SCRANTON -- It was a movie premiere a decade in the making in Scranton Thursday night.
After a half-million dollars in taxpayer money, after the incarceration of two former Lackawanna County Commissioners, after all the less than stellar reviews, the film “The Trouble With Cali” debuted in the county that helped pay for it.
The opening credits of “The Trouble With Cali” rolled in front of the packed theater at the Scranton Culture Center. For the residents of Lackawanna County, this moment came at a cost of a half a million dollars and a decade of waiting.
Hundreds of people came out for the free premiere of the movie made by Paul Sorvino and shot in Scranton.
“A lot of excitement, we were actually giving away tickets where I work. I work at Rock 107, so I just wanted to come and see the movie,” said Mari Olshefski from Clarks Summit.
“I don't know a lot about it other than it was made here, so we're here to see it,” said Elaine Gusi from Scranton.
“I want to see what this is about,” said Michael Ranelli from Pittston. “I want to see where that money went, so should be interesting to see.”
“I just thought it would be an interesting thing to see, just looking forward to something we paid for, right?” said Linda Learn from Dunmore.
“I just want to see where my money went,” said Howard Hoffman from Clarks Summit. “My expectations are not great.”
It was back in 2005 when the then-Lackawanna County Commissioners, including the now imprisoned Bob Cordaro, invested $500,000 of county money in Sorvino's movie. But county residents never saw a dime in return and until now, never saw the movie.
“This is a type of investment that county tax dollars should never have been invested, but do the people deserve to see it, yes they do,” said Lackawanna County Commissioner Pat O’Malley. “The residents paid for this movie.”
Unfortunately, many said the movie wasn't worth five cents, let alone $500,000.
Twenty minutes into the movie and people were already throwing in the towel.
“There was some kind of bed scene going, the conversation I couldn't follow quick enough to follow where it was even going,” said Kristy Holland from Scranton.
“I couldn't follow the story, wasn't making any sense. The acting was horrible, just no good, no good,” said Dominick Jenkins from Scranton.
There will be two more free showings of the movie the Cultural Center, Friday and Saturday nights, both at 7:30.
No tickets are needed, it's first come, first serve.
The movie is considered to be NC-17, so no one under 17 will be allowed inside.