An Artistic Gem: Promoting Visual Culture in Southern Delaware

A collegial and creative group of 5 planted the seed that bloomed into today’s 1,763 member Rehoboth Film Society. In 1997, five friends in the Rehoboth Beach area spent a lot of time discussing how independent and thought-provoking films might make their way to coastal Delaware. That question and desire birthed what was to become the Rehoboth Film Society.  

From humble beginnings, this non-profit arts organization has become a membership and sponsor continuing with the same driven quest to share with our coastal community the love of cinematography, both new and classic. 

The organization now owns a theater located on the Coastal Highway in Lewes, and features an incredibly diverse assortment of films, some new and in vogue, some obscure (although whether that’s for good reason or not is a matter of taste). A look at their schedule illustrates their dedication to new or vintage jewels. And they are more than just that. 

With more than 1,700 supporting members who sustain the film society, many other endeavors to support the cinematic arts have blossomed. Each year, they seem to host MORE, starting with their Festivals:

that promote and celebrate diverse audiences. There are also lectures, discussions and specialty groups. And let’s not forget how they bring the ARTS alive in our backyards through ambitious endeavors:

Journey through Art History: “a cinematic immersion into the world’s best loved art, accompanied by insights from the world’s leading historians and arts critics.” Just peak at what’s in line for February:

Feb. 1st: RAPHAEL REVEALED

Feb. 14th: THE DANISH COLLECTOR: DELACROIX TO GAUGUIN

Take a look at the whole year’s line up here.

The METropolitan Opera, Live in HD: “live transmissions of 10 spectacular productions. The affordable opportunity to see world-class opera in your community is a wonderful experience for all ages.”

Feb. 7th and 8th: RIGOLETTO (VERDI) 

Feb. 21st (an encore performance): FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES (TERENCE BLANCHARD / LIBRETTO BY KASI LEMMONS)

You name it, there’s a group of So-Del film enthusiasts who will come together to experience special events. If you browse their menu of film and event choices, you’ll immediately pick up on how inclusive the nature of the audience is. There are films and discussions that nod towards several religious, cultural and artistic experiences that are all about urging the community to be open-minded. Ethnic or equality topics also pepper their menu of events and films. 

The Rehoboth Beach Film Society has a 2022 schedule that is likely to inspire us all. And many of their events are conducted virtually, including the Metropolitan Opera and speaker forums on a variety of subjects. Everything from mental health to art history are topics that attract members and anyone curious about learning and appreciating more. 

Interestingly, the society also promotes the art of film making by showcasing regional, aspiring cinematographers. Competitive opportunities are available for anyone of any age to pursue. Many of its events have understandably been canceled or postponed due to the pandemic circumstances, but the organization clearly intends to expand its horizons and offerings. 

For such a small community, this grassroots effort to enforce the importance of cinematic arts (and who doesn’t appreciate that these days?) IS unique and important in our coastal community.  

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