More Than Movies: ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ attracts hundreds to the Dietrich Theater

More Than Movies - Margie Young

Bob Boyce took the packed audience back to 2001, the year the Dietrich Theater reopened, the first year we showed “It’s a Wonderful Life,” when only 50 people showed up to see it.

“This was our gift to the community for supporting the theater, so we showed it again the next year.”

Even fewer people came.

Hildy Morgan, executive director at the time, was undaunted and said, “Well, we will keep showing ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ until no one comes!”

Six hundred and thirty-eight people came this year.

Six hundred and thirty-eight people were treated to free popcorn, soda and cookies, generously sponsored by Ace-Robbins, Inc.

They came not only from Tunkhannock and nearby Factoryville, Meshoppen, Mehoopany and Montrose, but also from Clarks Summit, Dallas, Forty Fort, Shickshinny, Peckville, Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. One group of five came again for the 16th year. One couple came in 1940s overcoats and hats, perfect for an audience of a 1946 movie. At least two people came twice, Jerry Pitkus and Trish Trowbridge.

No one was turned away.

And three giant boxes of non-perishable food items were donated in Barbara Jones’ memory to the Wyoming County Food Pantry.

At the last showing, which began at 8 p.m., our sponsors from Ace-Robbins passed the plates of the last cookies to the seated audience. Thank you, Ace-Robbins, for your continued support of this beloved event at the Dietrich Theater.

Coming up…

What are your kids and grandkids doing after Christmas? We have the perfect activity for the 5-12 year old set: Holiday Camp with Amy and Steve Colley, set for Dec. 27 through 29 in the Sheldon Art Studio. The Colleys always have fun art projects for the kids and this year will be no exception – everything from drawing and painting to pottery and sculpture.

It is not too late to sign up by calling 570-996-1500.

Right after school is back in session on Jan. 9, After School Players starts up again for the older set of 13 to 16-year-olds. The play is to be announced. Brenda Fager will return as director, to provide a total immersion of theatre experience, including acting, working backstage, costuming, props, lighting and more. The performance will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 3.

Sponsored by the Overlook Estate Foundation, After School Players is free.

Gift bags offered

What is the perfect gift for almost everyone? Dietrich Theater gift bags, of course. Gift wrapped and ready to go, they have two movie tickets, two popcorn bags to be filled and two candies. Hundreds line the shelves at the Dietrich and can be purchased from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or whenever movies are shown.

Gift cards of any amount are also available.

Everyone loves gift bags and gift cards from the Dietrich, so get yours as soon as you can.

Next week I will tell you about many more events coming up at the Dietrich. In the meantime, I hope we will see you soon and often.

More Than Movies

Margie Young

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-0038 or

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-0038 or