Q&A: Johnny DiLoretto

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
  • Photo by Tessa Berg
By Columbus Alive
From the May 10, 2012 edition

On Fox 28’s “Good Day Columbus,” Johnny DiLoretto shed a spotlight on the most interesting people in town. His devoted viewers know DiLoretto is also among the city’s most intriguing personalities.

DiLoretto recently ditched TV to become director of operations at Gateway Film Center. We caught up with him after a video shoot to promote Gateway’s summer western series, Double Barrel.

I started out as a movie critic and then turned my smart-ass movie reviews into a TV career, essentially. There was this weatherman at the time, Chuck Gillespie, who liked my movie reviews and asked me to come on their morning show to do them.

Eventually I went to the morning show, and I just kind of became sort of the morning show guy. Did you ever see “Bruce Almighty”? Like that guy, except I had no omnipotence bestowed upon me.

I’ve noticed over the years in this business that you either burn out or you get pushed out. I've seen both things happen. And I figured, why don’t I just head that whole scenario off at the pass and just get out now while I’m still at the top of my game?

For the “Avengers” marathon that we did last week, I had some great local comic book artists working in the lobby, showing off their work and actually creating some. And then on that lobby screen we showed these awful TV versions of “Captain America” and “The Incredible Hulk” from, like, the ’70s and ’80s. That created just a completely different vibe in the lobby.

I want people to know that the Gateway Film Center is a locally owned, independent movie theater. And it is the city’s best movie theater in terms of its programming. We’ve got the No. 1 zoo. We’ve got the No. 1 science center. In terms of the programming and the events we do here, I think we’re one of the best movie theaters in the country. And I just want to put a big, fat, local stamp on it — with my face whenever possible.