Infamous Radio Broadcast Recreated on October 31 at The Arlington Regent Theatre
Event benefits new documentary about the Orson Welles Cinema.
On October 30, 1938, The Orson Welles Mercury Theatre broadcast H.G. Wells’ classic tale of interplanetary battle with War of the Worlds and stunned the nation as many who heard it were convinced that a real invasion was taking place. It was one of the first times that the power of radio was on full display, and it resulted in new regulations about what and how news could be presented on the public airwaves. On October 31, 2013, the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA, will commemorate the 75th anniversary with a live theatre event recreating one of the most famous radio plays ever produced.
This new War of the Worlds theatre recreation will use classic Foley audio techniques (where sound effects are produced mechanically where possible) and will feature a cast of local media celebrities, including Christopher Lydon from WGBH; cultural reporter Joyce Kulhawik; RadioBDC on-air personality Henry Santoro; Cha-Chi LoPrette from 100.7 WZLX, and others to be announced. The production will be directed by Nerissa Williams with Foley direction by Austen Wright and Hal Wagner.
The live event will raise funds for The Orson Welles Complex, a new documentary produced and directed by Garen Daly about the legendary Cambridge art house. As one of the Cinema’s managers during its heyday, Daly is chronicling the unique story of the Welles with cinematographer Austin de Besche, noted for his work with John Sayles, among others.
“What more fitting tribute than to recreate War of the Worlds, the broadcast that launched Orson Welles’ career in the movies, as we embark on preserving the memory of the Orson Welles Cinema in a documentary film,” said Daly. “We thought it would be a lot of fun and a great way to commemorate the anniversary on Halloween night.”
For those living in the Cambridge area in the 1970s and 1980s, the Orson Welles Cinema figures prominently in their memories. Patrons enthusiastically relished the innovative programming that included midnight movies, revivals, and European films. Viewers discovered Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, and many others at the Welles. Tommy Lee Jones was the Cinema’s first manager, and Stephen King included the Welles in three of his stories. Through the years, the Cinema added a film school and a restaurant, and it spawned a generation of people dedicated to the arts who influenced the industry.
Daly’s documentary, The Orson Welles Complex, is scheduled to release in 2015. Follow news and updates at www.facebook.com/OrsonWellesCinema.
War of the Worlds live theatre event will take place Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA. Tickets are $20.00 in advance and $25.00 at the door. Purchase at the Regent Theatre box office or online at www.BostonSci-Fi.com/WaroftheWorlds.
The Regent Theatre is located at 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA. (781) 646-4849 www.regentheatre.com