A long-awaited night at the movies

The newly renovated Capawock shines bright on Main Street in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Heidi Vick

Saturday night, as the sun was meeting the west, a line started forming in front of the newly renovated Capawock Theater in Vineyard Haven. The excitement was palpable. Warm welcomes, handshakes, hugs, smiles, and thanks set the mood for a pitch-perfect evening. It was obvious people had been waiting for this moment.

The freshly painted exterior welcomed moviegoers, the bright red front doors leading the way to what will undoubtedly become a new local favorite. Upon entering the theater, you are warmly greeted in the lobby by beautiful murals, courtesy of the talented Margot Datz.

The brand-new concession stand lured in visitors; after all, what’s a movie without a soda and popcorn? Even better, the popcorn at the theater is non-GMO, and comes with a choice of seasoning, including Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt, at no extra charge. If it’s sugar you crave, no need to worry: The candy selection is superb, featuring movie favorites from the classic Red Vines to Junior Mints, and everything in between.

The buzz throughout the cinema reverberated off the midnight walls. The interior is sharp, clean, and intimate. A favorite, overheard cited among the crowd, were the pillowing yellow and white candy-stripe curtains which outline the dramatic lantern-light fixtures on the theater walls. The seats have been cleaned up and fireproofed, floors redone, and the aisles have been widened for easier access and extra comfort.

Nearly every seat was filled as Richard Paradise, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, grabbed the microphone and welcomed everyone to the grand reopening of the historic theater. Cheers, hoots, hollers, and applause roared through the fifth generation theater. The lights dimmed, and the whispers ceased as the previews began to roll.

The movie, Pitch Perfect 2, was a hit. The belly laughs, oohs, ahhs, and gasps filled the room. The picture was perfectly clear on the movie screen, and the sound system presented the musical comedy just as the sound engineers had intended.

As moviegoers flooded out the majestic front doors, Islanders shared their thoughts and excitement about the renovated space. With a glimmer in their eyes, Steve and Sandy Atwood were overjoyed with the reopening; the theater they had been visiting for 30 years had come back to life, and they couldn’t have been more happy. Louise DuArt and SQuire Rushnell of Edgartown were equally impressed. They praised Mr. Snider and Mr. Paradise for pulling it together in such a short amount of time, never doubting them one bit.

As the doors closed and the sidewalk cleared, the theater stood twinkling; a magic moment on Main Street that is sure to be repeated.

The Capawock Theater, 43 Main Street, Vineyard Haven. For tickets and showtimes, visit mvfilmsociety.com.