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December 12, 2017
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May the force be with you

As folks lined up for popcorn and drinks, Callicoon Theater proprietor Jim Kayton assured everyone that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” wouldn’t begin until we had all taken our seats. Only in the Catskills!
Contributed photo by Jonathan Charles Fox

December 30, 2015

I’d like to personally thank George Lucas, J.J. Abrams and the entire cast and crew of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” for making my holiday a little brighter. Fear not—no spoilers here, but I’m grateful that my doctor gave me the go-ahead to get out of bed and be among people, without fear of infecting an entire theater full of fans, in order that I might carry on a long-standing tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. And, by choosing “Star Wars,” I feel like a kid again.

Yes, I’m a fan—maybe not a crazy, obsessed uber-fan, but a fan nonetheless. I’ve seen them all, but unlike many, not interested in finding fault with the various scripts, plotlines or characters that have emerged over the years. My goal is simply to enjoy the ride as the story, which takes place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away,” continues to evolve.

Admittedly, I was nervous when the industry giant known as Disney took over the reins of the franchise, but having seen the film, I’ve breathed a sigh of relief. Even though I’m not spoiler-alert crazy, I did want to see the movie before too many details emerged on social media, and I wanted to see it at home, here in the Upper Delaware River region—specifically at the Callicoon Theater, one of the many local spots where everybody knows your name.

Honestly, where else can you call the movie theater and speak to a real person? When I dialed the theater and heard the machine pick up, I was momentarily dismayed, because I had questions I wasn’t sure would be answered. But hearing the “Force Awakens” excitement in theater owner Jim Kayton’s voice on the pre-recorded message made me smile. He and his wife Barbara are part of what makes the movie-going experience special (IMHO) on the banks of the Delaware, and I know I’m not alone in looking forward to seeing them (he sells the tickets, she makes the popcorn) whenever I stop in. After getting the recording, I dialed the alternate number provided on the website (, and sure enough, Jim picked up. Assuring me that they would be open on Christmas Day, we spent a few minutes extolling the virtues of all things “Star Wars,” and I proceeded to make plans with a few pals.