Sunday, January 26, 2014

Cape Cinema, Dennis, Mass

The Cape Cinema, almost the only movie theatre I ever go to, is a landmark although you wouldn't know if from this dignified but fairly typical Cape Cod building.  I have gone Google-searching for a good photo of the interior but found only the small hint below.

Explanation:  The vaulted ceiling in this longer than wide theatre  as a little sense of the quonset hut but it is far different. The ceiling was painted by well know painter Rockwell Kent. I have never seen it in the brilliant colors in the photo because I've always been there when the lights are pre-movie low. But I have sat many times waiting for a movie and marveling at the painting of Greek gods and goddesses among stars and comets and other heavenly bodies on the ceiling. This is the largest indoor mural in the United States. I never get tired of looking up at it. The photo shows only about a tenth of the entire mural.

My Google search also told me that "Eric" who runs the theatre is actually a long time owner, a 15th generation Cape Codder -- descended from the Brewsters who arrived on the Mayflower. He shows art movies or the movies that are not going to make it in the big mall cineplexes. There is only one screen; the seats are chairs with canvas covers, there are home made cookies at the snack counter and mulled cider in the winter, as well as coffee and soft drinks and popcorn. 

Sometimes Erick shows special movies, usually documentaries but sometimes showings of films made by local film makers in a smaller theatre in the Cape Cod Art Museum which is next door and shares the parking lot.  I feel tremendously lucky to live a 20 minute drive from this theater. He also shows the simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera and from the National Theatre in London. To me this is an artistic treasure I would never have guessed I'd enjoy when I was thinking of moving to Cape Cod.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I went searching for these photos because of a recent post by Barbara whose post, Folkways Notebook I read regularly. You can find it in my sidebar.


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Amazing. In this day of digital and Mega Movies, usually this type of theatre genre is found on university campuses. You are lucky that your community supports yours.

June Calender said...

This is a very unusual community, you're right, Carol. I know that Eric is not a rich man and he works very long hours. I'm sure it's a labor of love.

Lynn Guardino said...

I agree with you June. We are so very fortunate to have this theater in our back yards. We NEVER go to any other theaters. This place has a long history and I actually met someone who lived behind the screen when he was growing up. How Cape Cod quirky is that? There is so much more here than meets the eyes of the seasonal tourist.

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

How lucky you are, to have such a gem, near enough to enjoy.



June -- Been busy lately so I am late getting over to your blog. Happily I found your little theater that you have mentioned on your blog. This theater is charming and the inside is eclectic in contrast to the exterior. I love it. You are so fortunate in so many ways as you keep mentioning these little gems that surround where you live. Thanks for mentioning my blog. Hope your weather is improving -- snow and ice that is -- barbara

June Calender said...

Lynn, we agree this is a wonderful place to live.

Yes, Tessa, it's truly a gem, I enjoy it very much.

Barbara, I hoped you'd find this. I really wish I had more and better interior photos. I misnames your blog and I'll try to fix it.