MONTROSE -- Actor Richard Gere was in our area to help raise money for a movie theater in Susquehanna County that is in need of repairs.
Gere would be the first person to tell you that he's a busy man. The actor was in town to introduce the movie "Pretty Woman" at Montrose Area High School for the film festival just outside of Montrose. It's all to raise money for the Montrose Movie Theatre marquee where his parents used to hang out when they were younger.
"They have known each other since they were teenagers. My mom just died last year, but she was 91. She had an incredible life. My dad is 95, and they went to this movie theater," Gere explained.
Gere's parents were raised and married in Brooklyn, Pennsylvania, just south of Montrose.
Although Gere did not grow up in Susquehanna County, he did spend time in Brooklyn growing up. He still has family living in Susquehanna County, including a cousin, WNEP photographer Michael Erat.
He visits home often, so when his family asked him to help the theater, he said he was happy to help.
"Small town theaters all over the country are struggling right now. People don't leave their houses anymore for movies. They watch them at home, but there's something about going to the cinema," Gere said.
Walking or driving through Public Avenue, the marquee is one of the first things you'll see. That's why Montrose Restoration Committee wanted to update it to bring people to the theater.
"It's the only working theater in Susquehanna County and it saves people from having to drive a half hour or 45 to see a movie," said April Holgate of Montrose.
Gere hopes by preserving the theater, it could help the next rising star from our area.
"Maybe if I can inspire some younger people who came from a small town like this that maybe their dreams are possible, I think that's a good thing," he said.
The film festival runs through Monday.
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While Richard Gere never lived in Susquehanna County, his parents were raised and married there.
He visits from time to time and spoke to Newswatch 16 about the small town values he still tries to carry with him in his life.