For George Romero’s Birthday: Save The NOTLD Chapel!

As most of you should hopefully know the Chapel from the original Night of the Living Dead is in serious trouble. It is in disrepair and its future is in jeopardy. This is an iconic building to us die hard fans and thankfully Gary Streiner has taken it upon himself to save the building.

The structure, which appears in the opening scene of George Romero’s iconic horror movie that was filmed in and around the town and cemeteryhas fallen into a state of disrepair and was slated for demolition last fall.  Streiner appealed to the Evans City Cemetery Association for a chance to save this piece of cinematic history and was given a one year deadline to raise approximately $50,000 to cover the cost of restoration.

In 1967, Streiner was working at The Latent Image together with George Romero and his brother, Russell Streiner, in Pittsburgh when production began on the landmark film in which he was one of the original ten investors and owners.   In 2008 and 2009, Streiner organized Living Dead festivals in Evans City which attracted the largest reunion of cast and crew to date, as well as fans from as far away as France.

So far Approximately $12,000 has been saved and to help on February 4th ( which is George Romero’s Birthday ) there will be a screening of Night of the Living Dead at the Hollywood Theater to help reach the goals of $50,000!  The screening event will take place at the Hollywood Theater ( in Dormont, PA, a community located just outside downtown Pittsburgh.

Doors will open at 2:30 PM, with the film screening at 4 PM. Admission is $6 and all proceeds benefit Fix The Chapel.  In addition to the film, there will be a silent auction, appearances by Mr. Streiner and original cast member Ella Mae Smith and others to be announced, plus merchandise for sale such as t-shirts and for the first time actual pieces of the chapel (great for collectors!).

George Romero himself has weighed in to thank the people of Evans City for their efforts writing in part quote;

  …….Our first day of filming in Evans City was spent in the cemetery.  There seems to be a ‘Zombie’ craze sweeping the nation right now, and indeed the world.  I was in Strasbourg, France last week where more than 3000 people turned out in make-up and costume for a ‘Zombie Walk’ through town.  Next week, I’m going to Mexico City, where upwards of 5000 are expected to attend.  Well, the very first Zombie (not your grandfather’s vintage Caribbean-style Zombie, but one of the ‘New Order’) made his premiere appearance on a cloudy afternoon in 1967 in the graveyard at Evans City.  I’ll never forget the day.  I was fulfilling a lifelong dream: directing a motion picture.  My long-time friends and partners were there with me (Russ, Jack, Gary, Vince, Bill…) and the people of Evans City played a big part in making it all possible.

 I’m writing this as a way of thanking Evans City and voicing my strong vote for the preservation of the chapel at the cemetery there.

……. In the end, our litte movie was distributed worldwide, was invited into the permanent collection at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and was selected by the American Film Institute as one of the top 100 films of all time.  We have all gotten careers out of its success.  The film has somehow remained a favorite of audiences ever since its release in 1968, and a cult has formed around it.  Hard as it is to believe, people travel from all over the world just to visit the place where the film was photographed.

I am asking all of you who are reading this to tweet this news article, share it on Facebook and show the world the difference that us fanboys and girls can make. Please share this and then go to and make a donation!

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