George A. Romero’s genre-defining film Dawn of the Dead is famously set in a shopping mall, in which a disparate group of plucky survivors are besieged by ravenous zombies. To celebrate Halloween the Royals Shopping Centre in Southend-on-Sea is creating the ultimate fright night experience – it’s a UK first and it’s completely free.

On Friday 31st October, when the popular High Street shopping centre has closed and light has given way to the darkness, a pop-up cinema will screen the classic horror film to over 200 souls. The 1978 gory shocker is not for the faint-hearted, so it’s strictly over-18’s only – especially as the zombies will not be confined to the screen!?

The event is a collaboration between the Royals Shopping Centre and The White Bus, organisers of Southend’s annual film and Horror-on-Sea festivals, along with Silent Studios and South Essex College.

To add to the fun, the audience might just find that not all the zombies are on the cinema screen. As the appropriately named Dawn Jeakings, Manager of The Royals reveals: “Well, Halloween is the night when the dead come back to life, so you never what might happen, even in a place like the Royals…”

The screen itself will be 12 x 9 foot and the 200 seats will be arranged to ensure that everyone has a really good view of the action. The shopping centre will open at 7.30pm with the film starting at 8pm. Refreshments will be available from Rossi and Retrocorn.

Entry is free but spaces are limited so a ‘first come, first served’ system will be in operation – and The Royals reserves the right to refuse admission.

For more information on this and other events visit: www.royalsshoppingcentre.co.uk