Over the last twelve months, members and fans of the Riverfront Theatre in downtown Milford have been giving the building and its operations an overhaul. Acknowledging the importance of performing arts in small communities such as Milford, volunteers Bob Connelly and Dan Marabello have been seen by residents of Milford painting fixtures, replacing signage and overall restoring the theater. Hosting several adult and children’s productions each year, Second Street Players Board of Directors have stood alongside them encouraging ideas of how the theatre can become even more connected with the surrounding community.
In an attempt to expand the use of the theatre on Walnut Street, members of the Board of Directors have considered the idea of bringing in residents and visitors to Milford by showing movies in the theatre. Open to the public, the events would have the opportunity to reach a broader audience and possibly pull from other communities. Bob Connelly, Building Manager at the Riverfront Theatre, is in the process of forming a committee that will be tasked with exploring just what it will take to make the movies idea a reality.
“I think it is an exciting idea for the community and it will take the support of the community to be successful,” commented Connelly. “I have talked with many citizens who have said it would be great to have a movie venue back in town.”
Connelly imagines a large screen that would span the stage at the Riverfront Theatre when opened and a high-quality projector to stream the movies. The Board of Directors and Mr. Connelly agreed that the first priority of the theatre would remain a venue for live performing arts and that movies would be shown only when auditions, rehearsal and performances are not being held. Connelly is looking for residents of Milford to join the committee that have knowledge of the film industry, licensing and rights issues and technical experience with projectors and screens.
“We are looking for professionals that can help out in their own areas of expertise,” said Connelly. “It will take time to build and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered before the idea can be realized.”
The proceeds from the movies would help to secure not only the expenses that come along with running and maintaining the theatre but also ensure that the Second Streets Players are able to continue their tradition of performing and encouraging arts in the local community. A volunteer driven group where directors, actors, set designers and the board of directors are all unpaid volunteers, the organization was built out of a shared love of growing the theatrical arts in Milford. Included in their yearly productions, Second Street Players perform musicals, dramas, comedies, original works, the Children’s Dessert Theatre and cooperative productions with other cultural groups and schools.
“I hope that the monies raised through the movies can also enhance the marketing of the Riverfront Theatre, we want to find all the different ways to put people in the seats,” stated Connelly. “This idea could also reach out to a younger audience and give them a nice evening they can afford in downtown Milford.”
Individuals and businesses that are interested in creating a plan for movies at the Riverfront Theatre on Walnut Street in downtown Milford are asked to contact the theatre at 302-422-0220.