NEPA Scene Staff

Meet the original ‘Night of the Living Dead’ cast at Kirby Center screening in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 1

Meet the original ‘Night of the Living Dead’ cast at Kirby Center screening in Wilkes-Barre on Nov. 1
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From a press release:

50 years after its original release, George A. Romero’s classic zombie film “Night of the Living Dead” comes back to life on the silver screen at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.

This special screening of the movie features a live talkback with stars Judith O’Dea (Barbra), Russ Streiner (Johnny), and Kyra Schon (Karen).

Tickets, which are $25, $35, and $75 (VIP seating in the first few rows with pre-show photo op), plus fees, are on sale now and available at the Sundance Vacations Box Office at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at, and by phone at 570-826-1100.

Shot in and around Evans City, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh, director George A. Romero’s unparalleled 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead” is one of the most iconic and influential releases of all time.

The story follows seven people trapped in a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, trying to escape a large and growing group of zombies. The film was one of the most profitable independent horror films ever made.

“Night of the Living Dead” has been regarded as a cult classic by film scholars and critics, despite being heavily criticized upon its release for its explicit gore. It eventually garnered critical acclaim and was selected in 1999 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

“At that time, I was just thrilled to have had the opportunity to be in a feature film. As time went on, I have become far more respectful and, what do I want to say, introspective, about the film. The fact that we had a black man in a lead role because he had the best audition. When I look back after 20, 30, 40 years, I think, ‘How wonderful that that’s the way it worked out.’ I don’t know if George had any ulterior motives behind that; I honestly don’t think they really thought, ‘Oh good, let’s put a black man in and we’re going to see if we can change the world.’ I don’t think that was in their minds at all. They just wanted somebody they felt would do a good job – it just happened to be a black fellow. I have great respect as more and more time goes by of the film, how it was made, and what it told,” O’Dea said in an interview promoting her appearance at the Infect Scranton horror convention back in 2012.

“I am really awed by the fact that the viewing public, those who love this genre, have paid such homage to the film. I am extremely grateful. When I look back on the film now and I ask myself, ‘Why? Why do you suppose so many people have cared about this film for so long?’ I look at the film and I see certain things that answer that question for me. One of them we already talked about, and that is in 1968, when that film came out, nobody made a big deal in the script about Duane [Jones] being a black man in 1968. That’s one of the most important things I cherish about the movie and one of the things I think that has made it remain strong all these years. I think two that the way George told it, the way he kept it moving made it more a docu-drama that people said, ‘Oh my God, if this ever really happened… Could it happen?’ It brought a sense of realism with its documentary-type feel to the storytelling. I think, again, that’s one of the reasons. The fact, too, that we all died! Or at least we think Barbara died. But we do. Everybody that we’re pulling for dies. That didn’t happen back then. This was an unusual way to tell a story, so we did make a change in the storytelling, filmmaking, back then. I am thrilled to be a part of it.”