Dinner and Movie Night Draws Hundreds of Students Downtown
Nearly 300 students experienced the great food and entertainment available in Scranton on Friday, March 2 through The University’s first annual Electric City Downtown Dinner & Movie Nite.
Students jumped at the chance to dine at one of 13 downtown restaurants, participate in the First Friday art-walk, and attend a movie at Marquee Cinemas – all for free through a University sponsorship.
Two hundred students registered for the event within 48 hours of its announcement. The University added an additional 100 spots, which went just as quickly, according to Julie Schumacher Cohen, Director of Community Relations, who helped organize the event.
“Everything was set up for you,” said senior Nina Giordano about the event’s popularity. “All you had to do was show up. As seniors, we never had any programs like this, so as soon as my friends and I heard about it we jumped at the opportunity.”
Students began the evening at their choice of one of 13 restaurants – Cangiano’s Italian Specialties, City Café, Carl Von Luger, Eden-a-Vegan Café, Farley’s, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Hilton (P.J.’s Pub), Kildare’s, Pizza by Pappas, POSH at the Scranton Club, Sambuca Grille, Trax at the Radisson, or Thai Rak Thai.
“I had never been to Trax before and I was blown away by the food, acoustic music and atmosphere,” said Kevin Clark, a sophomore at the University. “I will definitely eat there in the future.”
Business owners would be happy to have the students back. Christian Pilosi, owner of Eden-a-Vegan Café said, “As a downtown business owner, I appreciate all that the University is doing to connect students with the downtown.” “We would be happy to have the dinner again,” said Joshua Mast, owner of POSH at the Scranton Club.
After the meal, students participated in First Friday or went to Bella Faccias, a specialized chocolate shop, for a free cup of hot chocolate.
“The event was a great way to get students involved in the First Friday events,” said Brianna Daly, a freshman at the University.
“The free hot chocolate at Bella Faccias was phenomenal. Incorporating the community into the student body is brilliant because not only does the city win through promotions and income, but we win too,” said Giordano.
The evening concluded with students attending one of the movies offered during the 9 p.m. set at Marquee Cinemas. The Lorax and This Means War were among the favorite choices. “It was great to participate,” said Richard Johnson, General Manager for Marquee Cinemas Steamtown 8. “I think the exposure to the University students will bring continued business and I hope we can make this event a regular occurrence.”
The program was sponsored by the Residence Hall Association, Offices of Residence Life and Off Campus and Commuter Student Affairs, Division of Student Affairs, University of Scranton Programming Board (USPB) and Center for Student Engagement. The Office of Community Relations worked with the downtown restaurants and Marquee Cinemas to arrange the event, continuing efforts to help increase University-downtown collaboration.
So far it seems to be working.
“There are so many great downtown offerings; this was a wonderful way to introduce students to these opportunities,” said freshman Kristin Leccese.
According to a survey conducted by the Community Relations Office following the event, 99% of students want to attend the next one, scheduled for October 2012.
Photos of the students at businesses and venues throughout downtown Scranton can be viewed on the University’s flickr page.
This article was written by student correspondent, Kari Dombroski ’13, a communication major at The University of Scranton from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.