The 50th anniversary of WKBW radio’s “War of the Worlds,” the most famous radio broadcast in Buffalo’s history, will be celebrated with the screening of a new documentary film and a re-airing on Halloween night along with two other unique and famous versions of HG Wells’ Martian invasion story.
The documentary film entitled “WKBW Radio’s War of the Worlds, 50 Years Later” will be screened at 7 p.m. on Oct. 30 at the North Park Theatre, followed by a live panel discussion. The film features interviews with the late Jeff Kaye, Irv Weinstein, Jim Fagan and other members of the original cast of KB radio’s “War of the Worlds.”
Also, in the film are iconic radio legends Sandy Beach, Dan Neaverth, Dan Kriegler, John Zach, Pat Feldballe, Jim Pastrick, Tom Atkins and John Hager. Film and television actor William Fichtner and television and film producer Nick Bakay, who both grew up in Buffalo, share their memories of the Buffalo Halloween broadcast along with Buffalo Broadcasters Chairmen Emeritus Dave Gillen, Entercom Operations Manager Tim Wenger, 97 Rock Promotions Director Dave Jickster and famous Blasdell restaurateur Dennis DiPaolo.
“Buffalo’s ‘War of the Worlds’ is considered the second most famous radio version of HG Wells story, right behind the ground-breaking Orson Welles broadcast in 1938,” said documentary producer and All Services WNY owner Bob Koshinski. “I was just a boy when I heard the 1968 broadcast on Halloween night and it was one of the reasons I sought a career in radio and television. This documentary will examine how the legacy of KB’s ‘War of the Worlds’ has surpassed anything the talented Jeff Kaye could have imagined.”
“The Buffalo/Niagara Film Office has been very supportive of artists coming to our region to create magic on the screen,” said Film Commissioner Tim Clark. “What Jeff Kaye and the tremendously talented people at WKBW radio did 50 years ago is no less inspiring and we are proud to be a part of celebrating their masterpiece.”
Then on Halloween night, in keeping with the 50th anniversary celebration, Entercom radio will twice re-air the original 1968 version of “War of the Worlds” on WWKB, 1520 AM beginning at 6 p.m.
WECK radio will then air the original Orson Welles 1938 version at 9 p.m., proceeded by a two-hour special Halloween edition of “WECK After Hours” hosted by Moon Rivers. “WECK radio surrounds ourselves everyday with legendary personality radio. It’s the reason we exist. We couldn’t be prouder to air the original version of this world changing broadcast of War of the Worlds. It’s quite simply pure vintage real radio,” said WECK owner Buddy Shula.
97 Rock will then add a third version of the Martian invasion story airing in Buffalo on Halloween night with a re-airing of their 1998 version of War of the Worlds at 11:30 p.m.
A limited number of tickets for “WKBW Radio’s War of the Worlds, 50 Years Later” are $10 and available at www.northparktheatre.org/shows/700-pm-wkbw-radios-war-worlds-50-years-later/.