This year marks the 60th birthday of one of television’s most popular, acclaimed series, Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, and to commemorate this landmark Fathom Events has partnered with CBS Entertainment to bring six classic episodes to the big screen – in glorious black-and-white, no less.
On Nov. 14, these episodes, specially curated for this event by CBS and digitally restored, will be screened in more than 600 theaters nationwide, including four located in the Triad: The Cinemark Brassfield 10, The Grand 12 – Four Seasons Station, and Regal Greensboro Grande Stadium 16, and The Grand 18 Winston-Salem IMAX.
The Twilight Zone premiered Oct. 2, 1959, notched 156 episodes during its five-season run (1959-’64), won a 1963 Golden Globe for Serling as Best T.V. Producer/Director, and earned eight Emmy nominations, with Serling winning in 1961 and 1962 for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Drama.
From its legendary (and oft-imitated) theme music to its tantalizing tales of fantasy and the macabre – often steeped in irony and marked by devastating denouements – The Twilight Zone endures as television anthology at its finest and for many its most frightening.
The series has rarely been out of syndication, earning new generations of fans over the years. Its popularity has sustained so strongly that it became the basis for Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), and small-screen resurrections in 1985, 2002, and most recently this year, with Jordan Peele as host. Simply put, The Twilight Zone will not die.
Fans of the series will no doubt be familiar with the six episodes being presented:
“Walking Distance” (original airdate: Oct. 30, 1959) stars Gig Young as a Madison Avenue executive who returns to the small town where he grew up and unexpectedly encountered his 11-year-old self and his parents, forcing him to confront not only his past but his present.
“Time Enough at Last” (original airdate: Nov. 20, 1959) starring Burgess Meredith as a mild-mannered bank teller whose greatest passion is reading. By a strange twist of fate, he discovers he has all the time in the world to indulge his passion.
“The Invaders” (original airdate: Jan. 27, 1961) stars Agnes Moorehead as an elderly woman battling for her life when her isolated farmhouse is invaded by a flying saucer. (This may well be my personal favorite episode of The Twilight Zone.)
“The Monsters are Due on Maple Street” (original airdate: March 4, 1960), featuring Claude Akins and Barry Atwater, is set in a bucolic suburban neighborhood that comes unglued when the residents fear they are being invaded by aliens … or are they?
“Eye of the Beholder” (original airdate: Nov. 11, 1960) stars Maxine Stewart as a woman desperate to look like everyone else, having undergone a series of unsuccessful surgeries in the past. Her 11th operation will be her last and will determine her fate.
“To Serve Man” (original airdate: March 2, 1962) stars Lloyd Bochner as a cryptologist who begins to suspect something is amiss when seemingly benevolent aliens arrive on Earth, offering to share their knowledge of how to eradicate disease and hunger with mankind.
In addition to the six episodes, the presentation includes Remembering Rod Serling, a documentary short tracing the life and career of this remarkable man, whose legacy endures in The Twilight Zone and beyond.
“The incredible mind of Rod Serling led to some of the most indelible moments ever created for television, and selecting these episodes was both a great pleasure and a responsibility we took seriously, knowing how much the series means to generations of fans,” said Ken Ross, executive vice-president and general manager of CBS Home Entertainment.
“The Twilight Zone has inspired many filmmakers and storytellers, so it is a great honor to be able to bring these classic stories to the big screen, and to offer such an incisive look into the man who created them,” added Fathom Events CEO Ray Nutt.
“The Twilight Zone: A 60th Anniversary Celebration” will be screened 7 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 14, at Cinemark Brassfield Cinema 10 (2101 New Garden Rd. in Greensboro), The Grand 12 – Four Seasons Station (2700 Vanstory St. in Greensboro), Greensboro Grande Stadium 16 (3205 Northline Ave. in Greensboro), and The Grand 18 Winston-Salem IMAX (5601 University Pkwy in Winston-Salem). Tickets at Brassfield are $12.88 (general admission). Tickets at Greensboro Grande are $10.44 (general admission) and $7.54 (children and senior citizens). Tickets for The Grand 18 are $13.88 (general admission). Ticket prices for The Grand 12 have not been posted, but you can call the theater at (336)855-2926. For advance tickets or more information, visit the official Fathom Events website: www.FathomEvents.com.