The Dead Don’t Die premiere at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck honors diner workers

Bill Murray and Adam Driver in writer/director Jim Jarmusch’s <em>The Dead Don’t Die</em>. (Focus Features)

Hudson Valley cinephiles and boosters of the regional economy alike have reason for excitement this week: A star-studded feature film shot locally, whose director is responsible for a long string of iconically quirky indie productions going back to the 1980s (Stranger than Paradise, Down by Law, Only Lovers Left Alive, Paterson), hits the big screen this weekend. And Upstate Films in Rhinebeck is hosting a truly homegrown red-carpet event this Friday evening by inviting an unusual group of special guests for a photo op at the late show.

No, you won’t be meeting screenwriter/director Jim Jarmusch or any of the cast – which includes Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Selena Gomez, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones and Carol Kane – if you come to Opening Night of The Dead Don’t Die at Upstate. Those highly sought-after celebs will be busy elsewhere. But you will get to see actual staff from the Elizaville Diner, one of two Columbia County diners where key people-munching scenes were filmed for this dark comedy about zombies unleashed by climate change. Ulster County also played host to much of the filming, with Fleischmanns standing in for the sleepy fictional town of Centerville.


Described as “a raucous, rueful and satirical glimpse at American habits and desires at the end of the world,” The Dead Don’t Die was the opening film at Cannes last month. It will run in Rhinebeck from June 14 to 20. The showing spotlighting the diner personnel begins at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 14. Tickets cost $10 general admission, $8 for seniors (62+) and $6 for students.

The Dead Don’t Die premiere at Upstate Films, Friday, June 14, 8 p.m., $10/$8/$6, Upstate Films, 6415 Montgomery St. (Rte. 9), Rhinebeck, (845) 876-2515,