Film Series program director is no shrinking violet |

Film Series program director is no shrinking violet

Steve Phillips, The Park Record

George Dymalski froze when Soupy Sales shoved a microphone in his face on the comic’s iconic Saturday morning kid’s show. A child "phenom" bowler, he was there with his all-star team to show off his talent. "It was traumatic," he remembers. "Nothing came out of my mouth. I was like a deer in the headlights." He admits he can’t even remember if he actually bowled on the show.

Of course, that was almost 50 years ago and times have changed, as has Dymalski. The affable Parkite, part-time program director for the Park City Film Series, hasn’t got a shy bone in his body these days.

When The Park Record profiled him eight years ago, he attributed his transformation from shy to outgoing in part to his many years playing guitar in hard rock, blues and tribute bands. He was in a Ramones tribute band at the time. As "Johnny," he rocked the house.

"It’s the wig," he explained. "It’s just fun to ham it up and be somebody else."

The self-taught guitarist got his musical start in La Mesa, California, while attending high school. "My best friend and I started a garage band called KAOS, named after the bad guys in ‘Get Smart,’ the 1970s TV series. We weren’t very good, but we got one of our songs played on a local radio station and became famous for a few minutes," he recounts.

One band led to another. Today, the easy-going computer software developer cuts loose at night, playing bass in a very theatrical ZZ Top tribute band called Trezz Hombrezz and in a local blues band called Slide Harpo.

Eight years ago, Dymalski was also volunteering as a "techie" at the fledgling Park City Film Series. "I tried to keep everything running smoothly up in the projections booth,’ he says. Today, he serves as program director for the popular film series.

The avid film lover is tailor-made for the job. What is it about film?

"I think it’s the way the message is delivered, combining both visual images and spoken language," he says. "It really evokes emotion. Any film that can make you both laugh and cry is very powerful."

Dymalski is excited about recent renovations to the theater space in the Jim Santy Auditorium, where the popular film series returned this month.

"We installed a new screen, upgraded our surround sound system from Dolby 5.1 to 7.1, replaced some speakers and put in better insulation. The room sounds incredible," he says.

There are challenges to scheduling films at the theater.

"Since we’re a single-screen art house theater we can’t get first run films," explains Dymalski. "Because of this we miss out on films that have run their course or played at the other theater chains. But I’m very proud of the eclectic mix of films we bring to our audience. A lot of them come to us through Sundance and they’re excellent. Many of the documentaries we screen would never be seen by a larger audience without small theaters like ours."

Film series programming has expanded in recent years. "The Filmmakers Showcase, which started as a one-night event, will once again be a three-day weekend event this November. Dymalski credits veteran Park City documentary filmmaker and event organizer Jill Orschel with the success of the showcase.

It’s not all work and no play for Dymalski, who’s often seen happily pedaling around the county on his vintage 1980s, neon pink road bike. "It was custom built by Dave Tesch, the legendary California bike builder," he says proudly. His favorite rides: from Coalville to the Wyoming border on Chalk Creek Road; and from Kamas to the Wolf Creek Pass.

He also enjoys mountain biking and running. "I ran a little in high school but quit until about three-and-a-half years ago. Now I love it, it’s fantastic."

"I’m just kind of experiencing life now," says Dymalski, adding with a grin, "I don’t have a bucket list because I don’t even have a bucket."

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