Science Fiction fans will get the chance to watch a diverse array of Sci Fi films for “an entire rotation of the planet,” this weekend.
The Drexel Theatre will be holding the 29th annual 24-hour Ohio Science Fiction marathon from noon Saturday, May 19 until noon Sunday, May 20.
The marathon is a presentation of Science Fiction films, features, shorts, classics, cartons, and hundreds of Sci Fi vintage trailers, according to Jeff Frank, the artistic director at the Drexel Theatre.
The very first Science Fiction, 24-hour marathon was in Boston and it then started in Columbus after one of the founders of the Boston marathon by the name of Bruce Bartoo, who now works as the host of the Ohio marathon, was hired as a manager of one of Frank’s theaters.
“He came to me and said ‘We should really do a marathon here in Columbus like the Boston Sci Fi marathon’ and since I’m a big Sci Fi fan, it didn’t take much convincing,” he said.
Although the event is a live show and it is difficult to know exactly how many films, shorts and trailers will be shown, Frank said that they will be showing around 12 features, 10-12 shorts, and probably 20-30 minutes of trailers, that are put together by the marathon and staff and usually go with the movie it precedes.
This year the marathon premiers The Captains, The Last Push and Manborg, as well as features, Battle Royale, They Live, Source Code, Attack the Block, The Green Slime, and more.
Frank also said that since people are staying for 24 hours that they try not to repeat films.
“In the 26 plus years, there are probably only four or five movies ever that we’ve shown multiple times,” he said.
Those who stay the full 24 hours of the event and “survive the marathon,” receive the Certificate of Marathoid Behavior.
“You can frame it and put it on your wall, and some people have these framed certificates from all of the marathons and they have all of the certificates framed on their walls,” Frank said. “And every certificate is signed and autographed by the stars of all the movies we show.”
During the marathon, the Drexel Theatre menu will be expanded with pizza by the slice, hot dogs, sandwiches, smoothies, pretzels and nachos, and an immense amount of coffee, and orange juice and donuts in the morning.
There is also a unique live aspect of the show such several contests and competitions, such as the costume contest, best scream contest, and best pillow contest, prize giveaways, voting someone from the Sci Fi universe into the hall of fame every year, talks about the Sci Fi films and a lot of audience participation throughout the night. However, most of this night is unpredictable, Frank said.
“A lot of the contests, we make up as we go along,” he said. “Every marathon has its own personality, everything is sort of spontaneous.”
Frank said that the audience is a big part of why the event is successful.
“It’s really fun to spend 24 hours with other people in a movie theater and share the experiences of seeing these kind of movies,” he said. “We have some people who come in from other cities, the east coast, to be with their friends that they met at this festival.”
The 24-hour Ohio Science Fiction marathon is a unique event that gives the audience a chance to see classic films that they cannot see anywhere else, according to Frank.
“It harkens back to the days when people used to go to triple features or go to the drive in, or the all night theater on TV when you could stay up and watch low budget Sci Fi movies and it gives you a chance to see them again the way they were meant to be seen, on a big screen,” he said. “And how many chances do you have to spend 24 hours anywhere with people, and with people who like the same thing you do.”
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door, or the new 13 and under marathon ticket, which is $27 in advance and $33 at the door, available only at the Drexel Theatre Box Office or at drexel.net
More information can be found online at www.scifimarathon.com.