Friday, March 14, 2008

Join us now and live in peace.

Despite their recent troubles, the Drexel Theatres have gone ahead with this year's 25th Annual Ohio 24-Hour Science Fiction Marathon, and right on schedule- from noon on Saturday, April 19th, until noon on Sunday the 20th. I had feared that the move to the Drexel East would have forced Marathon paterfamilias Bruce Bartoo to scale back the proceedings to twelve hours like they've had to do with October's horror marathons, but happily this isn't the case. In fact, they actually wrangled a guest this year, for the first time in a while. The guest of honor?

None other than Academy Award™-winning actress Patricia Neal. Neal will be at the Drexel on Friday the 18th to help the Drexel celebrate its 70th Anniversary, and she's graciously agreed to stick around an extra day to appear at the Sci-Fi Marathon and no doubt be bombarded by questions about Marathon favorite The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Now, I realize that Neal isn't as young as she once was, and the Marathon has had some trouble with other elderly guests they've booked, as when Kevin McCarthy had to cancel at the last minute due to illness a few years back. But considering that Neal is already confirmed for the Drexel shindig the previous night, I'm pretty sure her Marathon gig will stick as well.

Along with The Day the Earth Stood Still, Bruce has confirmed four titles thusfar: the fifties rarity Stranger From Venus (also starring Neal), the AIP crapsterpiece Journey to the Seventh Planet, John Hurt and Richard Burton in 1984, and the Indonesian ripoff Lady Terminator. If that lineup doesn't exactly blow your hair back, bear in mind that the eccentricities of booking often leads to the more high-profile titles not being locked down until later in the game.

No matter- consider my ticket bought. If you're down too, tickets for the marathon- which has been named "Journey to the Seventh Theatre"- are currently on sale at the Drexel Theatres, and other options for buying can be found at the official Marathon site. Bruce and company are also putting on a "Halfathon" from midnight until noon, although I can't imagine that doing nearly as well- not simply because Neal won't be at that one, but also because SF geeks are a proud bunch who wouldn't be caught dead in a 12-hour marathon when a full-on 24-hour one was in the auditorium just next door.

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