The Athena Grand, 1008 E. State St., loves the time of year when things get scary and spooky. The interior is decorated to get everyone excited for the holiday, and the theater shows a special Halloween-themed movie.
This year, the Athena Grand is showing Night of the Living Dead for one day and one time only.
For those who haven’t seen George A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead, the film centers around zombies who come back to life to eat the humans, while the living try to survive the night. The characters try endlessly to stay alive and kill the zombies, while some of the living are lost along the way.
Annie Hughes has been the manager of Athena Grand for 13 years. Hughes, along with her co-manager, Michael Frame, who has been there for almost five years, are in charge of picking the movies that are shown at the Athena Grand.
The company Fathom Events reaches out to the theaters and asks them if they want to show their special-event films. The management of the theater gets an email for an event, and the theater gets to choose whether to accept or decline. After they accept, they can then decide how long they want to play the film, be it a week-long event or a special one-night showing.
Hughes and Frame decided to do a special one-night-only showing. They know the Athena Grand has a niche market for their movies, and the horror movies usually do the best.
The theater always shows a special movie designed for Halloween. For the past four years, the selection has been Night of the Living Dead, but before that they’ve shown the original Halloween movies and many others to emphasize the scary feeling of the holiday.
Hughes becomes excited around this time of year and believes it to be one of the best parts of her job.
“I’m excited because I really like this time of year,” Hughes said. “I think it’s fun for people to watch movies that they can watch at home here in the theater. There is no better way to watch a movie than in a theater.”
Frame gets excited about the general spirit and activity outlet that the theater has to offer to adults at this time of year.
“Other than block parties, there’s not a lot of events that get adults into the spirit of Halloween, so it’s cool to show a movie that gets everyone involved,” Frame said.
Though this movie provides some entertainment for the adults of Athens, Ohio University students are still excited for this showing as well.
Natalie Heller, a senior studying communication sciences and disorders, is really looking forward to the showing.
“It’s so cool to see old movies replay in theaters,” Heller said. “I love seeing people get into the spirit of Halloween, and what better way than a scary movie screening?”