Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Save the Chapel



If you're a fan of zombie movies then you most likely have seen the 1968 George A. Romero flick that started it all: Night of the Living Dead. The movie opens with a brother and sister duo, Barbara and Johnny, who are visiting their father's grave. Johnny teases Barbara and delivers the now iconic line, "They're coming to get you, Barbara." The scene is unforgettable, subtle and creepy, as it takes place in a graveyard in Evans City, Pennsylvania. Now, the Cemetery Association is trying to demolish the chapel which was seen throughout the graveyard scenes in the beginning of the film.

The chapel, which has been closed down and boarded up for some time now, is set to be torn down within the year due to it's devastating appearance. However, fans of the cult classic are rallying around the issue, trying their best to save the horror monument.

Gary Streiner, the film's sound engineer and brother of actor Russell Streiner (Johnny), is making his best effort to raise the $50,000 that the Cemetery Association said should cover the restoration of the building. Streiner has been selling t-shirts, posters, customized zombie portraits and pieces of the chapel's decaying roof. Along with the memorabilia, Streiner has set up an online ad campaign, Fix the Chapel, where fans are encouraged to make donations.

If the sound engineer's efforts do pay off, he'd like to make the chapel a horror museum or a wedding chapel for horror enthusiasts.  Streiner currently has only raised a meager $7,000 which is nowhere close to his final goal.

When the Cemetery Association learned of Streiner's campaign to save the chapel, they were impressed enough to put the building's demolition on hold. Association President, Ron Volz, stated to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "He's come up with great ideas to raise money, but 50 grand is going to be tough to raise...But if he gets zombies from all over the United States to contribute...he can raise it."

If fans cannot raise the money by next September Volz and the rest of the Cemetery Association isist that they must proceed with tearing the chapel down.

As I already mentioned before, I am obsessed with zombies, so, Night of the Living Dead is obviously one of my top horror movies. When I heard this news I was saddened because the chapel is a part of zombie history. I applaud Streiner's efforts to help save the chapel and I'd like to help spread the news in order to get more help.

If you love horror movies, or have a place in your heart for zombie films, or any type of monument that has meaning to you, please help save the chapel. A small donation can go a long way and I urge you to help. Please visit Fix the Chapel for more details.

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