A few years ago, when the Strand and Capawock cinemas closed their doors, life on Martha’s Vineyard suddenly became a little less appealing.
“These places are central to the experience of living on the island,” says Mark Snider, owner of the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Edgartown. “It was like when Filene’s closed in Boston and left a giant hole in the ground.”
Last summer, Snider became so agitated by the loss of the venerable movie houses that he resolved to bring them back. The result is the new nonprofit Martha’s Vineyard Theater Foundation and a fund-raising campaign that has already collected $350,000, or roughly a third of the $1 million needed to restore the theaters.
Singer Carly Simon, who lives on Martha’s Vineyard year round, has joined the effort, agreeing to serve on the foundation’s board of directors and also to perform at one of the
theaters this spring. Snider’s plan calls for the foundation to lease the properties from the owner, Ben Hall, and have the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society operate the theaters.