The Ritz Celebrates 115th Anniversary

The Ritz Theater & Performing Arts Center, at the heart of downtown Scranton, opened over a century ago – Labor Day – and was first known as “The Poli,” NEPA’s premier vaudeville theater which hosted the best performers of all time – Harry Houdini, W.C. Fields, Mae West, Ray Bolger, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Fannie Brice, Will Rogers & many more! This incredible building with its rich history is entering its 115th anniversary in September and is currently the home of the Creative and Performing Arts Academy (CaPAA) of NEPA – a vibrant arts program for kids, teens and adults serving over 300 students from all over NEPA.

Students come to the Ritz for a variety of classes in theatre, music, and dance in addition to over two dozen productions throughout the year including The Ritz Mainstage Players, a semi-professional audition-based company offering full musicals and plays for all ages.  We are so thrilled that performers of all ages can still experience the magic of this classic vaudeville theater nearly 115 years after Sylvester Poli first opened the doors on Wyoming Avenue. The Ritz Theater’s legacy continues to shine brightly in downtown Scranton!

This family-owned operation has become a cornerstone of NEPA’s arts community and is committed to building a positive, safe, and welcoming atmosphere for friends, families, and neighbors to celebrate the arts for generations to come. 

Come and Celebrate with a slice of Birthday Cake!!

Autumn Train Rides at Steamtown

Enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage aboard a train at Steamtown National Historic Site! Rail experiences vary from short 30-minute trips exploring the park’s historic railroad yard to full-day trips through the Poconos.

Visitors can purchase advance tickets for our autumn excursions (Sep.-Oct.) online through or on-site at our Information Kiosk during regular business hours of 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, daily. Tickets for our short train rides, the Scranton Limited and Caboose Experience, are not available online or for advance purchase and must be purchased on-site at the Information Kiosk, the day of your visit. All ticket sales will be credit card only.

2022 Autumn Excursion Schedule

Specific event information, including ticket prices, can be found by visiting the event calendar on the park website anytime.

  • Saturday, September 24thCarbondale: Autumn Marketplace
  • Saturday, October 1st East Stroudsburg: Pickle Me Poconos
  • Saturday, October 8th – Gouldsboro: Pumpkin Patch
  • Saturday, October 15th – Delaware Water Gap: Fall Foliage
  • Saturday, October 22nd – Tobyhanna: Fall Foliage and Town Tour
  • Saturday, October 29th – Gouldsboro: Ghoulsboro Halloween

Short Train Rides – offered through November 5, 2022:

  • The Scranton Limited or the Caboose Experience will operate on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, as staffing permits. Departure times are: 10:30am, 11:30am, 1:15pm, and 2:30pm.
  • Tickets are $6 for adults and kids over the age of 5; kids 5 and under are free. Tickets must be purchased on-site at the Information Kiosk, the day of your visit. Tickets are valid for unlimited rides on the date of purchase; seating availability is first come, first served.

On dates we run our longer excursions, Short Train Rides may be cancelled due to limited crew availability. To check on the status of the Short Train Ride schedule the day of your planned visit, please call 570-340-5204.


  • Masking requirements in NPS buildings and on passenger coaches are based on local conditions. Updates are posted weekly, on Fridays, to
  • Train rides are subject to cancellation due to mechanical issues, inclement weather, or crew availability.

WVIA’s Announces Keystone Edition Business Moderator

WVIA, the PBS and NPR affiliate for northeastern and central Pennsylvania, has announced that Steve Stumbris, Director of the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC), will serve as moderator for the next season of Keystone Edition Business.

Stumbris takes on the role after local entrepreneur Kristopher B. Jones served as moderator for the first two seasons of the program. “It was an amazing honor to serve as host of Keystone Edition Business for two seasons and work side-by-side with an incredible staff of WVIA producers and media professionals. I’m excited for Steve Stumbris as the new host and know that he will have the requisite support to thrive,” said Jones.

“We are so grateful to Kris Jones for building the Keystone Edition Business brand. With his energy and insights, Keystone Edition Business became a must-watch program for the business community and aspiring entrepreneurs,said WVIA President and CEO Carla McCabe. “We look forward to this new chapter and are thrilled to welcome Steve, whose experience and expertise have helped thousands of Pennsylvania businesses to start and grow.”

