by Dominique Claire Shuminova
The Picture House Regional Film Center in Pelham, hosted their annual Winter Party fundraiser at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle – formerly Glen Island Casino – from 7pm to midnight on Friday February 10th. The day before had been a snow day and Peltown Taxi had a 45-minute wait time for a cab. This year’s “Marquee Night” theme – complete with a Joan Rivers impersonator, red carpet interviews, cocktails, and paparazzi flashbulbs – kicked off the 2017 awards season with a new yearly tradition.
“Marquee Night” was co-chaired by Pelham resident Louise Middleton and New Rochelle resident Melina Vourlekis, and supported by a committee of volunteers from all over Southern Westchester. In the legendary venue overlooking Long Island Sound, once a prohibition-era speakeasy, red carpet-ready attendees enjoyed free-flowing cocktails, a buffet dinner, silent and live auctions, and dancing. The Nerds performed in the ballroom made famous by the Big Bands of yore.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who attended and so generously contributed to our growing education programs,” gushed The Picture House’s Education Director Francile Albright Mullen. “Thanks to a fantastic planning committee, the event had a great vibe!”
Added her husband Chance Mullen, Democratic Party candidate for Village of Pelham Trustee, “It was amazing to be in the company of so many people who are committed to keeping the arts thriving right here in Pelham, ensuring the continued success of our beloved Picture House.”
Pelham Picture House, also known as “The Picture House” was built in 1921 on the northwest corner of Wolfs Lane and Brookside Avenue. The Picture House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. Today it is the oldest, continuously running movie theater in Westchester County.
In 2001, it was set to be demolished and replaced by a retail bank when a group of residents established Pelham Picture House Preservation, raised $1.15 million to buy The Picture House in November 2005, and restored it to its former glory. The Picture House Regional Film Center (TPH) has operated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit since 2006, supported by ticket sales, grants, membership fees – and by special events like Marquee Night, dedicated to enriching the local cultural landscape with film screenings, engaging speakers, arts education, and more.
The soirée’s honoree, long-time Pelham resident Barbara Bratone, was the Founding Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center in 1978, and served as volunteer interim Executive Director of the Picture House for eighteen months from 2012 to 2014, having already served on its Board of Directors.
“The Picture House was thrilled to honor longtime supporter Barbara Bratone with the Harold Lloyd Commitment to Community Award at Marquee Night, our Winter Party fundraiser,” said Executive Director and President of The Picture House, Laura deBuys. “Barbara has been a tireless advocate of the theater since its inception and we are eternally grateful for all of her hard work and dedication through the years.”
All photos by Moon Baby Photo. To view the entire gallery of photos from the evening, visit moonbabyphoto.com