The Haunted Studios Collection™ began in the summer of
1963. The collection's founder, Ken Patterson, that year
met and was befriended by sculptor and 60s counter culture
Vito Paulekas. The Photo Below shows Ken
along with other members of Vito's Dancers with the bandThe
Fraternity of Manin
It was through his friendship with Vito that Ken metJerry
Hopkins, then talent coordinator (aka "kook-booker) for
The Steve Allen Show that taped in a dilapidated theater on
Vine Street in Hollywood. The one time silent film theater
had been rechristened
The Steve Allen Playhouse and
converted to a "live on tape" audience rated television
studio. Years later Ken and his friendDavid
again cross paths with Jerry as a supplier of hand made
God's Eye necklaces to Hopkins' Headquarters psychedelic
shop in Westwood.
Ken made friends with many of the show's crew members, and
spent his days "hanging out" at the studio. It was during
one of these hang out sessions that Ken crossed paths with
The Original Maltese Falcon. In that summer of 1963 The
Steve Allen Show was getting a new set, and a general house
cleaning. When the old set was coming down Patterson was
offered a truck load of "trash" including a plaster casting
of The Original Maltese Falcon, the very first artifact in
what was to become The Haunted Studios Collection™.
The Falcon was to have been used in a comedy sketch
featuring Allen as Sam Spade, but for reasons unknown the
bit was never performed and the Falcon sat backstage at The
Steve Allen Playhouse on Vine Street in Hollywood, never
returned to rental house Century Props.
from Vito Ken produced the first mold from The Falcon.
Within days he had sold the first copies through a
collector's book shop just off of Hollywood Blvd. Sensing a
large, and largely untapped market in movie collectibles Ken
set about repeating his initial success by mining other
Vito and Ken spent many afternoons that summer visiting the
trash bins of Universal, Paramount, Desilu, CBS, ABC, and
other studios. This was long before the days of locked
trash bins, and long before anyone realized the collector's
value in the discarded props and life masks.
Ken also attended Vito's sculpture class where he
perfected the techniques used today for the Studio 303
castings and finishes. Below are two pictures of Vito's
studio, the first from 1966 and the second from 1968.
From the 1970s through the 1990s Ken worked in the film and
television industries as well as teaching classes in
Television Production and Post Production at Los Angeles
City College and Pasadena City College. Using connections
made during this period Ken was able to add to the
collection, and when he retired from working in the industry
in 1998 there were over 3,000 Life Masks and hundreds of
original film props in the Haunted Studios Collection™.
Today Ken lives in semi retirement in northern
California where he is a respected artist in his own right.
He remains the face of The Haunted Studios as Curator