NEPA Scene Staff

See and smell John Waters film ‘Polyester’ with ‘Odorama’ at Scranton Public Library on Jan. 15

See and smell John Waters film ‘Polyester’ with ‘Odorama’ at Scranton Public Library on Jan. 15
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From a press release:

The Scranton Public Library is kicking off its 2020 Classic Movie Night series with a very special screening of John Waters’ 1981 cult classic “Polyester,” starring Divine and Tab Hunter, on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. The free screening will recreate the film’s original theatrical experience by the use of Odorama.

Following his epic trash trilogy of “Pink Flamingos” (1972), “Female Trouble” (1974), and “Desperate Living” (1977), legendary cult filmmaker John Waters made the comedy “Polyester” in 1981, a satirical look at suburban life in the 1980s.

Parodying women’s pictures of the 1940s, “Polyester” tells the story of Francine Fishpaw (the late, great character actor and Waters’ muse Divine), a long-suffering suburban housewife with a very sensitive sense of smell. Her husband Elmer (David Samson) owns the local adult theater and is cheating on her with his secretary (Mink Stole), her daughter Lulu (Mary Garlington) aspires to drop out of school to be a go-go dancer, her son Dexter (Ken King) is a delinquent who may or may not be the Baltimore Foot Stomper, and her mother (Joni Ruth White) has been stealing money for her for years. Her only solace is her best friend and former cleaning lady (and future geriatric debutante) Cuddles (Waters’ regular Edith Massey) and a growing dependency on alcohol. Will Francine finally find happiness in the arms of handsome Todd Tomorrow (Tab Hunter)?

A longtime admirer of filmmaker/showman William Castle since childhood, Waters devised his own “wondrous” screen gimmick for the theatrical run of “Polyester” called Odorama. Odorama consists of a scratch and sniff card, numbered 1 to 10, which invites theatergoers to scratch and sniff the card when the corresponding number flashes on the screen at certain points in the film, allowing one to smell the same scents – ranging from floral to repulsive – that Francine is experiencing.

A very limited number of Odorama cards will be available to borrow (not keep) during the film’s screening. Therefore, registration is required for this screening of “Polyester,” and seating will be limited to 10. Admission is free with a library card.

Running from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. in the Henkelman Room at the Albright Memorial Library (500 Vine St., Scranton), “Polyester” is rated R. The film will be proceeded by vintage entertainment starting at 6 p.m.

Moviegoers can register for the screening at or by calling 570-348-3000, ext. 3016.