Movie moguls

Four neighbors curate movie nights at Maris Grove

Created date

August 21st, 2018
Maris Grove’s movie moguls include (from left) Dale Wilhelm, Sol Mayer, Yong Kouh, and Roger Thomson. They’re seated in Cardinal Theater on campus.

Maris Grove’s movie moguls include (from left) Dale Wilhelm, Sol Mayer, Yong Kouh, and Roger Thomson. They’re seated in Cardinal Theater on campus.

Whether you’re a movie buff or someone who only attends the year’s Oscar-nominated films, Maris Grove has you covered.

From Thursday through Sunday nights, four different movies play on big screens at Maris Grove, Erickson Living’s retirement community in Delaware County, Pa.

Sol Mayer, Dale Wilhelm, Yong Kouh, and Roger Thomson are the moguls behind the community’s free movie nights. The men do this to bring joy to their neighbors.

The Friday through Sunday movies play in Maris Grove’s Cardinal Theater. The Thursday movies play in its Redwood Crossing multimedia room.

Big-screen love

Sol started the ball rolling by launching the Friday night flicks. He started doing it when he and his wife moved from nearby Fox Hill Farm in 2006.

“I try to get the most recent releases from Redbox,” Sol says. “Usually it’s what comes out that week or a few weeks before. I don’t review the movies or watch them in advance.”

As a result, attending the Friday night movies is an adventure.

Several years after Sol started the Friday movie nights, Dale, a former Wilmington, Del., resident, added Saturday and Sunday night movies to the lineup. He chooses films from his Netflix subscription, his own collection, and local libraries.

Dale screens all genres of movies, from romance and drama to comedy and history.

Roger, also from Wilmington, recently took over Dale’s Sunday night commitment. His movie roots stretch back to childhood. And he, too, has a movie collection.

“I’ve loved movies since I was a kid,” says Roger, “and as a teenager, I ran the big-reel projectors on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons at our local movie theater.”

The newest addition to the campus movie schedule are Yong’s “Golden Oldies” Thursday night movies. He shows only movies from 2000 and earlier. And they must have been at least Oscar-nominated.

Yong researches each movie and gives a prescreening presentation about it. He thinks his neighbors relive old memories when they watch the films. “And I like to see them again too,” he adds.

Besides choosing from his personal film collection, Yong orders movies he thinks his neighbors would like. “It’s at my expense because it’s my pleasure to do this,” he says.

Yong and his wife moved to Maris Grove just last summer from Orlando, Fla.

Happy where they are

While the men get a kick out of doing this for their neighbors, they find they reap their own benefits from living at Maris Grove.

For Sol, the blessing is his neighbors. “When I tout this place,” he says, “I talk about the socialization and the security.”

Security also weighs heavy with Roger, a former Delaware State Patrolman. “When I moved, it was the first time I didn’t sleep with a gun under my mattress,” he says. “I knew I had no worries.”

Security of a different kind earns kudos from Dale. “My family feels good that I’m here,” he says. “They don’t worry about me, and that’s a really important point.”

For Yong, Maris Grove’s lifestyle enables him to pursue his philosophy of life, which sounds just like his first name. “My principle,” he says, “is to stay young forever.”