Remarkable Theater Premieres Friday

A remarkable new era begins Friday.

That’s when the Remarkable Theater opens its summer drive-in series, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. (The same site as the Westport Farmers’ Market.)

It’s a win-win. The theater offers employment to people with disabilities, while providing safe, socially distant entertainment for the town.

Two classic films are on tap this weekend: “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” on Friday; “Caddyshack” Saturday.

Opening night is a fundraiser for the Westport Woman’s Club — the Imperial parking lot’s next door neighbor. With no Yankee Doodle Fair this year due to COVID-19, this is a great way to support their food closet.

Tickets for Friday’s fundraiser are $100 per car. Other shows are $50 per car.

Tickets go on sale at 3 p.m. today. Click here to reserve a spot.

Follow the Remarkable Theater on Facebook and Instagram to see upcoming shows, or to make suggestions for movies you want to see next.

(The screenings are made possible with the financial support of the Connecticut Department of Developmental Disabilities and the ARTHA Foundation, and help from the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Westport Library.)

The entrance to Westport’s newest theater.

22 responses to “Remarkable Theater Premieres Friday

  1. Joyce Barnhart

    This is such a super idea! I just hope people will not run their cars for air-conditioning. Isn’t there law against idling your car engine for more than 3 minutes or so?

  2. Can you tell me how these movies will be listened to. Hope it is thru some WiFi means that can be heard in each individual car and not blasted out thru some speaker. People who live in the immediate vicinity did not buy here to have this potential noise pollution. I’m all for the idea if it is done respecting other people’s right to some tranquility. Isn’t that what this is all about.. respecting others…

    • Joyce Barnhart

      Didn’t the original announcement say it would be broadcast through the cars’ radios?

  3. Marina Derman

    Yes, sound will be broadcast via FM into people’s car radios, or they can bring a portable radio or use a radio app. We’re not broadcasting the sound with speakers!

    • Thanks for that info. On with the show!

    • Morley Boyd

      Marina, your application on file at the town states that you will also be using outdoor speakers for “ambient sound”. You go on to explain that this is so that moviegoers don’t miss out when they leave their cars to go to the bathroom, etc. Have you abandoned this idea?

      As an aside, you should know that the property in question is not zoned for the use you intend; it’s actually zoned Residence A. Thus, a seasonal drive-in movie theater is not a permitted use there any more than it would be if any one of us attempted such a thing in our own yards.

      • Bill Strittmatter

        Still enough time to get a TRO if you feel that strongly Morley.

        • Morley Boyd

          I have something else in mind.

          • Bill Strittmatter

            So what did you do? Drive by honking your horn? Trip the circuit breaker? I didn’t notice any police reports but those might take time.

            • Morley Boyd

              It’s just killing you, isn’t it?

              • Bill Strittmatter

                I didn’t want to ask ahead of time on the off chance it was something you didn’t want folks to be on the watch for. Not so much killing me, but I am curious what you did since the event (at least the first one) has passed.

                I was wondering if it would be something cool like the chain hooked to the real axle thing from American Graffiti.

                • Morley Boyd

                  I understand.
                  And I respect people who have a healthy curiosity.
                  Would that there were more.

      • Who would be such a party pooper to turn in a non-profit fundraising event — one to meet the temporary needs of Covid-19 no less — because of a zoning technicality? The Imperial Avenue parking lot may be zoned residential, but no one would ever want to live there — except maybe mosquitos and rodents. It’s built atop a garbage landfill, as I remember, and I bet it’s in a flood plain. I can’t imagine anyplace else you could hold an event and bother so few people.

        • Morley Boyd

          It’s not proposed to be a temporary use, Peter. It’s proposed to be a seasonal use. And that, at the very least, requires an 8-24 and a Special Permit in order to protect the interests of surrounding residential neighbors. As it happens, the area in question has a 40 year history of resident complaints and this is not the first time that the town has been caught fudging the very laws and regulations which apply equally to all. When it happens, it’s typically for the benefit of insiders and those who are otherwise well connected. I’m not certain why the correct process was not following in this instance – or why the basic courtesy of a legitimate public hearing wasn’t extended to the people who actually own the subject property. But I have a reasonably good idea.

          • I agree this although a worthwhile endeavor should have been handled properly.
            In response to the person who said I was a party pooper. Maybe Compo Beach should have been considered for this. Or you could have provided yours and your neighbors property for this. Besides as you said the imperial lot has rats.. why would anyone want to be subjected to that health hazard.
            Party on! Just wondering how much trash was left from these movie goers .. at least the rats will be considered.

          • Don’t keep us in suspense
            Why do you think it was pushed thru?

            • Morley Boyd

              I can’t go into it but it’s nothing sinister. Just a casual indifference on the part of some officials – one in particular has absolutely lost his way and forgotten his roots. Generally speaking, there are two sets of regulations. You can likely guess which set was applied here.

    • Thanks for that info. On with the show!

    • Hi. Can you confirm that all information is correct with your permit use on file with the town? I don’t want to buy tickets, then have to cancel if it wasn’t done correctly. Per the comments from Morley Boyd.

      Thanks so much!

  4. Thank you for that info. So it seems you plan to have speakers so people don’t miss anything when they go to the bathroom.. really?even in the old days when drive ins were around you didn’t have that! And how is it that if it’s not zoned for this are you still doing it?
    So if I wanted to run a carnival in my backyard it would be OK. When such a large venue like this is undertaken should the nearby neighbors be polled.

    • Marina Derman

      No, there will be no speakers — all of the sound will be transmitted by FM radio. We had included the idea of speakers providing ambient sound as part of the application, but in the end it was agreed that the interests of the local neighbors was better served by not using those.