Ag Society and MV Film Festival team up for drive-in movie

Martha's Vineyard Film Festival managing director Hilary Dreyer and Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society president Brian Athearn pitch a jointly run drive-in movie to West Tisbury selectmen Wednesday evening.

Tuesday evening, West Tisbury selectmen invited “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” to visit the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society. The board approved Spielberg’s classic as a drive-in movie on the grounds of the Ag Society on Panhandle Road.

A 40-foot inflatable screen will be set up along State Road, Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival managing director Hilary Dreyer told the board. The image will be projected facing the field so as not to distract motorists, she said, and an FM radio transmitter will connect car radios to the film’s audio.

Ag Society president Brian Athearn described the drive in as a “community, family fundraising event” that will provide funds for the 4-H program, the farmer grant program, and the scholarship program. He told the selectmen that Brendan O’Neill, executive director of the Vineyard Conservation Society, which holds the conservation restriction on the property, was in support of the event.

Dreyer said she estimated room for 211 cars. The fee would be $60 per car, and walk-on attendees would pay $15, she said.

The selectmen voted to approve the drive-in, provided it gets any other necessary permits or allowances.

Reached Wednesday, Dreyer said a portion of the revenue will fund Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival programs.

The drive-in is tentatively slated for August 1, with a rain date of August 2.