Andy Buchanan, president of the Whallonsburg Civic Association, said, “For the last three years, the Film Society has made the Grange its permanent home. During that time we’ve learned that our organizations are stronger together than we have been separately. We see this as a win-win-win for the Grange, for the Film Society and, most importantly, for the entire community we serve.”
Champlain Valley Film Society: How It Began
The Film Society showed its first movie in the summer of 2003 at Willsboro Central School. In the last 13 years they have screened nearly 200 films at 10 different venues, including the Depot Theatre, the Masonic Lodge in Essex and Ballard Park in Westport. In 2012, the Film Society began showing all of its films at the Grange Hall in Whallonsburg.
David Reuther, a co-founder and past president of the Film Society, said, “We are delighted by this new relationship with the Grange. Using our new HD projector, professional-grade audio system and comfortable new seating, we show films the way they were meant to be seen: on a big screen with an audience. And with our new popcorn machine, we offer a true movie theater experience for less than half the cost of the Plattsburgh cinemas.”
The Film Society shows both current and classic films, including many Oscar winners, as well was independent, foreign and documentary movies that are not shown in traditional theaters. The Society has also incorporated special guests into more than thirty shows, including last year’s Captain Phillips, which was introduced by the real Captain Richard Phillips.
100 Years of the Whallonsburg Grange
The Whallonsburg Grange Hall is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Originally used for meetings, dances, weddings, and other events, the building had fallen into disrepair by the 1990s. In 2006 a group of residents restored the historic building and reorganized it as a community center. The Grange Hall is now host to a wide variety of music, films, theater, lectures, and workshops. It also holds regular annual events, including the Boquet River Theater Festival summer theater camp, an annual block party, and Election Night dinner. Area families can rent the building for weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties and reunions. A new certified commercial kitchen is available for farmers, retail food producers and community projects of all kinds.
Andy Buchanan sees the merger with the Film Society as cementing both organizations’ outreach work over the past several years.
He says, “Both the Grange and the Film Society have developed a strong base of support from people in Essex, Westport, Willsboro, and Elizabethtown. A significant part of our audience also travels from Keene Valley, Jay, Moriah, Plattsburgh and beyond. This merger with the Champlain Valley Film Society will help us to better serve the people from our region.”
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- Fort Ticonderoga Purchases Carillon Cruise Boat: Waterway Tours Begin Spring 2015 (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)