More Than Movies: River Day, Summer Fest were hits; Dietrich Theater looks forward to Fall Film Festival

More Than Movies - Erica Rogler

Turtles, snakes and birds, oh my!

These were some of the creatures, attendees of Tunkhannock’s 12th Annual River Day were able to meet up close and learn about with Rebecca Lesko of the Endless Mountains Nature Center last week. Plus, local bird expert Joe DeMarco shared his knowledge about birds that live along the Susquehanna and Rick Koval gave a talk on reptiles and amphibians that reside in our region and brought a few snakes with him for all ages to hold at River Day. There were also a variety of other displays and activities by organizations including the Endless Mountains Visitors Bureau, the Endless Mountains Nature Center, the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership, Friends of the Howland Preserve and more.

David Buck, of Endless Mountain Outfitters and Art Coolbaugh, of Susquehanna Kayak and Canoe Rentals took about 70 people out on river floats that day, and Tunkhannock celebrated its new designation as a River Town and the North Branch of the Susquehanna River being named 2016 River of the Year.

Dietrich Theater artists in residents Amy and Steve Colley invited kids of all ages to paint a mural of the river, and Kitson Arts Alliance exhibited gorgeous paintings of the river by local artists.

And the continuous live music all day was great. Retro Rocket entertained us with bluegrass, country and rock ‘n roll. Sadie Green Sales Jugband and their students from classes at the Dietrich played jugband favorites like “Momma Don’t Allow.” The Airport Pickers provided wonderful entertainment under the tent. Coal Town Rounders shared their old-time and new versions of bluegrass at its best, and then amRadio brought their energy to close out the day with hits from the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.

We would like to thank the Overlook Estate Foundation for sponsoring River Day. What a gift to the region. We would also like to extend our appreciation to all those who made river day a success from River Day Committee members to volunteers to parking attendants to organizations that came with activities and displays to the presenters and musicians to the food vendors to the Riverside Park Commission, to the Tunkhannock Borough and so many more folks.

We are grateful!

We would also like to thank Peoples Security Bank and Trust and all of you for making our second annual Summer Fest a success. You told us you wanted to see more foreign, independent and art films during the summer months, which is why Summer Fest was started, and our attendance was wonderful. I am so glad we were able to fit in movies like “Dark Horse,” “Sing Street,” “Eye in the Sky,” “The Meddler,” and “The Man Who Knew Infinity” through festival because they were gems and would have been too old to show at the Fall Film Festival.

And speaking of Fall Film Festival, it will kick off on Friday, Sept. 16 and run for three weeks through Oct. 6, so mark your calendars now. Last week, Ronnie Harvey, our Dietrich Theater film booker, Jeffrey Jacobs, our New York City film buyer, and I had a chat about Fall Film Festival, and I can tell you now you will be delighted by the selections they are planning to bring in for fall. I can also tell you that we are very fortunate to have them booking our movies.

Jacobs has over 35 years of experience in the exhibition, marketing and distribution of films. He was the founding film buyer for the Angelika Film Center, which became the highest-grossing art cinema in the country, he was the managing director and film buyer of the Paris Theatre and he currently programs over 50 movie theatre screens across the country including the Dietrich’s.

And Harvey came to work for the Dietrich as a teenager. He earned his degree in communications while he continued to work for the Dietrich as a supervisor and projectionist. He became the assistant theater manager and has learned the ins and outs of film booking from Hildy Morgan and Jacobs. What makes him such a great film booker is that he lives and breathes movies. He is constantly watching and researching films. He stays on top of what is coming out in the industry. His passion for and knowledge about film really shines through.

In the next week or so I will be sharing with you Jeffrey and Ronnie’s picks for the Fall Festival so stay tuned – you won’t be disappointed.

As you can see, the Dietrich is more than the movies!

More Than Movies

Erica Rogler

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or

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