The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
The senses are stuffed with aural and visual excess as English tribute act Brit Floyd recreates the sonic mind expansion and visceral enlightenment of a real Pink Floyd show. The band of highly trained virtuosos and a quintet choir of chanteuses does justice to its subject like a jury of smitten rock critics, nailing every note and nuance of Pink Floyd’s signature sound. Rollicking through all of The Floyd’s epic oeuvre, the British group finesses a catalog of timeless hits, including “Wish You Were Here” and “Learning to Fly.” The elaborate stage setup replicates The Division Bell tour, replete with metamorphic lasers and lighting, avant-garde screen projections, and a mammoth ocular stargate, giving fans the closest thing to seeing a Pink Floyd show without being miniaturized and injected into their uncle’s subconscious.
Awarded Best Movie Night by Philadelphia magazine in 2011, Cinema 16:9 projects theatrical run movies along with independent, foreign, and classic films in surround sound and full HD projection. Comprising two screens and 100 comfortable stadium-style seats, the theater also welcomes visitors to BYOB while catching a flick.
With a passion for historic movie theaters—and a simultaneous disappointment with the unoriginality of major multiplexes—founder David Titus has created a modern moviegoing experience that maintains the uniqueness and charm of Golden Age movie theaters. Along with an eclectic list of screenings, the theater features creative programming such as Terrible Tuesday, during which audiences mock terrible films; 8-Bit Warrior Wednesday, at which attendees play classic NES and SuperNES games on the big screen; and Dinner and a Movie, which includes discounted movie tickets and discounted meals at great local restaurants.
For those who like to watch movies at home, the theater’s movie-rental program features more than 3,000 titles on DVD and Blu-ray. All-out cinephiles can benefit from the theater’s membership program, which offers plans with unlimited movie tickets and rentals. The theater also hosts private movie screenings for birthday parties and challenging knitting parties and boasts a full concession stand that doles out organic and local foodstuffs in eco-friendly containers.
Instructor Owen Biddle shares his passion for shutterbugging during small, personalized classes at his eponymous photography school. A photo artist himself, Owen doesn't separate composition from technical instruction; instead, he invites students to see the artistic possibilities in everything they do with their cameras. Besides photography classes for all levels, from beginner to advanced, he also leads photo salons and field trips to help his pupils hone their skills.