MV Obsession

My obsession with Martha's Vineyard.. phototography..genealogy and life in general and this and that…

Movie Theatres …

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The Island Theatre (Eagle Theatre) circa 1910.

The Island Theatre 2009 – Oak Bluffs.

The Strand 2009 – Oak Bluffs.

The Capawock 1996 – Vineyard Haven.

Movies  have been a big part of Island entertainment since the early 1900’s.   At one time there were as many as 8 theatres down-Island… of those only the Island, The Strand and The Capawock remain.  In 1927 the Island theatre in Oak Bluffs was showing the talkie “Wings” starring the “It” girl Clara Bow.  The price of admission was 50 cents on a Saturday night, 30 cents if you sat in the balcony.

For me, as a summer kid on the Vineyard in the 1950’s, a night at the movies was a very big deal.  The movies I remember the clearest are the musicals, like “Summer Stock” with Judy Garland,  and “Showboat” with Howard Keel.   Before even getting to the theatre there was a stop at …

…Darling’s for popcorn.  A bag would be fine for an afternoon treat but for going to the movies the choice was always a popcorn bar in such flavors as chocolate, strawberry,vanilla, caramel, and butterscotch.  After the ‘show’ a stop at the Frosty Cottage on Circuit Ave for a pistachio ice cream cone finished off the evening.   Many nights on the way home I morphed into a singing, dancing movie star…at least in my head 🙂


Author: mvobsession

I'm married, I have two daughters and two grandchildren and they all love MV. Enjoy my MV blog and contact me if I can answer any questions. This blog started out as strictly about Martha's Vineyard but over the years I've branched out to include other obsessions and interests. I enjoy photography and like sharing my photos here as well. Hope you enjoy :)

One thought on “Movie Theatres …

  1. Joanie: I also went to Showboat!!!! And we did it in Oak Bluffs!!! Since the movies back then only ran about three days at a time at a theater, it’s really possible you and I were in the same movie!!! WOWZER DOWZER. Although 99% of the time I went to Capawock in VH (because we lived there), it was a treat to go to O.B. to the Island or for me even better the Strand (as it was only a summer theater and closed in the winter). I think we only went to the Strand maybe a few times in all. Dad would remark it was “so hard to find parking” in Oak Bluffs that he didn’t like to go over there in summer – meaning you had to circle the block about three times! My parents were very old fashioned and even going to Oak Bluffs AT NIGHT was kind of an out-of-ordinary adventure. I remember my favorite movie of all times, “Bill and Coo,” a really kid movie with trained parakeets enacting a whole story and I saw that over at the Strand …..but in a daytime matinee. The Strand was a whole lot smaller than the Island. The Island was bigger than the Capawock. Least this sound like algebra, it made a different when a BIG movie (like Showboat) came to the island, as then it meant the big theater (the Island) would get it longer — maybe four days or even five days. Bigger theater = bigger money for the owners. As a further aside here, my girlfriend Ann Bagley, her father Gerald Bagley ran the projector at the Capawock and when I would stay overnight with Ann I’d get in free. Thanks for the memories.

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