Unsung Heroes #162

It seemed like an audacious plan: In the midst of a pandemic, create a drive-in movie.

The challenges were many: Find a suitable location. Find a screen. Find a movie. Find an audience.

As much as everyone in Westport was itching to get out of lockdown in June, the concept was — well, different. Most folks under the age of 40 or 50 had never been to a drive-in. Would they leave the comfort of their couch to see something they could easily stream — for a lot less money — on Netflix?

Neighbors worried about the noise. They were mollified when they learned the sound is delivered through car radios.

Yet as they (sort of) said in “Field of Dreams,” “If you build it, they will come.”

Come they did. From opening night, Westporters flocked to the Remarkable Theater. Families with kids, teenagers with friends, empty nesters who may have started their families at a drive-in — all enjoyed a wide range of films.

Comedies, dramas, action, classics — all packed the Imperial Avenue parking lot, all summer long. It was an inspired choice for a site: big, accessible, and not far from the long-ago 4 theaters downtown.

… at an old-fashioned drive-in.

The Remarkable Theater did something else besides entertain and enliven Westport. It provided jobs for a number of teenagers and adults with disabilities.

They set up, directed traffic and cleaned up. They enjoyed themselves as much as the filmgoers. Which is really saying something.

The Remarkable Theater’s season ends this month. Before the final (hopefully, just for this year) curtain closes, let’s honor the remarkable Remarkable Theater crew who made this happen.

To the board of directions (president Marina Derman, vice president and secretary Stacie Curran, vice president and creative director Doug Tirola, vice presidents Joanna Borner and Jonathan Steinberg, plus Marjorie Jacobson, Diane Kwong-Shah. Jeffrey Peterson and Yvette Waldman), along with technology manager Sharuna Mahesh: thank you!

You are our Unsung Heroes of the Week. If not the entire summer and fall.


4 responses to “Unsung Heroes #162

  1. How terrific and Remarkable for all. Ttzhis is a real winner for the town.
    Sandy Lefkowitz

  2. We love the Remarkable Theater! We hope it’s here to stay, even when things get back to “normal” after COVID.

  3. To everyone involved, thank you for helping to save family time out during these crazy times. This health crisis has taught us that we can “think and act outside the box.”
    Social distancing live music (Thank you, Matthew Mandell and William Harmer), outdoor dining throughout town (Thank you, Jen Tooker and re-open Westport Team), a functioning beach (Thank you Jim Marpe, Jen Fava and staff).
    It’s been a “remarkable summer save” by a lot of unsung heroes.

    Just a reminder- Benefit concert for CLASP HOMES tomorrow night – check with Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce for ticket information. Please donate if you can.

  4. nobody can dispute this!!!!! so everybody knows, they are a 501c3 and did this to spark something great to do with your families and friends in a tough pandemic environment. they incredibly employ some kids with special needs, which is awesome. this is an all around great organization that made some very special Westport nights this year. if they do an event to support and bring this back next year, lets all support them! Their goal has been to just break even and create an awesome town experience!