Festival Boundaries

What are the boundaries of the place we call Honesdale? Community boundaries can be defined by a zip code, polling place, shopping preferences, family homestead, or something else entirely. Sometimes boundaries are clearly expressed and other times entirely amorphous. Definitions can change over time or depending on who you ask or under what context.

This is partly the nature of making maps. No maps fully illustrate reality. All maps are a representation of reality, capturing a concept or phenomenon or feeling. There's a certain mystery in that and it balances out the perceived authority any given map portrays.

Connections to our community grow vertically as well as horizontally. That's why Honesdale's boundary can be described in a fairly straightforward way (in municipal government terms) yet, equally described in an intangible way (in terms of community identity). The H'dale boundary map we recently made illustrates this dichotomy.

Portion of the Honesdale Boundary Analysis map.

Portion of the Honesdale Boundary Analysis map.

We're fans of reality's hidden layers, nooked within the habitat of our human-built environment. Our Maps page is full of examples. Our event and festival projects are equally steered into these open spaces. Driven by a shared inspiration cycle designed to create something out of nothing yet, anything out of everything else, each festival or event is an attempt to activate a shaded corner of our shared universe in the 18431. That brings us to the Canaltown Moving Movie Festival.

Our new festival might be easy to describe in terms of what it is (a movie festival) but it'll be tough to draw a boundary around. This fest will take place at multiple venues throughout town. Attendees will be able to see every movie by watching sets in whatever order they like and choosing their own festival adventure. Like Spookyfest, there will be international selections alongside local creations, albeit exploded into chunks and coordinated for multi-part discovery downtown.

Moving Movie Festival logo draft

Moving Movie Festival logo draft

The Moving Movie Festival map may look different every year and the schedule may eventually cover multiple days but the plan is to make it feel like the whole town is alive and collectively "up to something" each and every time. This year is round one of connecting the dots in new and exciting ways.

Downtown Movies

Like in many places, going out to the movies disappeared here for awhile. Honesdale's grand, Main Street portal to the celluloid frontier was disassembled years ago. The pieces were spread out among movie rental shops and home theater systems, while the site itself became a gas station convenience mart. Eventually, a local mini-plex brought the silver screen back to the outskirts of town. The inherently local connection to movies in the heart of our community, however, was lost.

There's a lot to be said for a movie theater on your Main Street.

In some cases, it's a testament to legacy preservation. Old town theaters were 'the' source of entertainment at one time. To keep a theater standing through the generation of investment and engagement that favored highways and spreading out over town centers and focusing on what you've got takes commitment.

In some cases, it's a testament to perseverance. There are likely as many, if not more ways to enjoy cinematic creations than there are theaters in any given, regional geography. To keep a theater operational through the generation of home and mobile entertainment takes even more commitment and passion.

Choosing to go out the movies is choosing to connect with the universe through the creative use of lights and sound, alongside your friends and neighbors. This involves an openness to explore and share with a group and this involves the focused attention we're easily distracted away from at home. These are the seeds of community engagement being germinated. Germination by active participation, rooted in choosing to do something more involved and demanding of yourself than other options.

What if we recreated our community's culture of cinema by rebuilding our downtown movie-going infrastructure? A special movie event here... a showing of something unique there... an annual film festival a few blocks in that direction... What if we collected the pieces spread out years ago and reassembled them into something new that's reminiscent of something old?

What might that look like within our local landscape? We've got some ideas. Where could that lead? We'd like to find out by activating some nooks and projection-lighting up the alleyways of the ol' 18431.

Bringing Killer Shrews to Town

White Lion Studios visited Honesdale to show their masterwork of independent cinema, "Attack of the Killer Shrews!", on March 18, 2017. We organized the local premiere by partnering up with Cinema 6 and coaxing folks out from their Blizzard Stella bunkers to share in a non-traditional, night at the movies.

How'd we meet these folks? In short, Spookyfest.

If the movie stars align, our pals will return to expand the "Shrewniverse" with Honesdale-set additions to this moving picture canon but, sequels aside, we're just looking forward to hanging out again and doing some karaoke on a Friday or Saturday Night.

Recommended best practice for bringing killer shrews or movie companies on location scouting expeditions to your town? In short, make real connections over the things you care about and dive into some shared community engagement. Worst case scenario, you make some new friends.

Gallery Notes: 1) Independent Cinema, Marquee Infiltration 2) Cinema 6, Off Hours 3) Karaoke with our Movie Friends at Black & Brass Coffee Roasting Co. 4) A Visiting Stuntman at R3 Hardware 5) Attack of the Killer Shrews! and River/Trail Support