Rich Howells

VIDEO: Cafe Metro closed 5 years ago today, so relive the musical memories in this short documentary

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“The Cafe Metropolis’ last waltz was September 18, 2010. Big thanks to everyone for your support over the last 14 years. So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

That message still remains on what’s left of Cafe Metro’s website. It’s been exactly five years since the legendary hole-in-the-wall closed its doors in downtown Wilkes-Barre, so we felt it was appropriate to repost “The Metro: A Documentary,” a short film by Stephanie Ogozaly that chronicles the final days of the all-ages venue.

“It was the only place we could actually go and meet people like us. One of the bands said, ‘If you were across the street by the movie theater, you were a freak, but if you were at The Metro, the people across the street were the freaks because you were normal there. That’s what I liked about it. That’s why I wanted to capture that – the essence of it,” Ogozaly said at the time.

“Someone in the documentary described it as a second home. No matter your gender, your race, or your age, you could go there and it was going to be fun. You might get punched, but hopefully not on purpose.”

Originally released on Jan. 15, 2011, this now priceless footage for local music fans includes performances and interviews with many musicians who have gone on to national and even international fame. Motionless in White, The Menzingers, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, Strand of Oaks, Kite Party, Three Man Cannon, These Elk Forever, Machine Arms, Fake Estate, Keystone Ska Exchange, Echo Whiskey Charlie, and The F.N Nobodies all make appearances.

“I look at it and think, ‘I actually did something. I’m using my skills. I made this.’ But then the actual content of it is kind of depressing,” Ogozaly continued.

“There was a day a couple of months ago where I really wanted to go to a show, but I couldn’t. There are other places around here, but I wanted to go there. It was that high school feeling, but I can’t have that anymore. We all grow up.”

Read more about the making of the documentary in this archived article.

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  • dumbidiot

    Nice documentary. Definitely makes me feel nostalgic. It is funny that growing up in NEPA I took DIY venues like this for granted. The people that ran Metro weren’t turning a profit (at least not anything significant). I guess it took growing up and moving out of the area to make me realize how truly special and rare places like this (and the people that run them) are. I hope those involved with running Metro know the profound impact it had on the lives of the kids that got to enjoy it. Thank you for that.

  • Herbert Derby

    Why were Echo Whiskey Charlie interviewed? That is some of the least punk bullshit I’ve ever heard. Don’t lump bad bands in with good bands it ruins things for everyone and makes our area look even shittier.

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