Sep 23


A Note from our Producer and Host, Alan Rode:

Classic science fiction films represent a return to the future. Veteran aficionados who saw these pictures in theaters and on drive-in screens were permanently enamored. Baby boomers watching television during the pre-cable era of limited channels and endless commercials had their attention captured by the singular originality of the genre. The most obsessive of youthful observers watched many of these films repeatedly. Even though many of us from that era who are now tabbed “monster kids” who periodically observed the action through partially obscured eyeballs, these evocative films remain a part of us that is always seeking fun. Science fiction films, created by the power of imagination, also evoked powerful questions as we grew up: Is there life on other planets? What would happen if people lost their souls? What could be the unintentional consequences of hydrogen bomb testing? And wouldn’t it be cool to see a real dinosaur?

The programmed films for this weekend are the apex of sci-fi cinema from the classic Cold War period when the country and much of the world began thinking (and worrying) about matters above and beyond. Yet, this festival is much more than a nostalgia jam. The imbued craftsmanship in every one of these pictures will transfix modern viewers as well. In addition to our program spotlighting the brilliance of writers like Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson and James Clavell and renowned filmmakers including Howard Hawks, Don Siegel, Jack Arnold and Ray Harryhausen, there are scheduled guest star appearances by David Hedison in THE FLY (1958), Julie Adams from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (1954) and Barbara Rush and Kathleen Hughes for IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE (1953) who will share their insightful recollections with us from the Camelot Theater stage.

This inaugural festival wouldn’t have been possible without the enthusiastic support of the Supple family and the Palm Springs Cultural Center led by Michael C. Green. Our ability to enjoy these films on the big screen in style and comfort is the province of Matt Christenson and his staff who maintain the Camelot Theaters as the acme of vintage film culture in the Coachella Valley.

So it is time to sit back and watch for those things that go bump in the night, some of whom might be from another time or another planet. They can also swim, or fly or radiate or duplicate, or…? All I can add at this point is, “Please help me!” Welcome to the Palm Springs Classic Science Fiction Festival. I am confident you will enjoy a wonderful weekend of movies.

Alan K. Rode, Producer and Host