After 17 years of calling the Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach home, officials from the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival have announced the 2014 festival will be the last at that location.
“There is time to explore our options and to locate additional venues,” reads an e-mailed letter sent by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society board of directors to society members on April 23. “Members will be updated with progress reports and suggestions of potential venues are welcomed.”
The news comes on the heels of the festival's most successful year. According to the film society's website, the 2013 festival was its most popular – filling 19,133 seats and selling out 59 screenings.
The movie theater has also informed the society that for this year's festival, the number of theaters available will be reduced from eight to four.
“This reduction will require the film society to conduct weekend screenings at the nearby Cape Henlopen High School theater in order for the film festival to be programmed with the same scope, quality and available seating as in the past,” said the letter.
According to the letter, theater officials say conflicting contractual obligations relating to its regular film programming limits the number of theaters this year and eliminates use next year.
The letter said tickets sales will now start a day early, Tuesday, Nov. 4, and the screening of films will begin at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 5.
“While these changes present new hurdles, we must all bear in mind that most of the other film festivals in the country operate out of multiple venues,” said the letter. “The southern Delaware coastal area has limited options in this regard, but we are optimistic that additional venues will be made available for future film festivals.”
The letter said there is not an expected change to the society's year-round programming.