Zanesville's Dick Basehart, who makes his film debut in "Repeat Performance" which will have its world premiere here Thursday night, was officially greeted this afternoon at the city limits by Mayor William G. Watson, Safety Director Arthur Shiplett and representatives of service clubs.

The young native-born actor and his wife, accompanied by other Hollywood stars and members of the official reception party, travelled from Columbus by motorcade. They were escorted downtown by a police cruiser and patrolmen mounted on motorcycles.

Gov. Herbert welcomed Basehart back to his native state this morning in a ceremony held in the executive office at Columbus. Also greeted by the governor were comedian Benny Rabin and starlets Chili Williams and Frances Rafferty, who will participate in the homecoming festivities.

"I'm glad to welcome you back to your native state," declared Gov. Herbert, shaking hands with Basehart.

Dick, flashing a broad grin, replied, "And I'm very happy to be back. I'm Deeply grateful for the wonderful reception we've been given here in Columbus."

A batter of cameramen photographed the ceremony at the capitol and records were made for broadcast by radio.

In a special program at 4 o'clock this afternoon, Radio Station WHIZ will broadcast various events as they were recorded during Basehart's reception at Columbus.

Traveling by train from Chicago, Dick and his wife, Stephanie, arrived in Columbus at 8 o'clock this morning, a half-hour late.

They were met at the station by a group of close friends and officials associated with the big premiere observance. Flanked by a motorcycle escort, the group motored to the Deshler-Wallick Hotel where breakfast was served.

In the party were John Woodward, mamager of Zanesville Theaters, Inc.; J. Robert Kerns, director of Radio Station WHIZ; C.C. Stebbins, managing editor of The Signal; Jerry Pickman and George Bennett, of Eagle-Lion Films, Inc., and William McCann, of Radio Station WAGA at Atlanta, who has bee sent here by Fort Industries, Inc., to announce the premiere activities.

Mr and Mrs Basehart were interviewed at the station by Johnny Pearl, WHIZ announcer and newscaster. Signal Photographer Newell Harvey was on hand to cover the event with his camera.

Betty Etter, editor of Movie Life magazine, arrived in Columbus this morning from New York City, accompanied by her staff photographer, Dick Nadler. They will cover each phase of the premiere program for a 10-page layout for her August issue of the film publication which will appear on newstands in July.

In Chicago yesterday, Dick was interviewed by representative of various newspapers, Radio Station WGN and reporters of 150 high school publications in Chicago. Later he met Mayor Kennelly.

Louis Bromfield, famous author several best-selling novels, will arrive in Zanesville late today to attend the celebration. He will be the guest of E.B. Howard at Headley Inn on the West pike.

Meanwhile the program committee annoujnced that Miss Matty Flood, well known local musician, will present a special program of organ music for the premiere program at the Liberty theater Thursday night. Her selections will include several old favorites and have been specially arranged for the occasion.

Following the official welcoming at the city's outskirts this afternoon, the group continued in the Zane Hotel.

The late afternoon schedule included a recepton for Basehart by members of the original Basehart boosters, consisting of local fan clubs. This was followed by representatives of news syndicates and papers interviewing the young film star and other visitors from Hollywood.

Later at the Zane members of the St. Thomas high school senior class were introduced to Basehart, who is an alumnus of the school.

At 6:30 o'clock tonight, Basehart and the other stars will be guests at the annual dinner meeting of the Zanesville Retail Merchants Association at Hotel Rogge. Then the celebrities will go to municipal stadium where Basehart will throw the first ball starting the game between the Zanesville Dodgers and Springfield Giants.

After the game, Basehart and his party will go to Radio Station WHIZ for the broadcast of " Repeat Performance" by a cast consisting of local talent. Dick, however, will play his own role.

The first busy day of the premiere celebration will close with a private reception for Basehart at Zane. This will be limited to a few close friends and invited guests.

It was announced today that members of visiting high school bands which will participate in the premiere parade Thursday afternoon and outdoor festivities in front of the Liberty theater will be given an opportunity to see "Repeat Performance&.quot;

The Quimby theater will be thrown open to the musicians who will see the picture there.

Zanesville schools will be closed Thursday afternoon for the parade which is scheduled to move at 3 o'clock, immediately after which "Miss Repeat Performance" will be chosen on the court house esplanade.

Mayor Watson, in a proclamation issued today, set aside Thursday as "Dick Basehart Day" in Zanesville "to honor a Zanesville boy on his return to his birthplace for the world premiere of the motion picture "Repeat Performance."

City hall will close at noon Thursday to permit employees to witness the welcoming parade and other phases of the gala program. Red, white and blue decorations have been placed in the windows at city hall and flags are flying around the outside of the Municipal Building.

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Copyright --October 20, 2000 Stephanie Kellerman and the Basehart Family