Newspaper Articles

Teenagers Fill Bambi's First Dance
by T. Curtis Forbes
December 5, 1966
The Newport Daily News
Newport, Rhode Island

More than 700 teenagers were on hand Saturday night to hear the Cowsills open Bambi's, a combination dance and exposition hall, at 1 Casino Terr.

The crowd was orderly and showed pleasure in the new facility. Entering the hall, the youthful patrons were given flyers stating, "Please cooperate" and prove "we can conduce a social funtion as "ladies and gentlemen."

The flyer urged patrons to avoid loitering and racing of car motors. Bill Cowsill, oldest member of the Cowsill group, early in th eprogram urged patrons to cooperate with the management.

"This is your club," he said, adding, "it is up to you to take care of it." The Cowsills began to perform shortly after 8 p.m. At that time less than 500 youths were present.

By 9 p.m., the capacity 759 persons had filed into Bambi's which was granted a one-day dance license at last week's city Council meeting.

The maximum will be increased to 1,000 upon installation of another entrance to the establishment. The capacity of the building has been set by the Fire Department and building inspector.

After the capacity had been reached, James Tsagaris, president of Bambi's told cashiers at the ticket booth to allow only one person in for each person who left the building.

Five Council members attended the opening. There were Mrs. Margaret C. Loftus, Charles A. Hambly, Paul E. Burke, Daniel J. McCarthy and Edward K. Coristine.

Bambi's opening had been protested by some area residents, doctors at Bellevue Medical Center and officials of the Audrain Building Corp.

A restraining order to close the establishment before it opened was denied Friday by Judge Stephen A. Fanning in Superior Court.

However, Judge Fanning assigned a preliminary hearing tomorrow in Superior Court. A petition to have the dance license issued to Bambi declared invalid was filed by Moore, Virgadamo, Boyle & Lynch, attorneys for five Bellevue Avenue residents, four doctors with offices in the area and a corporation, protesting the club's opening.

Persons objecting to the establishment claimed the dance license was invalid because the property is restricted by the terms of the deed.

The deed forbids the "establishment of any trade, business or occupation which may be noxious or offensive to the neighboring inhabitants". The deed also stated the clause did not restrict the property from being used for "a hotel, restaurant or cafe."

The deed was dated Nov. 6, 1902, transfering the property from Ralph Riess to Adolph L. Audrain. The petitioners were Jane P. Langley, C. Matthews Dick, Anne H. Russell, Cynthia Cary, and Gwendolyn K. Armstrong.

The doctors listed among the petitioners included Charles A. Serbst, Paul C. Houston, Anthony T. Carrellas and Richard K. Knowles. Also listed among the objecting petitioners was the Audrain Building, Inc.

Many youths were brought to the dance by parents who took a quick look at Bambi's and drove away. Other youths walked to the dance. Some said they were pleased Bambi's was in walking distance.

By the time the Cowsills were doing their last number at 11 p.m., the crowd had become sparse on the dance floor. Long lines of patrons were waiting at the coat check window.

Joe Thomas of WPRO was master of ceremonies for the dance, held in what one was the repair shop of the Casino Garage. The area which had been the automobile showroom was converted to a delicatesen and is expected to open in a few weeks.

FIRST NIGHTERS - Part of the crowd of about 500 teenagers listen to opening concert of the Cowsills at the first night of Bambi's teenage dances. Crowd soon swelled to capacity 759, but proved well behaved.

For those of you familiar with Newport, here's a map of where Bambi's was.

Email Me Home