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Easton Prepares for Movies at the Mill

Mayor, organizers talk about plans for annual Easton film/arts/food festival.

It's called but the annual film festival at the old Simon Silk Mill has grown to become a celebration of all sorts of art.

In announcing the festival's return on Friday, city officials said that's in keeping with their ultimate : a place where people can live, but also work on artistic pursuits.

"It showcases culinary arts, it showcases musical arts," Mayor Sal Panto told reporters at the mill. "This is what we want here, a creative community."

Now in its fourth year, Movies at the Mill will screen nine -- possibly 10 -- films starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

Festival director Gershon Hinkson said the subject matter ranges from "the child's imagination" to more realistic issues like divorce. Some movies were made here in Easton; others come from as far away as Hungary.

Hinkson said he was encouraged that some of this year's films come from people whose works had been turned down by Movies at the Mill in the past.

"Those same filmmakers didn't give up on themselves or on Movies at the Mill," Hinkson said.

This year's festival includes music by the Floyd King Quartet, as well as a video of work by Allentown artist Vicki DaSilva, whose images appeared in Times Square. 

In addition to visual and musical arts, the festival will also showcase local culinary artists.

This year's restaurant lineup includes: ,, , , , and , with desserts from , The and the .

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance, or $15 at the gate. This year, for the first time, the festival will be able to offer visitors the option of paying by credit or debit card, thanks to sponsor Merchants Bank.

Also new this year: a big tent over the "theater" area. After three years without rain, organizers said they no longer want to gamble with the weather.

The property is being redeveloped by VM Development, the same company that's revamping the .

Even when the development is finished, Movies at the Mill will continue, Panto said. 

Gretchen Longenbach, of the city's Redevelopment Authority, said that when Movies at the Mill began, the property itself was a big part of the attraction.

"Now," she said, "I think they're coming for the films."

Amend September 08, 2012 at 07:11 PM
@bill- this project pre-dates mayor Panto. It was actually interim mayor McFadden, who came to office after Goldsmith resigned, who first discussed redeveloping the silk mills. The acquisition of the property was done with a state RACP grant. The vast majority if the funding used after that was done thru federal, state and county sources as well as the EAILD and volunteerism. There are no large sums of city money being diverted to the Silk Mill. As a matter of fact, a large portion of city resources/money are directed towards the west ward, be it police or otherwise. As for the admissions tax, I've never been a fan of it. It's primary purpose was to single out those who patronize Crayola and the State Theatre, as those two seemed like easy cash cows. It's really not enforceable unless the venue sells tickets. I suppose it could be more strictly enforced, but it seems more like a regressive tax to me. Still, I sounds like it raises nearly a half million dollars annual from what I've heard.
louis kootsares September 08, 2012 at 07:43 PM
the structure in question is 1900s yes it is a white elephant as it stands.. more costly to renovate it... i do not see people lining up to grab it.. ooops yes i do mayor panto with taxpayer money
Amend September 08, 2012 at 09:07 PM
@Louis- I'm guessing you missed the part in the article where VM Development had signed on to do the first phase. Can't call it a white elephant is someone's interested in investing private dollars. And If you read my last post to bill you would realize that this project ore-dates Panto by at least 5 years.
louis kootsares September 09, 2012 at 02:39 PM
waste of money.... what easton long needed was common sense not just easton but easton could have had the world in its hands good examples are .. when private investors wanted the perkins property anyone who would take the property would spend money ..but right away they were given a whole list of b.s. what a couple of the would be investors thoughts on that were in the newspapers for all to read.. what other good things are numerous, including an attempt by a investor to put a chicken restaurant in easton ,but was rejected.. what crap that was ,if the mayor is interested in the property instead of movies invite ainvestor from the allentown area who has lots of money,ideas but apparently not the right politics,he is always being denied his intents ... but just to spend money stupid.. ps. did mayor panto use any of the ideas from his trip from israel? he said he had alot
Joey September 10, 2012 at 07:03 PM
they should show the trailer for Sins of the Dragon, a new film by Platypus Underground, Ltd. a movie company based in Easton, PA! the movie premieres in the Poconos Dec. 2! www.platypusunderground.com

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