Pittsburgh plans to honor Western Pennsylvania legend George Romero, known as the father of American zombie films, on Monday at the Downtown location where his cult classic “Night of the Living Dead” premiered in 1968.
Romero’s widow, Suzanne Desrocher, will be joined by Mayor Bill Peduto, representatives of the Pittsburgh film office and fans in remembering Romero at 10:30 a.m. outside the Byham Theater on Sixth Street. Sixth Street will be closed between Penn Avenue and Fort Duquesne Boulevard from 10 a.m. until noon.
“Night of the Living Dead” premiered at what was then the Fulton Theater on Oct. 1, 1968.
More than 30 organizations have committed to a series of events over the next month, including screenings, lectures and festivities, to recognize Romero’s work and highlight Pittsburgh as a destination to learn about his impact on American pop culture.
Romero, who died July 16 of lung cancer, is credited with incorporating conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills into his films.
His second zombie classic, “Dawn of the Dead,” shot at the Monroeville Mall, debuted in 1978.
The Library of Congress in 1999 inducted “Night of the Living Dead” into the National Registry of Films.