Movies at the Mill

By Mary Beth Schwartz
Photo courtesy of MME

The fall night air is crisp with excitement. White tents dot the landscape. People are milling about on the red carpet—decked out to the nines. There is great conversation, a live jazz band, cocktails and fine cuisine from Easton’s top restaurants. Under starry skies, the crowd anticipates an eclectic mix of short films. It is time for the annual Movies At The Mill Easton (MME)—action!

Attracting 1,200 attendees last year, MME was founded by Gershon Hinkson in coordination with  Easton Mayor Salvatore Panto, Jr. in 2009. Hinkson is a veteran film editor, writer, and director. He has worked with Spike Lee (Clockers); Al Pacino (Chinese Coffee); Malcolm Lee (The Best Man); Chris Rock (Head of State); Sydney Pollack (The Interpreter); Sam Raimi (Spiderman 2); Doug Liman (Jumper); and the Coen Brothers (True Grit). Hinkson also is Chair of MME, as well as Director of the annual international film event. “I love to share my knowledge of film, my love of film—the art form and the industry with those seeking that education. But doing it in a manner that is more organic—not just a matter of going to film school,” Hinkson says.

In past years MME has featured the Academy Award winning documentary Music By Prudence by Easton filmmaker Roger Ross Williams; the Academy Award nominated short film On The Line by Swiss director Reto Caffi; and a variety of locally produced shorts, ranging from horror to comedy, animation to documentary. “This year, a Best in the Valley award will be given for filmmakers from the Lehigh Valley. Last year was our first award for Best in Show,” Hinkson says.

MME takes place at the Simon Silk Mill Site, 13th Street and Bushkill Drive, in Easton. According to Chad Helmer, Senior Project Manager, Taggart Associates, the Simon Silk Mill property is approximately 13 acres and is made up of 20 buildings totaling approximately 330,000 square feet of space. The first buildings on site were constructed in 1883 and the site has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. At the height of its production around the turn of the 20th century, 2,000 were employed there.

“Taggart Associates has been working for the past several years with the City of Easton, the Easton Redevelopment Authority (ERA), and Lafayette College on a series of projects known as the Bushkill Creek Corridor Initiative. This Initiative includes the College’s ongoing development of the Williams Arts Campus along North Third Street, the City’s development of the recently-opened Karl Stirner Arts Trail along the Creek, and the Redevelopment Authority’s efforts to redevelop the Simon Silk Mill on North 13th Street,” Helmer says.

In 2010, a plan named Silk: A Creative Community was created by ERA and Spillman Farmer Architects. “The plan calls for the site to be rehabbed and redeveloped in a mixed-use, multi-phased framework that leverages Easton’s strong and growing arts and creative community. The overall plan for Silk calls for unique and creative retail, restaurant, and commercial uses; art uses such as a small theater and galleries; flexible shared use spaces; a boutique hotel; and a mix of residential opportunities. The plan also calls for creative and welcoming outdoor spaces that can be used for community events and public gatherings, such as Movies At The Mill,” Helmer says. All in all, the project is expected to be completed in the next five to seven years. Progress is being made, including some demolishing, engineering designs, building rehab, work on the primary access boulevard and architectural designs.

Movies At The Mill Easton (MME) takes place September 22, rain or shine. The event runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Merchants Bank is the event’s presenting sponsor for the second year in a row. Tickets cost $10. Hinkson suggests liking “Music At The Mill Easton” on Facebook for up-to-the-minute information and news. For all other information and current weather conditions visit

With its increasing popularity, MME is in need of volunteers—starting with site set-up at the mill and ending with the final clean-up. In between, volunteers can contribute their time, energy, and talents to a variety of areas, including ticketing, parking, greeting, marketing, and publicity, to name a few.

Don’t miss this year’s Movies At The Mill Easton (MME). According to Gershon Hinkson, there may be some new surprises in store.

Follow @LehighValleyMarketplace on Instagram