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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Night of the Living Dead: Film Night & History at Arts Center

Promotional poster for George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: A Crash Course in Hollywood and Horror.” Photo provided by Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center.

The Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center in Pueblo is hosting a Halloween-themed event, spotlighting a classic horror film that is considered “ground zero” of the zombie genre.

On the evening of Oct. 27, George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead will be screened at the Jackson Conference Center. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume. A cash bar and mobile horror trivia will kick off the event at 6 p.m. 

The theater doors will open at 6:30 p.m. A quick crash course into Hollywood and horror history will begin at 7 p.m., with general admission seating. The film starts at 7:15 p.m. After an intermission for attendees to get another refreshment and catch their breaths, a post-film analysis is set for 9:15 p.m.

Elise Olson, currently the Assistant Curator for Visual Arts at the Buell Children’s Museum, is the mastermind behind the event. With a degree in art history, Olson moved to Pueblo from Florida in October 2019, assisting in exhibits and collections at the museum. 

This passion project has been outside her usual realm and has been something Olson has wanted to do for a long time. When she originally brought the idea up two years ago, it was too close to October, and the facility was not at its peak performance to pull off the event.

“This year we’ve got a new projector, a new screen set-up, all this fabulous new equipment, and our sound has improved, so we finally got the green light to go ahead and do this event,” Olson said.

Night of the Living Dead debuted in 1968, right after the Hays Code was removed. It was a “code regulating the moral content of feature films.” The horror film was an independent film with a budget of about $100,000. It was one of the first films to have a Black man, Duane Jones, as the leading role and hero after Hays Code.

“What I want to do first with that aspect of the talk is bring awareness to how censorship really affected the movie industry and how it prevented a lot of opportunities for people,” Olson said.

Without the regulation of the Hays Code, the film also dives deeper into difficult topics, including archetypes produced from the Vietnam War and the idea of the enemy being a human being. Movies produced within the Hays Code worked around this through portraying animal-like monsters. Night of the Living Dead is one of the first films portraying what is now commonly known as zombies.

“One of the things I love about this movie is that it is such an effective use of the horror genre to create subtle but powerful social commentary,” Olson said.

Olson believes this will be an event that will draw a lot of people who love the movie and have seen it many times, such as herself. However, she also hopes people will come who have never seen the film before.

Another fun event to look forward to in the evening will be a mini game show consisting of the Arts Center CEO and board members to test their horror knowledge. One of the questions will ask who Olson is dressed up as. A hint is that it is a zombie-themed costume.

Tickets are $8 for students, $10 for members, and $12 for non-members. Those who are interested in attending the event can purchase their tickets online or in-person at the box office in the Jackson Conference Center.

“There’s a credit card processing fee and so to encourage people to pay in cash, we will be offering a dollar off. Every dollar goes back to the Arts Center and that enables us to do events not just like this, but to also do care and conservation for the collection and to do outreach programs,” Olson said

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