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Mesa theater to host free ‘Walking Dead’ watch parties

PHOENIX — The characters may be undead, but fans of the popular TV series, “The Walking Dead,” are anything but lifeless.

With the show’s return Sunday night, zombie buffs are expected to gather at the National Comedy Theater in Mesa for a free watch party.

Dorian Lenz with the comedy theater said they lend the space and the 17-foot screen to the event because watching with others greatly improves the experience.

“The darkness of the theater and being able to just sit there and watch the intensity of it with a bunch other people around you, hearing people’s screams and their deep breaths in when something crazy happens, just makes the event all that much more exciting,” he said.

Lenz spoke of a camaraderie between fans because of the show’s high stakes.

“During the commercial breaks, we bring the theater lights back up and everybody breathes a sigh of relief from the intensity of the show, and then goes and buys some popcorn,” he said with a laugh.

Lenz and his wife are avid fans, which is another reason why they keep the free watch parties going each week, he said. Snacks and beer are sold at the snack bar, and the theater also stays open afterward for “Talking Dead,” which is a one-hour show that reviews the latest episode.

For more information, visit the National Comedy Theater’s calendar.