Not so long ago, Chestertown faced a challenge of epic proportions. There had been no catastrophic fire, the Chester River Bridge had not collapsed, nor was this the aftermath of a one hundred year storm. No, the crisis at hand, which impacted almost every soul in Kent County, was that the community had not only lost its only movie theatre but there no indicators that it would be replaced anytime soon.
Fast forward a year or so, and all of that has changed now. To Kent County’s collective relief, the new Chesapeake Movies now offers five state of the art screens. The seats are filled, young parents are relieved that they don’t need to drive 4o minutes for kid matinees, and once again this college town can say they have this critical quality of life amenity.
But given that Chestertown is the home of Washington College, with a student, faculty and retirement community with a passion for independent film, how does the town fill this gap? The answer is starting to emerge in a terrific way.
With the establishment of the RiverArts Film Society, a core group of passionate film aficionados has begun making their mark with monthly screenings of critically alamcined art house flicks. More importantly, the Film Society has forged a partnership with Washington College, and recently added Alicia Kozma, the College’s professor of Media Studies, to its volunteer oversight committee, and that is when things became really exciting for Chestertown.
It turns out that Alicia has done this before. While attending the University of Illinois for her Ph.D., she volunteered to help form the Champaign-Urbana Film Society in Urbana, now a beloved part of the town-gown film world there. And not missing a beat, she has already arranged with Chesapeake Movies to use one of their theaters for Film Society screenings.
The Spy was delighted Alicia agreed to a Spy interview on the subject of film in Chestertown and caught up with her at the Spy HQ on Queen Street last week.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about the RiverArts Film Society please go here.