JIM THORPE, PENNSYLVANIA
When the town was founded in 1818, it was originally called Mauch Chunk, or "Bear Mountain" in the language of the native Munsee-Lenape tribe. The name was changed to Jim Thorpe in honor of the legendary Native American Olympic athlete who's body was buried here in 1954.
Mauch Chunk was made infamous by the 1876 trials of the Molly Maguires which resulted in the hanging of twenty Irish coal miners accused of murder by the ruthless mining companies desperate to crush the fight for better working conditions. Shot on location on the streets of Jim Thorpe, Martin Ritt's 1970 feature, "The Molley Maguires," immortalized the miners' struggle. The film starred Sean Connery and Richard Harris at the peak of their careers and was lensed by legendary Hollywood cinematographer James Wong Howe.
Today, Jim Thorpe is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful and romantic towns in the US. Nestled in the breathtaking Lehigh Gorge, this quaint Victorian town is teeming with history, romance and adventure. It was once called "The Switzerland of America" due to its mountainous geography and is often compared to Bedford Falls from "Its a Wonderful Life" or a miniature railroad village you'd find under a christmas tree.
Festival-goers will enjoy the many shops, restaurants, pubs, wine-tasting and live entertainment as well as all the outdoor adventure you'd expect in the Pocono Mountains. There are plenty of places to stay - historic B&B's, Inns and hotels, most within walking distance of our main venue, the Mauch Chunk Opera House.
Jim Thorpe is a convenient film festival destination - just a 90 minute drive from Philadelphia, 2 hours from NYC, 3 hours from Baltimore and 40 minutes from the Lehigh Valley International Airport.
Once again, we're proud to host the 2nd Annual Jim Thorpe Independent Film Festival at the historic Mauch Chunk Opera House, one of the oldest remaining vaudeville theaters in the U.S. Built in 1881 adjacent to what was known as "Millionaire’s Row," this 400 seat concert hall was a whistlestop for emerging vaudeville stars as well as a popular gathering spot for dignitaries, merchants and politicians. Today, the Mauch Chunk Opera House is one of the northeast’s premiere intimate concert venues.