“I’m excited to be joining WVIA and look forward to sharing the stories of business leaders and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems across Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania as the moderator of Keystone Edition Business,” said Stumbris. “The Commonwealth’s rich history of industry is matched only by the burgeoning new innovations that are driving the economic development of the future.”

The next season of Keystone Edition Business will premiere on Monday, October 10th with

The State of Business, which will highlight the current statistics and business trends in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. The upcoming season will also cover the topics of inflation/recession, downtown businesses, locally made products, immigrant-led businesses, female founders, youth entrepreneurship, and agricultural businesses. This season will feature the inclusion of live studio audiences and questions for each of the program tapings. Reservations are free but limited and can be made at

Scranton Cultural Center Receives Grant From Scranton Area Foundation

The Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple received a $25,000 Community Needs Grant from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to assist with HVAC repairs.

“The last significant upgrade to our system happened about a decade ago,” said Deborah Moran Peterson, Scranton Cultural Center Executive Director.  “We are grateful to the SACF for this Community Needs Grant which helped to support us financially with this expense.”

The funds received will be utilized to complete deferred maintenance and COVID related upgrades to the SCC’s HVAC systems, including repair of mechanical chillers and cooling towers, as well as improvements that ensure energy efficiency of air circulation throughout the most utilized areas building.  The overall goal of the project is to create a better heating and cooling system that will lead to increased utilization and efficiencies, as well as cost savings over time.

October Events Planned at the University of Scranton

Oct. 1     9 a.m. Scranton’s Ready to Run Northeast Pennsylvania Program: “Wanted: More Women Like You in Politics.” Brennan Hall. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-6326 or email  

Oct. 5     6 p.m. Asian Studies Public Lecture and Meet the Award-winning Author “Life on the Move: Transnational Migration and Cross-Cultural Imagination in Taiwan Literature and Film,” Part 1. Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall. Free. Call 570-941-6312 or email  

Oct. 6     6 p.m. Asian Studies Film Screening and Meet the Award-winning Director of “The Good Daughter.” “Life on the Move: Transnational Migration and Cross-Cultural Imagination in Taiwan Literature and Film,” Part 2. Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall. Free, Call 570-941-6312 or email  

Oct. 7 through Nov. 18  Art Exhibit: “Mayan Narratives: San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala” photographs by Byron Maldonado. Hope Horn Gallery, Hyland Hall. Free during gallery hours. Call 570-941-4214 or email  

Oct. 7     5 p.m. Art Gallery Lecture: “Mayan Narratives: San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala” presented by Byron Maldonado. Pearn Auditorium, Brennan Hall. Reception follows at the Hope Horn Gallery. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Oct. 12     1 p.m. The Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Virtual Speaker Series: “Career Opportunities in the Changing Workplace” with panel moderator Kathleen West-Evans, MPA, CRC. Presented by the J. A. Panuska College of Professional Studies and the Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Endowment. Free. Visit Call 570-941-7401. 

Oct. 12     7:30 p.m. Ignatian Values in Action Lecture: “On Juneteenth” presented by Annette Gordon-Reed, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times best-selling author. Byron Recreation Complex. Free. Call 570-941-4419 or email  

Oct. 13     Noon.Schemel Forum and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Collaborative Program: “Threats to Equity: The Influence of Social Determinants on Human Behaviors that Promote Well-being” presented Julie Byerley, MD, president and dean of Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Rose Room, Brennan Hall or remote. Registration required. Fees vary. Call 570-941-7816 or email

Oct. 15     2 p.m. Art Gallery: “Walking Tour: Scranton Lace Company/Lace Village Site.” Free. Call 570-941-4214 or email

Oct. 15     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Recital” featuring Andrew Gonzalez, viola and violincello da spalla. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Oct. 19     1 p.m. The Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Virtual Speaker Series: “Embedding Deia: A Cultural-Shift for Business, Communities, and You!” Speakers Hattie McCarter, MS, CRC; CEO of M.E.N.D. Consulting Solutions and certified DEI professional and Stephanie Perry, MSW, LSW DEI consultant. Presented by the J. A. Panuska College of Professional Studies and the Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Endowment. Free. Visit Call 570-941-7401. 

