As covered in the first installment of this multi-part journey to the home of zombie history, Evans City PA, we visited the local cemetery and briefly inhabited the same space as the likes of Judith O’Dea, Russ Streiner, and Bill Hinzman from the opening sequence of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD!
But that was the
second part of the day. First, we traveled to a deceptively quiet street and a distinctively decorated store front to meet with Kevin Kriess of the Living Dead Museum, a veritable treasure trove of information, artifacts, and memorabilia related to NIGHT, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD, and many other aspects of zombie genre history dating both before and after Romero’s immortal trilogy.
Formerly based in the Monroeville Mall, site of
DAWN, the museum is now just minutes away from the aforementioned Evans City Cemetery. We’ll cover the museum visit in two installments, because it’s just too big an event to encompass in a single post. In this gallery, we arrive at the museum, and encounter some amazing and authentic artifacts from Romero’s original cinematic cycle!
The wonderful museum logo on the entrance door. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Loving those window treatments! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
I flipped this one horizontally so you could clearly read the reflection of the all-too-appropriate Boylan Funeral Home across the street. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Inside, a marquee welcomes visitors to the home of horror cinema history! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
I don’t know about you, but I think that ticket taker looks a bit ill. Best to move on into the museum quickly… Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
One of the first things you’re greeted with at the museum is a wall of autographed photos, including these two from some familiar faces! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Need a refreshing beverage while you visit? The museum has you covered! Glad it isn’t Lucozade (BIO-ZOMBIE fans will get this one). Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Naturally the museum has quite a bit of space devoted to the film that redefined the zombie in the modern era – NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. After a fascinating wall of behind-the-scenes and publicity stills, I ran into this gentleman and tried to join him in his crooked-jawed excitement! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
You never know what you might see at the museum, like this original screen-used ammo belt worn by George “Sheriff McClelland” Kosana in NIGHT! Sheriff McClelland
One entire corner of the museum floor is devoted to some stunning displays celebrating the film that truly established the modern conception of the zombie even moreso than NIGHT: DAWN OF THE DEAD! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
I take a look at some actual screen-used props from DAWN OF THE DEAD, including limbs and a gas mask. All in a day’s work. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
A huge diorama along one wall re-creates sections of the Monroeville Mall as seen in DAWN, including this section including a bit of the ice rink. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
I wonder if those poor figures on the top floor will make it out alive; probably not. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Are you humming “The Gonk” right now like I am? Good. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
Kevin gave us a tantalizing glimpse of the original elevator doors seen in the film, awaiting a day when he can set up the elevator as a photo opportunity for patrons. And look, isn’t that splashed fake blood from the production? Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There are some wonderful alternate and foreign posters for many zombie films on display, including this Japanese one for DAY OF THE DEAD. Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
All things considered, this guy has held up remarkably well since 1985! Photo by Natalie B. Litofsky
There’s so much more to explore, but that will have to wait until the final post covering the second half of our visit to the Living Dead Museum in Evans City! “We got this, man!”
Listen to our discussion on the undying classic,
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, on episode 68 of DOCTOR OF THE DEAD!
Listen to our conversation about the horror landmark,
DAWN OF THE DEAD, on episode 78 of DOCTOR OF THE DEAD!