Durham County

Carolina Theatre to pay tribute to zombie master George Romero

In this Sept. 12, 2009, file photo, director George Romero poses with some fans dressed as zombies after accepting a special award during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. Romero, whose classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77. Romero died Sunday, July 16, 2017, following a battle with lung cancer.
In this Sept. 12, 2009, file photo, director George Romero poses with some fans dressed as zombies after accepting a special award during the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto. Romero, whose classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77. Romero died Sunday, July 16, 2017, following a battle with lung cancer. AP

In honor of the late horror filmmaker George A. Romero, who directed the 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” and spawned a zombie industry, the Carolina Theatre will show the classic movie free of charge Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m. in Fletcher Hall.

Romero, who died Sunday at age 77 of lung cancer, directed the black-and-white classic on a $100,000 budget. It later grossed more than $18 million.

Among the other films in Romero’s zombie oeuvre are “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), “Day of the Dead” (1985), “Land of the Dead” (2005) and many others.

In 1999, the Library of Congress chose “Night of the Living Dead” for preservation in the National Film Registry, as a film deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Romero spawned a genre of books, fan fiction, films and television shows — such as the TV series “The Walking Dead.” Countless zombie novels have been written, among them Rhiannon Frater’s “The Last Bastion of the Living” and Max Brallier’s “Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?”

Romero’s influence also may be seen in numerous zombie walks and events that happen around Halloween. Durham’s Zombie Lurch, an informal group that presents the annual zombie lurch, presented its 10th zombie lurch in 2016. No word yet on whether Durham’s zombie lurchers will show up at the Carolina Theatre screening.

Guests who want to see the free screening of “Night of the Living Dead” will be issued tickets beginning at noon Thursday. For information, visit http://bit.ly/2u6BB27, or call 919-560-3030.

Cliff Bellamy: 919-419-6744, @CliffBellamy1

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