Oct. 21-23 and 28-30     8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. “Almost, Maine” presented by The University Players. Royal Theater, McDade Center for Literary and Performing Arts. Ticket prices vary. Call 570-941-4318 or email

Oct. 23     9 a.m. Open House for prospective students and their families. Various locations on campus. Registration required. Free. Call 888-SCRANTON or email  

Oct. 23     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Recital” featuring Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, piano. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email  

Oct. 26     1 p.m. The Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Virtual Speaker Series: “A Framework for Community Engagement: A Pathway to Employment” with speakers Cayte Anderson, Ph.D., and Emily Brinck, Ph.D., both are researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, VRTAC-QE. Presented by the J. A. Panuska College of Professional Studies and the Edward R. Leahy, Jr. Endowment. Free. Visit Call 570-941-7401. 

Oct. 29     7:30 p.m. Performance Music: “In Concert” featuring The University of Scranton Jazz Band and guest drummer Carmen Intorre Jr. Houlihan-McLean Center. Free. Call 570-941-7624 or email

Geisinger’s Northeast Hospitals Certified as Comprehensive Heart Attack Centers

Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center (GWV) and Geisinger Community Medical Center (GCMC) recently became the second and third hospitals in the country to earn The Joint Commission/American Heart Association (AHA) Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification, joining Geisinger Medical Center (GMC) in Danville in establishing a national precedent for coordination among care teams who treat patients on the heart attack spectrum.

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked, depriving the heart of oxygen. Much of the damage to heart muscle takes place in a short period of time after a heart attack, so timely care is critical for preserving heart function.

“No one expects to have a heart attack, but when it happens, we offer extraordinary care close to home for our patients and members,” said Yassir Nawaz, M.D., director of interventional cardiology and co-medical director of the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program for Geisinger’s northeast region. “With three certified medical centers, we’re taking a full-team approach to diagnosing and treating chest pain patients in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.”

At GWV, GCMC and GMC, chest pain patients can expect the highest level of care delivered as quickly as possible.

Already recognized as Joint Commission/AHA Mission Lifeline® Heart Attack Receiving Centers for their ability to treat the most severe type of heart attack by restoring blood flow to the heart, GWV and GCMC have shown their commitment to making better health easier for patients and members in northeastern Pennsylvania through achieving certification. They stand ready to care for all chest pain patients, including those who:

To accomplish this, hospital leaders, interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, advanced practitioners, nurses, emergency medicine physicians, heart failure specialists, life support specialists, emergency medical services (EMS) providers, pharmacists and care managers must collaborate closely to accommodate a patient’s unique care needs. After a heart attack, cardiac rehab therapists are an integral part of the team as well.

  • Go to the emergency room with chest pain
  • Have heart attacks and need blood flow restored quickly
  • Go into cardiac arrest outside of a hospital
  • Need open-heart surgery
  • Need advanced therapies for heart failure or life support

“Whether a patient comes in with mild chest pain or having a serious cardiac event, it’s all hands on deck,” said Cinde Bower-Stout, R.N., M.H.A., cardiovascular quality manager and director of the Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification program at Geisinger. “Day-to-day frontline care after a heart attack is just as important. Lab assessment, pain management and preparation for discharge and self-care through education and therapy are all key factors in patients achieving and maintaining good quality of life.”

Rigorous onsite review at both medical centers included evaluation of records for patients who were currently admitted or had been cared for since the beginning of the year and assessment of quality measures including leadership engagement, collaboration with EMS, medical decision making, systemwide approach to quality improvement, performance improvement projects and engagement with pharmacy at the bedside.

“Comprehensive Heart Attack Center Certification recognizes health care organizations committed to fostering continuous quality improvement in patient safety and quality of care,” said Mark Pelletier, R.N., M.S., chief operating officer, Accreditation and Certification Operations, and chief nursing executive, The Joint Commission. “We commend Geisinger for having the first three hospitals to reduce variation in clinical processes and strengthen program structure and management framework for cardiac patients.”