Celebrate 21 Years of “Off Beat Cinema!”
CLARENCE, NY ( wbbz.tv) On Saturday night October 25th at 12:00 MIDNIGHT, the nationally syndicated “Off Beat Cinema” celebrates its 21st anniversary on-the-air. The hosted movie show will present a newly restored print of “Night Of The Living Dead” on flagship station WBBZ-TV, Your Hometown Television Station.
“Off Beat Cinema” began as a local program Halloween weekend 1993 with the broadcast of George Romero’s “Night Of The Living Dead” on Buffalo’s WKBW-TV. After a few years of gaining a local cult following, the program went national in January 1997, and moved to independent station WBBZ-TV in August of 2012. Currently, “Off Beat Cinema” is broadcast Saturday at Midnight on WBBZ-TV; WGBT-TV in Rochester NY; WJKP-TV in Corning NY; and both Saturday and Sunday night on the Retro Television Network of stations, which currently stands at 88.
The show was created by Paragon Advertising principal James Gillan with television executive John Di Sciullo. “Off Beat Cinema” was a reaction to the insidious spread of infomercials and the yawning void of late night television.
Creator, Writer, and Director James Gillan said, “Off Beat Cinema” was designed to provide viewers with an alternative to the influx of vacuous late night programs. Additionally, “Off Beat Cinema” was intended to provide a forum for films that are not regularly shown on television, and in many cases that are not even available on video. There’s an enormous cache of films that an entire generation grew up watching that are otherwise unavailable. We wanted to capture that nostalgia as well as introduce these films to today’s viewers.”
Set in the fictitious Hungry Ear Coffee House, “Off Beat Cinema” is hosted by the hepcat beatniks – “Maxwell Truth” (comedian / actor Airborne Eddy Dobosiewicz); “Bird The Painter” (artist/event planner Tony Billoni); and “The Mysterious Zelda” (actress Constance McEwen) – plus an eclectic mix of weekly guests. Over the years “Off Beat Cinema” has hosted celebrities like Doc Severinsen; Lauren Bacall; Taylor Negron; William Shatner; Butch Patrick ( Eddy Munster); Buffalo’s Robby Takac and the Goo Goo Dolls; Tortonto’s Barenaked Ladies; Jamestown’s 10,000 Maniacs; and Ani DiFranco, to name a few.
The background music for the show is performed by local musicians “David Kane’s Them Jazzbeards.”
“Off Beat Cinema” has brought its viewers the best of “the good, the bad, and the foreign.” Showcasing campy sci-fi classics like Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers, Teenagers from Outer Space, and Fantastic Planet; classic “art films” such as The Seventh Seal; plus silent film greats such as Nosferatu, Metropolis, and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush.
Gillan said of the show’s successful formula, “We wanted to create a show reminiscent of the late night film shows of the 70’s – the campy sci-fi, the low budget man-in-a-bad-rubber-suit horror films, the monster of the week films – all those films that made us, as kids, beg our parents to allow us to stay up way past our bedtimes to watch.”
The show’s popularity can be measured by the fan mail that pours in week after week. The show’s producer John Di Sciullo commented, “The show clearly strikes a chord with the viewers. How many shows have you watched that inspired you enough to write a letter? Yet that’s exactly what our viewers do – we receive hundreds of pieces of mail from all across the continent. Comments about films we have aired, requests for other films, original poetry, and caffeine induced philosophic rambling – we get it all – and we love it.”
Moving forward for the 21st anniversary season, “Off Beat Cinema” is planning a film festival at an area theater; more remote telecasts shot in HD; and full studio audience participation shows from the WBBZ-TV studio, including “Sci-Fi” nights.
Viewers can connect with “Off Beat Cinema” online at www.offbeatcinema.com and “Like” Off Beat Cinema on Facebook. You can also follow the show @OffBCinema on Twitter. “Off Beat Cinema” also has a channel on You Tube and will be posting “Retro” moments from the last two decades of shows.
WBBZ is seen throughout Western New York over-the-air on digital channel 67.1. Ch. 5 on Verizon FiOS (HD 505); Ch 5 Dish; Ch. 67 DirecTV, and these Time Warner Cable channels: Buffalo – Niagara Falls Metro area: Channel 5 (HD 1230); Batavia – Genesee, Wyoming, Orleans Counties Channel 71 (HD 1230); Parts of Erie and Niagara Counties Channel 71 (HD 1230); Dunkirk Channel 99 (HD 1230); Olean Channel 21 (HD 1230); Fredonia – Jamestown Channel 72 (HD 1230); Alfred- Angelica- Avoca- Bath- Bolivar Friendship- Hornell Channel 71 (HD 1230).
WBBZ-TV is WNY’s only locally owned and operated television station. 4545 Transit Road, suite 750 Williamsville, NY 14221. 716-630-9229. www.wbbz.tv “Like” WBBZ-TV on Facebook. Follow the conversation @WBBZ on Twitter.