Sunday, August 3, 2014

Petition: Marge Ross: The Face of Sayre Theater

 If you've ever run a race in Sayre Pa (Turkey Trot, Guthrie Gallop etc..) you probably registered, started, finished, and received your award under the marquee at the Sayre Theater.

In these days of impersonal mall megaplexes, Sayre Theater, and the other two BCRAC theaters in Towanda and Canton, are something of a dying breed - beautiful historic century old movie palaces - updated and modernized for the new millennium without sacrificing their charm.

But the differences between our local theaters and the aforementioned “megaplexes” go deeper than just oak trimmed concession stands and ornate decoration. In Sayre the employees have names. They recognize you. They know your name. They are your friends. They’ve sold you tickets and popcorn a thousand times and wished you good night two hours later after another happy ending.

One of those people was Marge Ross. She managed the Sayre Theater for nearly twenty years. Preceding most shows she came to the front of the theater, before the lights went down, to say hello and bring patrons up to date on what they could expect at Sayre Theater in weeks to come.
 
A few days ago The Daily Review broke the news of Marge’s unceremonious resignation from her position. No further details were given. Perhaps it was a personal decision, and if that is the case, we wish Marge good health in her retirement. On the other hand, maybe there is more going on than meets the eye. Marge’s sudden exit from the organization has left a bad taste in the mouths of many patrons who appreciate, love, adore and call her friend.

Perhaps one day soon some closure will be brought to the situation. In the meantime please take a moment to read and sign this PETITION supporting Marge Ross: The Face of Sayre Theater.

 
 
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UPDATE: BCRAC RESPONDS VIA FACEBOOK:
 
"In response to recent questions concerning the change in management at the Sayre Theatre, the BCRAC Board of Directors offers the below statement:

During a July 3rd meeting with BCRAC Executive Director Elaine Poost, a BCRAC Board member, and a BCRAC volunteer, Sayre Theatre Manager Margie Ross unexpectedly tendered her resignation, and turned in her Theatre keys. BCRAC did not fire nor force th...e resignation of Margie Ross from the Sayre Theatre. The resignation was completely unexpected and unsolicited.

The BCRAC Board of Directors met to discuss the July 3rd resignation and voted to accept Margie’s resignation as received. An offer was made to her to continue with the 100th Anniversary Celebrations, including the Old Tyme Picnic scheduled for August 6 and the 100th Anniversary Grand Finale event scheduled for December 31, 2014. The offer was declined.

The BCRAC Board of Directors acknowledges the wonderful work that Margie has done over the years to develop the Sayre Theatre into not just a movie theatre, but also a community hub. The D’Rosa cinema in the Sayre Theatre, dedicated in July 2012, will forever bear the original name of Margie’s family in honor of the work that she did.

A search will soon get underway for a new Sayre Theatre manager to help move the Sayre Theatre through the new era of digital technology and to work with the Theatre staff and community to honor the work started by Margie and ensure that the Sayre Theatre remains a vital part of the community.

The BCRAC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building and supporting a thriving regional arts community by advocating for the Arts, cultivating quality arts programming, and preserving Bradford County’s historic theatres as venues for performances, community events, and movies."
 
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UPDATE 2: ROSS ATTORNEY: She Was Forced Out

"The Attorney for former Sayre Theater Manager Marjorie Ross claimed Mondy that his client was forced out of her position by Bradford County Regional Arts Council Executive Director Elaine Poost.

"My client was forced out of her position under repeated harassment and duress by the current executive director of the BCRAC," attorney Frank J. Tunis Jr. of Scranton said. "My client has been a faithful and dedicated employee for the last two decades and looks forward to addressing the matter in the appropriate judicial forum if necessary."

The comments released by Tunis differ greatly from a statement released earlier in the day by the BCRAC Board of Directors. Full Article

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UPDATE 3: Petition Creator Lisa Baker Updates community on August 19th

"Thank you all for your signatures in support of Marge, and for the wonderful comments you have made honoring her and her work. At this point, there has been no word from the Bradford County Regional Arts Council Board. I am very disappointed by the lack of response, particularly after the wonderful turn out at the picnic on August 6th. It now has been over two weeks since the petition went live, and so far 1,737 people have signed it. I am concerned the BCRAC has chosen not to honor the wishes of the people who signed this, and honor Marge as she deserves. I have heard some talk that they hope if they wait long enough people will move on. I have also heard that since mostly Valley folks signed, this only represents a small part of Bradford County, and so it does not really matter.

I am hopeful that the BCRAC Board has simply not had a chance to meet, and discuss how they will honor Marge. I am hoping that the above rumors are not true, and they will respect the wishes of some of the many Valley folks as well as those who signed from the surrounding areas. I will be printing the petition this week. If I do not hear from the Bradford County Regional Arts Council Board by the end of the week, I will be presenting the petition in person at the BCRAC office in Towanda or at the next public board meeting. I will be asking for those who wish to show their support in person, to come with me when I present this 177-page document.

Again, it is very possible there is a plan in place I do not know about or that the BCRAC Board has not met yet. However, I do not want the BCRAC Board to think that if they wait long enough, the petition will go away. Thank you all again, and I will let you know if I hear from the Board. The petition will remain online until I can declare victory on the website!

Lisa Baker"


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