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Wednesday, August 12 News

Photos: Drive-in theater debuts in Westport

WESTPORT — After eight years of work, the lights finally went down Friday night when the Remarkable Theater premiered its first-ever drive-in movie at the Baldwin Lot.

“Hopefully this is really the beginning, to start bringing movies back to downtown Westport,” said Doug Tirola, creative director for the nonprofit.

The group not only aims to open a brick-and-mortar theater downtown, but as part of its mission intends to employ people with disabilities through the project.

“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was the first night’s offering on the big screen, with “Caddyshack” showing Saturday night. Next weekend will be “Do The Right Thing” on Friday and “Scream” on Saturday.

“This is the most exciting night,” said Remarkable Theater President Marina Derman. “It’s the start of something really, really great.”

“The movies are the last reasonably priced thing that people can do together,” said Tirola, who said he remembers when Westport had five movie theaters, including four downtown. “It feels great that we’re doing something for the community to bring people together after this long shutdown.”

If all goes well, the group hopes to return to the Board of Selectmen for approval of more shows throughout the summer.

Around 50 vehicles and hundreds of fans came out Friday night, which was also a fundraiser for the Westport Woman’s Club. That organization, which traditionally hosts the Yankee Doodle Fair each June on the same spot but had to cancel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is still trying to generate funds for its scholarship program.

“We’re grateful to the Remarkable Theater for making this possible,” said Christina McVaney, the club president.

For more information, visit remarkabletheater.org.

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