The pace has slowed and the “events” calendar is a bit light right now, but there is no shortage of things to do on any given night on Nantucket. Many of the restaurants are still open showcasing winter specials. The Atheneum offers weekly lectures, documentaries and specialty classes. Listen to Blues, try your hand at island trivia or step up to the Karaoke microphone at one of the local pubs. For those who love dinner and movie on Nantucket with a piping hot bucket of popcorn, the Starlight Theater is the place to be.
This Nantucket mainstay has long been famous for its “old school” charm and cozy accommodations. With only 90 seats and a 35mm projector, guests are invited to step back in time and embrace days gone by – even as they view newly released films. The charm is enhanced as patrons enjoy a favorite libation (or 2!) and a nice dinner on the quaint enclosed patio prior to entering the theater. The local ownership’s commitment to excellence is evident in everything from the menu (which features a little something for everyone) to the wait-staff (who are relaxed, attentive and knowledgeable).
Some friends and I met for “dinner and a movie” at the Starlight a few weeks ago. The experience reminded me of winter evenings as a kid growing up in small town Iowa. Our theater there was smaller (only 50 seats) and we weren’t lucky enough to have an adjoining restaurant for pre-movie dining…but the overall feel was the same. Stepping out for a night of entertainment in a small town is always a bit like old home week. You are almost guaranteed to run into friends and neighbors – turning the evening into an impromptu social event. Our night out was no exception. We dined alongside other locals, chatting with most everyone in the little restaurant. As we made our way into the theater prior to show-time, we stopped to chuckle at the sign posted just outside the curtained entrance. “No Gum Allowed.” Guests are welcome to bring their favorite beverage and even the doggy bag with dinner leftovers inside the theater – but leave that chewing gum at home. I love small town life.
In a few short months, the much anticipated opening of the new Dreamland Theater will take place. Nantucket will be one lucky little town to have two theaters where residents and visitors will have the opportunity to step out for a night at the movies. The theaters will compliment each other; each offering their own brand of charm and entertainment. If your travel itinerary is bringing you to Nantucket this summer, make plans to visit both of the island movie houses. If you are lucky enough to be here during the quiet season, be sure to check out what’s playing and what’s on the dinner menu at the Starlight Theater. Come prepared to enjoy a nice meal, view the current feature and stick around after the show to stage your own Siskel and Ebert “At The Movies” review with fellow Nantucketers.
Lights, Camera, Action!