A new life for Island theaters

A deal struck in 2015 between the Hall family real estate trust and businessman Mark Snider resurrected two of the Island’s great old movie theaters, the Strand in Oak Bluffs and the Capawock in Vineyard Haven, which were each forced to shut down in the past fseveral years. To accomplish his feat of renewal, Mr. Snider created the Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation, a charitable organization tasked with restoring the theater buildings themselves as well as ensuring the theaters are not only used to show motion pictures once more, but are utilized as venues for lectures, live performances, and school activities.

The Strand and the Capawock are each more than a century old. Their simultaneous renovations included updates to both sound and projection systems, in addition to new heating and cooling systems. Both sport new flooring, wall coverings, and acoustic tiles. Island painter Margot Datz, who recently restored the trompe l’oeil murals in the historic Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, is adding extra panache to the Capawock by painting four murals depicting Vineyard beaches in the theater’s entry.

Both theaters are open seasonally. Their operations and programming will be managed by the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, the nonprofit entity that runs the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven.

The film society runs contemporary Hollywood films in the theaters to complement the art-house film offerings of the year-round Film Center. When possible, it offers rainy-day matinees and  family-friendly fare.

In addition to conferring benefits to be had at the Film Center, purchasing a membership at the Film Society reduces ticket prices at the Strand and Capawock.

For more information about Film Society membership, visit mvfilmsociety.com/get-involve/membership/.

For more information about the Theater Foundation, visit mvtheaterfoundation.org/.