Film Journal International reports on the extensive restoration of the Campus Theatre, an art-deco movie house near Bucknell University in Lewisburg, and its upcoming reopening.
Lewisburg claims about 6,000 residents, Bucknell about 3,500 students, but the Susquehanna Valley, which encompasses four counties that border the river, boasts a population of 500,000, with a surprising number of universities and a major medical center within an hour’s drive of the theatre. “Coming to central Pennsylvania from Los Angeles, where I worked before Bucknell, was a culture shock,” (owner Eric) Faden recalls, “but I was blown away by the fact that audiences showed up for challenging films.” (public relations representative Mark) O’Brien, a more recent transplant from Washington, D.C., describes life among the rolling hills and farmland as “country living with city tastes” and sees the Campus’ reincarnation as part of the area’s cultural coming of age.
“What better way to assure the vitality of the community than to make sure its art scene is vibrant?” says O’Brien. “Bringing in manufacturing was once the way to go, but today seeding the arts is the preferred method of economic development. My dream is that within five years, partnering with the university, which has a gorgeous performing-arts center and another smaller theatre, Lewisburg will have an arts festival that will be an annual event. The city will become a destination, and the cinema will act as an economic engine.
Original source: Film Journal International
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