Middletown students will visit Sorg Opera House to screen horror film that touches on social issues of the’ 60s

MIDDLETOWN — A local high school teacher is using a classic Halloween-themed movie to entice his students to experience and learn more about this city’s historic Sorg Opera House.

Senior students in a Middletown High School English class will be at the restored city musical venue Thursday(10/12) for a screening of the 1968 zombie movie classic “Night of the Living Dead.”

The black and white film, which decades later inspired sequels and an entire “zombie” genre of movies and TV shows, also addressed some of the contentious social issues of America in the late 1960s, said Dan Wohler, spokesman for Middletown Schools.

“The film is being studied as a non-traditional text and students are analyzing how the film addresses issues including the generation gap, civil rights, the Cold War, and other hot-button issues that are still prevalent today,” said Wohler.

The after-school event is also being used by students “as a means to explore the history of the city of Middletown” (and) students have already taken a trip to the Sorg Opera House to learn more about the building’s long life as the center for entertainment in Middletown.”

The Sorg Opera House is a historic theater located at 63 S. Main St. in Middletown. Sorg has capacity to seat about 700 guests on the first floor, and up to around 1,000 with use of balcony seating.

“You walk into the Sorg, and you immediately feel the history of the place,” said Middletown High School senior Kaden McCall of the 132-year-old building.

The 7 p.m. Thursday showing of the movie is open to the public at $5 per ticket and all money raised from the ticket sales will go to the Sorg Opera Revitalization Group, he said.

English Language Arts teacher Chris Pearce said his idea for the unique, off-campus lessons will help the next generation of Middletown residents continue to appreciate the historical gem that is the Sorg.

“It’s a first for Middletown High School down the line, from the topic we’re studying, to the community connection, to the Sorg,” said Pearce.

“My hope is that getting the chance to work with and in the Sorg, will give the kids a long-view appreciation of the great history of the City of Middletown.”

“It’s something I’m super fascinated by and I’m hoping that this project will inspire some young people to become interested in the city’s history.”

Go to the Sorg Opera House website for more information on the Thursday movie showing.

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