The art of film is generally associated with cosmopolitan, metropolitan areas. Yet the Eastern Shore is recognized for its enthusiastic film loving communities. From the internationally acclaimed Rehoboth Film Festival to the monthly international film series in tiny Onancock and the summer 'movies under the stars' in several towns, popcorn salesmen make a good living. Themes, locations, subject matter, languages – all are as different as shells on the beach. Many screenings are followed by discussions, sometimes at the theater; often when the attendees retire to a nearby lounge for libations and conversations. Here's a roundup of Delmarva’s movie scene:
Like kids drawn to a candy store, film buffs head for Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, held every November. Over 100 films from around the world are screened during the 4-days. Many of them are shown more than once, so you don’t have to decide between two equally attractive options and you have a chance to see something that generated a lot of buzz that you might have missed.
But the Festival is just one part of the Rehoboth Beach Film Society's activities. The group has several themed series of films scheduled throughout the year. In addition to student, youth, and adult (chronological, not sexual) series, there are international, independent, Delmarva-rooted, cinema cabaret, gay & lesbian, world culture, and other series. There are special monthly features and discussions. It is as sophisticated and comprehensive a program as you'll find in any city.
The Society also sponsors 'cinema under the stars' and 'cinema by the surf.' These are several family friendly films screened in Stango Park in Lewes and at the bandstand in Rehoboth during the summer.www.rehobothfilm.com
Washington College film series. During the spring semester, movies of interest to college students, mostly just-out-of-the-theater first runs, are screened at the Norman James Theater on Campus. 7:30. Free. http://news.washcoll.edu/concertandfilmseries.php
Chesapeake Film Festival. Not exactly a rival to the Rehoboth Independent Film Festival, (if, for no other reason, Rehoboth has more screens) this is an up-and-coming celebration of cinema. The organizers have a goal to “entertain, enrich, and inspire by bringing the finest in narrative, documentary, and short film to the Chesapeake Bay community. The films we intend to showcase are broadly focused to illuminate both the diversity and the universality of the human condition.” www.chesapeakefilmfestival.com
Cinema by Starlight. This is a series of family friendly films screened outside in downtown Easton. (On N. Harrison Street near the Courthouse) Films are played on a giant portable screen every Friday night in July & August. Free. Bring your own lawn chair and popcorn. Rain location: Avalon Theatre. www.theavalonfoundation.com/cinema.html
Talbot Cinema Society. Kind of a closed-door group, the tickets must be purchased on a subscription basis only, with no tickets sold to the public or at the door. www.talbotcinemasociety.org/
Salisbury Film Society screens eight films a year (on the Salisbury University Campus) on Sunday afternoons. Occasionally, there are special films with speakers and discussions. The Society runs under the umbrella of the Wicomico Arts Council. www.543arts.com
Movies Under the Stars. A free, family-oriented series of movies on Saturday nights in August. Films are shown in the parking lot behind Parker Place on Main Street.
Outdoor movies at Robert Reed Park on the waterfront every other Thursday in June, July, and August. Free. 9 p.m. www.chincoteagueculturalalliance.org
This little town’s International Film Series draws film buffs from Richmond, D.C., and Philadelphia. The quality and subject matter are excellent. The films show every 2nd Thursday t 8 p.m. in the tiny Roseland Theater in this fishing village. Afterwards, viewers retire to any one of the nearby restaurants for a late meal, a few drinks, and lots of discussion. One of the most pleasant ways to spend time on the Shore. www.roselandonancock.com