By Brendon Abbazio
SC Contributing Writer
Main Street in Stroudsburg has a lot to offer—from cafes to bars to small shops and restaurants—but what lies in the nooks and crannies of the small-town main street are places that are often overlooked by many and only known by some.
Next to the one of the street’s largest attractions, The Sherman Theater, lies a small building shadowed by the large marquee of the theater with a sign above that reads, The Living Room, in groovy, deep-red lettering.
The Living Room has been operating since January of 2012, celebrating its third anniversary two months ago.
It is owned by The Sherman Theater and provides an extension of the theater as additional room for smaller, auxiliary events.
The Living Room is designed as a public venue for art, music, entertainment, and is available for rent to the public for private events such as wedding receptions or parties. I, just like many others, have walked by this place hundreds of times without ever truly knowing its purpose for existence.
I decided to meet with Steve Truglio, manager of The Living Room, to get a lesson on what lies deep in a place so small.
There was finally good weather in the Poconos, and I found my way walking along the main street’s broad sidewalk with its cracks blemished by the bright sun shining brightly upon it. The door to the building was open and I walked right in.
Upon entering The Living Room I found a man hunched over a desk at his laptop, tucked against the wall of the bare, yet open room listening to some heavy metal.
He looked up at me with a welcoming face and I asked for Truglio, sure enough it was him. I walked into the old room along its weathered, antiqued hardwood floors and shook his hand. Truglio had a bright yellow Pittsburgh Steelers beanie atop his head with long, dark hair and a big, brown beard peppered with gray hairs covering most of his face.
I sat down beside his workspace in a plastic foldable chair as he got up to close the door of the building to keep out the beeps of car horns and chatter of those passing by.
As I looked around, I saw cornflower blue walls decorated with random-sized frames housing art ranging from tastefully nude photography to hand-drawn portraits of dogs all created by local artists.
As my eyes followed the length of the wall, I saw a black Pearl drum set parked in the far left corner of the room. Truglio stepped along the creaking floor towards me, resumed his spot, and we got down to business.
He informed me that the music, art gallery, and entertainment shows range from open-mic nights to all day movie showings in the summer for free admission to the public.
Their goal is to help enrich the community’s art scene. “We are a community-based venue,” said Truglio. The art runs in rotation in the building, offering a display of new artwork ranging from different themes to displays of specific artists to open submissions all with no censorship and the availability for purchase.
The art gallery openings are the first Saturday of every month and offer live entertainment and an open bar.
The Living Room takes no commission from the sale of the artwork allowing local artists full exposure for their artwork and the ability to receive full value.
One of Truglio’s most concentrated efforts for The Living Room is to serve as a platform for local bands and musicians to play shows for the public and gain a local following.
Truglio isn’t new to the music business either, and receives a lot of help with the building and events from community volunteer workers.
Truglio has been with The Sherman Theater for the past three years working as a loader and bar tender, but he’s also been working in the music industry since the age of 16 doing odds and ends from playing for bands to filming video for bands.
Currently Truglio plays the drums in a band called King Dead. The instrumental band’s genre is described as Spaghetti Western/Doom/Sludge and actually records their music using
The Living Room for its impressive ability to naturally offer perfect acoustics for sound – another intriguing asset of the venue.
Alongside his partner Dave Reiser, sound engineer for the shows at The Living Room, Truglio co-owns a recording studio called Rock Hard Studio, Inc. also located in Stroudsburg.
With his experience, Truglio understands the nature of managing and booking bands for the venue and how to create the ideal place for smaller bands that can’t fill The Sherman Theater’s 1800 person capacity.
“There’s a lot of leg work in it, that’s why it’s tough to make it in the industry. It takes a lot of work and a lot of dedication,” said Truglio.
His attention and efforts remain undivided from helping educate bands on what it’s like to be a real working band, as well as an earning band.
Truglio spoke optimistically about the future of The Living Room and its potential for growth and his job to “bring it to the next level.”
Truglio hosts a YouTube channel, Myshow667, to which he posts the videos he records of the bands that play at the venue along with supplementary footage.
Upcoming events at The Living Room include a CD release party by the four-piece band, Wolf and the Lost Ones, and a new, adult stand-up comedy night called the Mad Hat Club.
For contact information and future events visit shermantheater.com.
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