By Amanda Schreck
SC Staff Writer
Just a short drive or walk from East Stroudsburg University, tucked away on Courtland Street, lies the remodeled 1986 Pocono Community Theater. Above their marquee lights on the grey brick building it says, “Experience the difference,” and that’s exactly what you get when you walk through the doors.
A small lobby in front of their biggest theater room, that seats 184 people, is adorned with an art gallery featuring paintings by Joe Mooney and photographs by Kristian Cantens.
The right side of the lobby opens into a quaint café featuring local baked goods and fair trade organic coffee from New Jersey. A little iron stove is tucked away in one corner, and next to the bar stools are antique cameras below posters of upcoming movie releases.
“First and foremost we’re a movie theater and café, but we do revival movies which are classics brought back on the big screen,” said general manager, Courtney Tolino. “We tend to go more towards the art house and independent, but we also do mainstream movies and everything in between the 30’s through the 90’s.”
The theater also has a retrospective series featuring “Rear Window”from September 12 to the 14 and “The Shining” for a week in October.
In addition to films, the Theater offers a wide verity of live shows. In November, Ana Gasteyer from Saturday Night Live will perform. “She’s also done Broadway so she’s a phenomenal singer and hysterical,” said Tolino.
For ESU’s Homecoming last year, the theater hosted a free screening of “Nightmare on Elm Street.” They may be screening “Mrs. Doubtfire” for students this year.
Those who run the theater try to accommodate students and their budgets by selling subsidized tickets on campus in Room 211 in the University Center for only $6. Anyone can get a membership for around $30 at the Pocono Community Theater, which includes discounted movie tickets and discounts at local restaurants and businesses including Palumbos Pizza, Kost Tires, and Floral Boutique.
Students have been flooding in to enjoy the café and special movies, and Tolino has seen an array of students from all different majors. “I’ve seen a huge increase in student attendance here which is wonderful.”
“It’s just a shared experience,” said Toino. You gain a deeper appreciation for a film by seeing it on the big screen.”
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