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My Favorite Saturday Morning Memories

Growing up, I spent my Saturday mornings in front of the television watching pals Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes crew, Tom and Jerry, Droopy, Huckleberry Hound, The Flintstones, its later spin-off The Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm Show, The SmurfsThe Snorks, Scooby-Doo Where Are You?, and of course Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Having one morning dedicated to cartoons after a long week of dealing with bullies, and shitty teachers, and pop quizzes, and that kid who always smelled like mustard (ALWAYS), was a welcomed respite. It was like cracking open a cold one after a hard day’s work. But since I was a just mere pup, let’s say it was like dunking a fresh chocolate chip cookie into a glass of cold milk (Ding! Age appropriate!). Then suddenly, cartoons were everywhere. On every channel. At any time. Hell, even a channel devoted to them 24 hours a day. This was fantastic! When Cartoon Network launched I rarely watched anything else (and honestly, other than TCM and the few channels my daughter watches, this is still true today. Read: Uncle Grandpa and Adult Swim). However, with the advent of the never-ending access to cartoons, came a quiet death to beloved Saturday morning cartoons on network television.

[Opens a cold one]

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World Premiere of Newly Restored White Zombie (1932)

Credit: Plaza Theatre
Credit: Plaza Theatre

 

This Friday, January 18, 2013, at Atlanta’s Historic Plaza Theatre, is the world premiere restoration of White Zombie (1932), starring Bela Lugosi. After Lugosi’s successful performance in Tod Browning’s Dracula, brothers Victor and Edward Halperin cast him in the lead role as the evil voodoo master, Murder Legendre. The film was made independently and distributed by United Artists. Large portions of the movie were filmed at Universal Studios. The Halperin brothers borrowed sets from other popular Universal horror films, such as Frankenstein and Dracula.

For years the only available copies of White Zombie were of very poor quality and all original 35mm negatives were thought to be lost. Holland Releasing in Los Angeles discovered an original 35mm print and invested in a 5-year digital restoration of the film.  The restoration was completed by Algosoft Technology, located outside of Atlanta, GA. Friday’s premiere at the Plaza will mark the first time White Zombie has been seen in its intended format on the big screen in 80 years. The film will be released in select theatres across the United States and Canada following the Atlanta premiere.

In addition to the film, members from the restoration team will be on-hand for a Q&A session following. There will be a rare screening of the  Betty Boop cartoon “Is My Palm Read“, by famed animator Max Fleischer. Also shown, a short interview with Bela Lugosi, filmed at his home during the production of White Zombie.

On January 29th, Kino Classics is releasing this remastered version on DVD and Blu-ray! You can pre-order on Amazon.

Stay tuned for more details!

 

 

World Premiere Restoration of White Zombie (1932) starring Bela Lugosi
Friday, January 18, 2013 at 8:00 pm
Tickets: $15
Plaza Theatre
1049 Ponce De Leon Avenue
Atlanta, GA