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Upstate Films founders to retire

Dec 28, 2020 3:15 pm

Diane Pineiro-Zucker is reporting for the Daily Freeman after nearly 50 years spent steering Upstate Films, one of the region's first independent cinemas, Steve and DeDe Leiber are ready to retire. Steve and DeDe, both 73, helped found Upstate Films in Rhinebeck in 1972 when they were a young married couple in their 20s. Since then, they’ve co-directed Upstate Films, expanded the Rhinebeck location to two screens and opened a Woodstock theater on Tinker Street in 2010. Anyone who’s frequented either location has likely encountered Steve or DeDe selling tickets or popcorn, or seen one of them personally introducing films from the stage. Having created a vibrant theater supported by its members, both Steve and DeDe feel it is time for them to do something else. Upstate will announce the Leibers’ successors next week and Steve and DeDe have vowed not to disclose their identity until then. However, DeDe did say the new co-directors are “interested in creating a new model which is based more on foundation support and individual donation support and forging new alliances and broadening our education program, attracting new and different grants.” She said they have “a lot of vision and a lot of energy and I think for Upstate to thrive in the future that’s the way that has to be looked at and adopted and adapted and we’ll see where it gets us.” Both Steve and DeDe said they will remain involved in Upstate at least until its 50th anniversary celebration in May of 2022. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.

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