The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever Gets Theatrical Return For Anniversary

By Jeffrey Rapaport | Published

dawn of the dead

It’s a move sure to thrill horror aficionados and cinema buffs alike: George A. Romero’s seminal zombie film, Dawn of the Dead, is slated to shuffle like an undead horde back into theaters across North America. The epic re-release commemorates the 45th anniversary of a film that has brilliantly passed the test of the time, leaving an indelible mark on the horror genre. The theatrical re-release is only for a limited time (April and May) and will occur in over 90 theaters and drive-ins across the US and Canada.

On Location

dawn of the dead

It’s an enviable opportunity: experiencing Dawn of the Dead in theaters like the shocked, elated audiences initially did in 1979. In fact, one of the theaters soon to screen the film is the Row House Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the movie made its original US premiere. Another theater screening of the movie will be in the Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania—the very location where the movie was filmed. 

Dawn Of The Merch

Of course, no major re-release of an iconic horror film is fitting without custom merchandise. Fright-Rags, known for horror-centric merchandise, is set to complement the screenings with some merch. Look out for their collection of 45th anniversary Dawn of the Dead T-shirts and a special trading card set, which drop on March 12.

Dawn Of The Dead

dawn of the dead

The film in question was Romero’s follow-up to his prior masterpiece, 1968’s Night of the Living DeadDawn wonderfully, horrifically relates the harrowing tale of a group of survivors who, frantically caught up in a zombie apocalypse, find refuge in a suburban shopping mall. As society falls apart outside, the mall provides a false sense of security until the bleak reality of the situation penetrates their sanctuary and forces them to confront the undead hordes. 

The film masterfully explores hyper-relevant themes—consumerism, social decay, and the relentless survival instinct. Without exaggeration, in addition to providing a thrilling horror narrative, Dawn of the Dead constitutes a profound commentary on society. 

Other Horror Re-Releases

they live

Romero’s classic is not the only horror icon to be reintroduced to theatergoers. For example, John Carpenter’s classics They Live and Christine enjoyed theatrical re-releases in 2023 to celebrate their anniversaries (They Live, its 35th anniversary; Christine, its 40th). 

Less Scary Re-Releases

While not horror films, a host of Disney movies were re-released in theaters in 2023. These ran the gambit from Pirates of the Caribbean to Toy Story and the original animated Beauty and the Beast. Each film was in theaters for two weeks and gave fans a chance to relive the Disney magic of their first screenings—although some of the movies, like Coco, which initially premiered in 2017, debuted somewhat recently. 

Dawn Of The Dead Still Hits

Dawn of the Dead, however, is no Coco, and as we near its April and May screenings, it’s abundantly clear the film remains as relevant and impactful as ever. This theatrical run comprises more than an anniversary celebration: it’s a tribute to a genre-redefining film.