
     The movie clip below was shot in Super 8-mm color film by Louis Fluck during the parade of "happy dancers"  entering the theater in the early morning hours of Saturday, May 11, 1957. We have Louis to thank for preserving part of our high school memories for us to share 50 years later. If you want a copy of the entire DVD Louis has produced, please contact him at his e-mail address.