Frightening as it sounds, Vampira has filed...

<i> From staff and wire reports</i>

Frightening as it sounds, Vampira has filed suit against Elvira, claiming the latter pirated her ghoulish characterization.

Attorney Jan Goodman said she filed the Los Angeles federal court action against actress Cassandra (Elvira) Peterson on behalf of Maila (Vampira) Nurmi, whose creative trademark, public reputation and ability to market her portrayal allegedly have been damaged.

Nurmi was Vampira, the sexy TV scare movie hostess, during the 1950s. Goodman said Vampira was asked by KHJ-TV in 1981 to revive the show, but then was eased out after turning over details about the image and persona of her character. Goodman said Peterson was then installed as Elvira.

“There is no Elvira,” Goodman said. “There is only a pirated Vampira.”


The attorney said Elvira ought to compensate Vampira, now dependent upon Social Security. “She is very mad,” Goodman added. “She spent a good portion of her life coming up with a character and a show and used that for many years, and the character was ripped off.”

A spokesman for Elvira said he had no comment.

Beverly Hills officials, who were not available last Friday when they were out celebrating state Admission Day, reported Monday that they have yet to decide whether to prosecute Rodeo Drive art gallery owner David Spellerberg on a misdemeanor complaint of violating municipal parking laws.

For six months, Spellerberg has been parking his Rolls-Royce (complete with a jar of Grey Poupon mustard on a silver tray) in front of his gallery while a chauffeur stood by feeding quarters into the parking meter. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, officials complain.


“It’s a concern to the city,” says attorney Kevin Ennis, who represents Beverly Hills, “because there are only so many parking spaces.” He said the matter is “being reviewed” for possible prosecution.

Buying a 70-some-year-old, two-story Victorian house seemed like a fine idea to Pasadena chiropractor James A. Kholos, but there was the problem of moving it from its Los Feliz neighborhood to a lot he owns in the Mt. Washington area.

Halfway up the steepest street in Los Angeles.

The house-moving outfit hired by Kholos had to get it from Greenwood Place, near the Greek Theatre, to the new site on Eldred Street, which has a 33-degree grade, via a circuitous 15-to-20-mile route. That’s several times the distance of a direct route, but with a two-story house you have to go where there are no low-hanging wires, bridges or trees.


Starting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, workers removed the roof and hauled it down Vermont Avenue, along Sunset Boulevard to Western Avenue, south to Adams Boulevard, east to Alameda Street and--as Kholos remembered it--"somehow onto Pasadena Avenue.”

By Monday morning, the crew was slowly winching the old house up the hill so it could be shoved into place. City street-use inspector Dave Torres said he was surprised it got that far. “I knew it was going to be a troublesome move,” he said, “but they’re there.”

By late in the day, however, they were still trying to maneuver it onto the lot.

Kholos said he plans to restore the old home with its box ceilings, wood floors and stained glass windows to its original splendor and live in it. But, he said nervously, “If it doesn’t fly, it’ll be firewood.”


Another tough chore, one would think, is getting more than 450 people in white suits to pose for a picture. But Kristin Mabry of the Tournament of Roses staff says, “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

The photographic subjects--more than half of the Tournament’s 875 active members--were photographed in front of Pasadena’s Tournament House on Saturday for a center spread in the program for the tournament’s upcoming centennial anniversary.

The handful of past presidents got to wear red coats.

How did she get the 450 to stand reasonably still for the one-hour photo session?


Every member is on one of 29 committees, Mabry said. Each chairman had to keep his own people in place.

Unfortunate timing department. A commercial urging voters to support Proposition P, which would allow Occidental Petroleum Co. to drill for oil in Pacific Palisades, portrays a peaceful scene, suggesting that one would never know the drilling was going on.

The spot ran just before the 10 p.m. news on KTLA-TV Thursday, Friday and Sunday. (There was no “10 O’Clock News” on Saturday because the Angels game ran late.)

On Thursday, the lead item on the news was a fire raging in a Fillmore oil well. Ditto on Friday.


There was a new lead story Sunday, however. It dealt with the cleanup of Ventura Boulevard in Encino, where 60,000 gallons of crude oil had leaked from an underground Mobil Oil Co. pipeline.