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Posted on: August 20, 2018

New Exhibit Explores Terror in the Theater at Railroad & Heritage Museum

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum is proud to present a new temporary exhibit entitled: Terror in the Theater: Fifties Fears from October 27, 2018 to January 12, 2019.

Terror in the Theater showcases the fears faced by the world in the 1950’s, whether real or imagined. Included in the exhibit, from the Forrest Ackerman Collection at the American Heritage Center, are posters and photos from 50’s movies contrasted with earlier and later science fiction classics such as King Kong. The great number and popularity of science fiction movies in the 1950s has led some to call this decade the Golden Age of Science Fiction Films. The fantasy and adventure embodied in these movies often masked real fears and anxieties of the Cold War era. It seemed the advent of atomic weapons, the rise of Communism, and the confrontation with the Soviet Union threatened the future of the United States. These factors, along with increasing numbers of flying saucer reports, led to a climate of paranoia.

Science fiction films of this decade commonly expressed several themes: fear of technology leading to unintended consequences; invasion of the planet by aliens; and the effects of atomic radiation. Because science fiction movies were not constrained by reality, more imaginative outcomes and plot lines could be addressed in creative ways. Frequent topics were rampaging monsters, alien invasions, and mutated creatures.

To complement the exhibit, the museum has partnered with the Beltonian Theatre to present a series of 1950s science fiction films. The films will be offered for free with a short introduction by representatives from the Film Studies Program at Texas A&M University Central Texas. The film schedule is Invasion of the Body Snatchers on October 24, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on November 14, Godzilla on December 5, and The Day the Earth Stood Still on January 9. All movies will be shown at 6:00 p.m. at the Beltonian Theatre located at 219 E Central Avenue in Belton.

The new exhibit, Terror in the Theater: Fifties Fears can be viewed with regular admission to the museum, Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and is part of the regular schedule of changing exhibits at the museum. The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum is located at 315 W. Avenue B in downtown Temple. For more information about the exhibit or the museum, please visit www.templerrhm.org or call 254-298-5194.

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