Wilton is the perfect place for long-time fans of “The X-Files.” On Saturday, The X-Files Preservation Collection will host a grand opening featuring Chris Carter, creator of the cult classic series.
“People are going to see stuff from one of the greatest sci-fi drama/horror shows and the hard work that everyone put in [it]said co-owner Jim Thornton.
Located at 4284 Route 50, the approximately 2,000 square foot space houses some of Thornton’s extensive collection of props, costumes, and other memorabilia from the show. He and his wife, Kelly Anthony, opened the museum in hopes of preserving as much of the series as they could.
A fan of horror movies and shows, Thornton started watching “The X-Files” when it first aired on Fox in 1993 and became utterly captivated. It has also helped him anchor himself at home with his two young children, rather than going out on Friday nights.
“That show helped me so much . . . and it kind of changed the direction of my life,” Thornton said. “I was sucked in basically, from the first episode.”
Starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, it spanned nearly a decade and followed two FBI special agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who investigated unsolved cases that had supernatural twists. The show also branched out with two feature films: “The X-Files: Fight the Future” (1998) and “The X-Files: I Want to Believe” (2008). Additionally, a six-episode revival of the show aired in 2016, followed by an additional 10 episodes in 2018.
Even when “The X-Files” went off the air, he stayed with Thornton. Over the years, he’s collected more and more memorabilia of it, starting with a deck of trading cards and moving on to everything from accessories to wardrobe pieces.
“It made me feel like I was part of the show, I owned part of the show,” Thornton said.
Several years ago, he and Anthony were invited to create an exhibit at an “X-Fest” – a convention dedicated to “The X-Files” – in Chicago. As the cast and others involved in making the show saw what the couple had amassed over the years, word of their collection spread. Eventually Carter heard about it and contacted Thornton.
“He was absolutely amazed. He was totally blown away and he was extremely, beyond grateful for what we are doing,” Thornton said.
Carter donated a few items to the collection, Thornton noted, including the laptop on which he wrote the show’s pilot, the watch featured in the pilot episode, storyboard cards and more.
Partly thanks to Carter, the couple also acquired some of the creatures and molds made by Bill Terezakis, a prop/special effects artist who worked on the show and died last year.
Part of the reason they wanted to open the collection to the public is to shine a light on everyone involved in making the show.
“The art department, props, makeup artists and costume department, all of whom deserve recognition for their contributions. ‘The X-Files’ wouldn’t be what it is without the guest stars and supporting cast and we are proud to present the wardrobe they brought to life,” the owners state on their website.
Thornton and Anthony have already done numerous virtual interviews with some of the makeup artists, writers and others involved with the show and posted them on their website.
With the volume of their collection, they will change the displays. So while one visit might feature the creepy antagonist Mr. Chuckle Teeth’s mask or the Chinga Burnt Doll, the next might feature an entirely different cast of creatures and characters.
There is also a marketplace for those looking to purchase X-Files related merchandise or memorabilia from other shows/movies.
“We will use our contacts to track him down for them,” Thornton said.
Saturday’s grand opening, which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will include a visit from Carter, who will meet fans throughout the day.
“My dream was actually to meet Chris Carter [and] we’re going to meet him this weekend,” Thornton said.
General admission for the grand opening is $25. After Saturday, the collection will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with an $18 admission fee. For more information, visit xfilespreservationcollection.com.
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Categories: Entertainment, Life and Arts