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Drive-in memorial set for Godzilla fan who died before movie's release

Godzilla fan George Root III didn't live long enough to see his final wish granted, but his friends and family will see it through in his honor next week.

Root had hoped to see the movie "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" before he died from stage 4 cancer. Friends and fellow fans scrambled to pull strings, petitioning the director to allow Root a private, advanced screening. Root died March 7, before arrangements could be made.

On May 30, the Transit Drive-In will hold a screening of the blockbuster, which premiered this month, in his memory.

Root, who liked the drive-in so much he was president of the Western New York Drive-In Movie Society, had asked for his memorial service to be held at the Transit Drive-In, owned by his friend Rick Cohen. Friends and family will gather privately at 6 p.m.

"This is not something we have ever done before, or imagined doing, especially for a close friend. It is a tremendous honor for us to be able to provide comfort in any way to George's family and friends, so we will be doing our best to pay tribute to George's memory in a manner in which George would have approved," Cohen said.

The public is invited to pay respects anytime after 7 p.m., and the Godzilla film will run on two screens around 9 p.m. A video tribute to Root will be shown prior to the film. Two of Root's former bandmates from the Floyd Concept will perform a musical tribute.

Ticket sale proceeds will be donated to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in Root's memory.

Root's quest touched fellow Godzilla fans around the world.

After rallying together to draw attention to his cause, they mourned together when they learned of his death. Fans paid tribute on social media with original artwork and memes. A Kaiju artist in California sent Godzilla-themed drawings to Root's family. Spiral Studios, which created original sculptures for the film, worked with Legendary Studios to dedicate one in Root's honor and send it to the family from Bangkok.

Godzilla before I die: Drive-in owner hopes to grant fan's last wish

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