You might not know David Huntington by name.

He was kind of a classic loner, and I rarely exchanged more than the occasional sardonic comment. But Huntington’s death at the age of 63 marks the end of an era for local indie movie house Cinemapolis, just as its owners Lynne Cohen and Richard Szanyi step down after running it and Fall Creek Pictures since late 1986. Along with Lester Wells, Huntington was one of Ithaca’s mainstay projectionists.

Huntington ran the store–tickets, concessions and projection–at both Fall Creek Pictures and Cinemapolis. He ran the projector at Fall Creek Pictures when Tsvi Bokaer was showing repertory-themed double bills. When he sold the theater to Cohen and Szanyi, Dave was a condition of the sale; if they didn’t take him, they couldn’t have the theater.

He was there for almost the entirety of my reviewing career at The Ithaca Times. I can picture many Sunday nights coming out of a late night Sunday movie and saying good night to Dave as he played around on the office computer.  Dave always had heart problems, and had two heart attacks. One night, he and Scott Brown went to a diner after work. Brown saw that he was having symptoms, and took him to the hospital. The doctors found lung cancer. They were able to remove the cancer, but soon Dave was suffering from massive seizures, and found that the cancer had spread to his brain. He retired from Cinemapolis and finally succumbed to the disease this month…

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