Middletown

WVXU-FM archives

Chuck Miller, the former WNKU-FM manager who bought Middletown's neglected Sorg Opera House for "less than a new car," has resigned as board president to become executive director of the Fox Theater in Hutchinson, Kansas.

John Kiesewetter / WVXU

Shortly after noon, actress Glenn Close and director Ron Howard relaxed together in front of a Middletown house which has played a central role in filming Hillbilly Elegy this week.

While more than 50 production staffers set up the next shoot down Harrison Street, and another crew filmed in the alley behind the house, Howard and Close appeared to be doing an on-camera interview Wednesday likely for the Netflix media kit for Hillbilly Elegy.

John Kiesewetter

Seven-time Oscar nominee Glenn Close made her Middletown film debut in a most unglamorous way – chain-smoking cigarettes while wearing an oversized pink T-shirt and blue printed pajama pants.

John Kiesewetter

Hillbilly Elegy production crews have spent the weekend in Middletown preparing to film scenes in the hometown of author J.D. Vance starting Monday.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

The competition will be fierce beginning Thursday at the 12th Annual Middletown Senior Pickleball Tournament. Nearly 300 players from nine states will compete at Lefferson Park, the same place where throughout the week courts are filled for recreational play.

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Middletown's school year may be ending, but families have a new food source to look forward to. Middie Meal Machine food truck will offer three meal options and can serve up to 250-300 meals at a time.

middletown ohio
Al Behrman / AP

Yes, it's true: All the visits to Middletown by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard were to scope out locations for his Hillbilly Elegy movie based on J.D. Vance's memoir of growing up among working-class "hillbillies" in the Butler County steel town.

But only a fraction of the film will be shot in Ohio, unless things change, says Ami Vitori, a Middletown City Council member and a Middletown Visitors Bureau board member.

Courtesy Internet Movie Database

Actor Gabriel Basso (The Whole Truth) will star in Hillbilly Elegy as "J.D. Wade," the fictionalized name for J.D. Vance, who wrote the book of the same title about growing up in Middletown, Deadline reports.

Hillbilly Elegy "is a potential star making role for the young actor," Deadline says.

amy adams
Chris Pizzello / Invision/AP

Update 9 p.m. Thursday April 11: Glenn Close will follow up her Oscar-nominated performance in The Wife by playing J.D. Vance's grandmother in Hillbilly Elegy.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Energy is flowing at Middletown City Schools. Students in new and renovated schools are making use of technology in ways they haven't before.

The band Cincinnati Transit Authority, a local Chicago tribute band, hits the stage of Middletown's Sorg Opera House on Saturday, October 20. 

Middletown's Sorg Opera House will celebrate local icon Rosemary Clooney's 90th birthday with a tribute concert featuring singer Nancy James with the RL Big Band. 

Courtesy Heather Gibson

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard visited Middletown Tuesday while preparing to make a film  adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, the best-selling book by Middletown native J.D. Vance.

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival

Donnybrook, the epic bare-knuckle fight film shot in Cincinnati last October, premieres Friday Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Frank Grillo, who starred in Reprisal with Bruce Willis here last summer, returned to start shooting Donnybrook on Oct. 23, 2017 with director Tim Sutton (Dark Night, Memphis, Pavilion).

Courtesy Hope House Mission

Middletown's Hope House Mission is finally moving forward with a new shelter. The organization broke ground Wednesday on the $11.2 million facility.

A bluegrass musician with a familial tie to Middletown will bring his band to the stage of the Sorg Opera House on Saturday, June 23. 

He was the voice and driving force behind rock supergroup Steppenwolf

WNKN-FM

Middletown's FM 105.9 – the "Country Rebel" when bought by Northern Kentucky University in 2011 – returns to its country roots today as "Southwest Ohio's Classic Country Giant."

Jeff Ziesmann's Grant County Broadcasters, which operates Classic Country WNKR-FM (106.7) in Northern Kentucky, will duplicate the classic country music on the powerful Middletown station that reaches from north of Dayton International Airport to south of CVG. The station will start broadcasting sometime Monday, Oct. 2.

WVXU-FM archives

Middletown's historic Sorg Opera House reopens with a concert Sunday, two weeks before Cincinnati's Music Hall's grand re-opening.

WVXU file

Middletown's Sorg Opera House dates back to 1891 and has a long history of hosting music, theatre, opera and movies, but fell into disrepair in recent times. 

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