Martha’s Vineyard Film Society gets big picture donation

The theater's film space will be named after philanthropist Marilyn Meyerhoff. — Photo courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Film Society

Martha’s Vineyard Film Society founder and director Richard Paradise announced Thursday that philanthropist Marilyn Meyerhoff has made a significant donation that will support the film center for years to come.

The Film Society will name the film space in its new Vineyard Haven theater in honor of Ms. Meyerhoff, Mr. Paradise said.

The donation is the largest gift the film society has ever received, Mr. Paradise told The Times last Thursday.

An arts patron who lives in the Baltimore area, Ms. Meyerhoff is a frequent summer visitor to Martha’s Vineyard, and she supports several Island arts organizations.

“I love to support the arts,” Ms. Meyerhoff said in a press release announcing the gift. “I am proud to be a part of it.”

Mr. Paradise declined to reveal the exact dollar amount of the donation. He said it is a substantial amount and is structured to provide support over several years.

“It’s fabulous news,” Mr. Paradise said. “It gives us stability. It means more and more people will come join us for a movie.”

The film society plans a gala celebration this summer to thank Ms. Meyerhoff and more than 500 other donors who helped get the theater built in less than a year.

“What’s inspired me about this project is that so many people, from every segment of the Vineyard, and even from off the Vineyard, took the time to support this project, from funding to volunteering,” Mr. Paradise said in a press release. “People gave what they could. That combined effort is why the film center could move so quickly from dream to reality.”

The new state-of-the-art film center features stadium-style seating and a 26-foot screen.

The film society screens movies throughout the year, and it stages an international film festival in the fall.