Westport Cinema Initiative Adds Partner, Adopts New Mission

Westport Cinema Initiative — the organization dedicated to bringing a movie theater back to town — has added “contagious new energy.”

That’s their phrase, in an announcement made moments ago. The energy comes in the form of “enthusiastic new board members who are passionate advocates for people with disabilities.”

The group — Creating Acceptance through Purposeful Employment (CAPE) — has pursued an employment model similar to the Prospector Theater in Ridgefield. That’s the non-profit, first-run movie house that’s enjoyed great success hiring and training people with disabilities.

WCI and CAPE are now officially merged. The combined organization has an amended mission: “A non-profit movie theater acting as a cultural and community hub, providing training and purposeful employment to adults with disabilities.”

The new board is “more dedicated than ever to building a theater in Westport” — with “an additional focus on employment and inclusion in town.”

Members of the new board are Joanna Borner. Stacie Curran, Marina Derman, Cornelia Fortier, Diane Johnson, Diane Kwong-Shah, Larry Perlstein, Jeffrey Peterson, Lee Rawiszer, Jonathan Steinberg, Deirdre Teed, Douglas Tirola
and Michelle Vitulich. Founding director Sandy Lefkowitz will serve on the professional advisory committee.

11 responses to “Westport Cinema Initiative Adds Partner, Adopts New Mission

  1. I had pretty much stopped going to the movies because sitting in one uncomfortable seat for two hours in the dark was no longer fun. The Prospector Theater in Ridgefield made me fall in love with going to the movies all over again. The movie house and everybody in it are incredible. Westport Cinema Initiative, we have gone far too long without our own theater and, yes, you have chosen an excellent model!

  2. Jeff Seaver

    We just enjoyed seeing a movie at this theatre in Ridgefield, and it brought us a lot of joy. Great idea, put together very well, and made it a special evening. I love that this may be coming to Westport!

  3. We stopped going to the movies because we can’t understand the dialogue. People mumble or have indecipherable accents. TV movies have subtitles. Is there any possibiity of getting them in the proposed movie theatre? It would help people who are hearing impaired, too.

    • Kevin McCaul

      Bobbie, there are special showings with captioning in the area. You can find out more by visiting captionfish.com

      • Thanks so much, Kevin, but the seven theatres listed are much too far away. I don’t really feel like going to Nanuet or Poughkeepsie, or even Branford to see a film. I’m hoping they’ll have them in Westport. Until then, I’ll have to content myself by watching films on TV with subtitles

    • Joanna Borner, VP of Business Development for WCI

      We understand that Bobbie! In our planning we are including adaptive technologies so that everyone can enjoy the movies- great suggestion!

  4. Caryl Beatus


  5. Esther Brodie

    Yes ! GREAT IDEA!

  6. Joanna Borner, VP of Business Development for WCI

    Westport Cinema Initiative is thrilled by these comments! With our re-energized approach for bringing a theater to Westport, we are excited by the public show of support. In our plans to make this a unique community space and a “theater for everyone” , we are even more enthusiastic that our vision will be aligned with what Westport wants back on Main Street. For now, WCI has a lot of work to accomplish to make this happen… Stay tuned!!