Scranton Cultural Center plans virtual 90th anniversary celebration, invites patrons to submit memories
From a press release:
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the opening of Scranton’s historic Masonic Temple, which has served as the home of the Scranton Cultural Center for over three decades. Although the facility is currently closed due to government guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic, it won’t stop the organization from celebrating this monumental milestone.
“Before the pandemic outbreak, we were brainstorming ideas for an on-site celebration because we believe our building doesn’t just belong to us, but the entire community,” said SCC Executive Director Deborah Moran Peterson.
“Now, we’ve opted to shift our celebration to the digital sphere as a way to look back on 90 years of history and bring the community together during a time when we all need it the most.”
The Cultural Center also recently took to social media to post a virtual tour of the building and celebrate its 20th annual Evening of Fine Food and Wine during the week of April 19, as the milestone event was postponed due to current restrictions. It is in the process of being rescheduled for later this year.
The virtual 90th anniversary celebration will kick off on Monday, May 18, which marks the official anniversary of the building’s opening in 1930. Until then, the Scranton Cultural Center invites patrons to share and submit their memories of the facility from over the years. Suggested submissions include:
- A short video clip no longer than one minute sharing why they love and/or support the Cultural Center, a special memory, or what the SCC means to them.
- Photos (digital or scans) from their wedding or other special occasion, dance recital, night at the theatre, evening at a fundraiser, or anything else they’d like to share.
- Share a story – the limits are endless. Describe a special memory, favorite show or concert they attended, favorite part of the building, etc.
Approved submissions will be featured on the SCC’s social media channels, within the organization’s eblasts, and on its website. The amount of submissions received will dictate the timeframe of the virtual celebration. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 17 at noon. Submissions can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via Facebook or Instagram message platforms, or via mail to Scranton Cultural Center – Attn: Rachael Fronduti, 420 N. Washington Avenue, Scranton PA 18503. Any questions can also be directed to email@example.com.
The Scranton Cultural Center is housed in one of the most glorious pieces of architecture to be found in Scranton. Originally built as the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral, the building is significant as an example of the work of Raymond M. Hood (1881-1934), a prominent architect of the 1920s and early 1930s, and as a unique example of Neo-Gothic architecture in Scranton.
At approximately 180,000 square feet, the building houses two theaters, meeting rooms, and a grand ballroom, as well as numerous other rooms and areas. Over time, the Masonic Fraternity realized the need to utilize the facility in other collaborative ways, so a grassroots effort was launched to form a not-for-profit organization. The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple remains dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the structure and to provide an ongoing programming resource for the community.
The unique partnership of the communities of Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Masonic Fraternity has proven successful and beneficial to all parties. Today, the SCC operates the facility as a regional performance and cultural hub. It serves as the residence for national tours of Broadway musicals and concerts and hosts a variety of many other national and regional artists, including memorable performances by Frank Sinatra, Rob Zombie, A Perfect Circle, Yul Brynner in “The King and I,” George Carlin, NSYNC, Britney Spears, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Doc Watson, and Bela Fleck. It also has kept to its earliest purposes by continuing to serve as the center of Masonic activity in the region.
The Scranton Cultural Center’s mission is to rejuvenate a national architectural treasure as a regional center for the arts, education, and community activity appealing to all. It is also committed to offering arts-integrated experiences to the regional school districts, home school groups, and charter schools, as well as the community at large.
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Head on over to our Facebook page where we are spending the week celebrating twenty years of our largest fundraiser #EveningofFineFoodandWine ! You won’t want to miss lots of great memories and photos captured by @juliejordanphotography ♥️🍷🍽 #scrantonculturalcenter #lifecelebrated