Island Spotlight: Joe Hale of the Dreamland Theater

This week we speak with Dreamland’s Executive Director, Joe Hale about Nantucket’s film and Cultural Center, Dreamland. Dreamland is truly an island treasure that brings so much joy to our community year round. This state-of-the-art complex features a 314 seat Main Theater along with flexible meeting and theater space in the Studio Theater and a beautiful Harborview Room. Dreamland also hosts films during the annual Nantucket Film Festival.

 

Can You Give Us a Brief History of Dreamland Theater?

Joe Hale: The Dreamland’s building goes back to 1831, when it served as a Quaker Meeting House. Since then, it’s functioned as a straw-hat factory, a Redman’s Hall, a roller-skating rink, and finally in 1910, a silent movie house. The Dreamland closed in 2006 when it was purchased for redevelopment. Luckily, that plan was unsuccessful, and a generous group of donors purchased the building and land and began a major renovation to give us the state-of-the-art cultural center we all enjoy today. It reopened to the public in 2012.

 

What are Some of Your Favorite Events that Have Happened at Dreamland?

Joe Hale: There are too many to count! The Dreamland is the only Nantucket cultural organization open 365 days a year. In addition to first run and award winning independent and foreign films daily, we’ve created scores of other events. We produce Dreamland Conversations hosted by board member David Gregory that has featured such luminaries as Leslie Stahl, John Kerry, Joe Biden and Maureen Orth. We’ve organized programs ranging from our annual community talent show – Nantucket’s Got Talent! to Our Summer Decks DJ Series to outstanding performances by talent such as The Vienna Boys Choir and Broadway star Audra McDonald. But my FAVORITE event at The Dreamland has to be our annual DreamBeliever Celebration, our annual fundraiser. A seasoned veteran of fundraisers around the world said “The DreamBelievers Celebration is the best party – ever!” I agree!

 

Is The Dreamland the Only Public Theater on the Island and What was the First Movie to Ever Show at the Theater?

Joe Hale: The Dreamland is the only public movie theater on Nantucket. Here’s an advertisement (see above) from the Inky Mirror about some of the earliest films at The Dreamland. It’s from 1910!

 

Can You Tell Us About the New Drive-In theater you are Launching this Summer?

Joe Hale: We are SO excited about The Dreamland Drive-In! Think about it – this could possibly be the only place on island this summer where we can gather together, albeit apart! We should have The Dreamland Drive-In up and running around the end of June. With only 80 spots, this entertainment option will be a sell-out for sure. And hopefully this summer we’ll also be able to open The Dreamland downtown in a safe and responsible way. We’re also exploring converting our spectacularly beautiful Harborview Room, overlooking the harbor, into the Harborview Lounge, with sundown cocktails being offered each evening.

 

Can You Tell Us a Fun or Interesting Fact/Story that Comes Out of Dreamland?

Joe Hale: I know we’re supposed to be cool and unimpressed on Nantucket, but when you occasionally see Michael Douglas or Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro or Damien Lewis or Drew Barrymore or Gina Davis, or Bill Belichick in the lobby buying popcorn, I must admit, it IS kinda cool………..

 

Okay, We Must Ask, What Are Your Top Three Favorite Movies?!

Empire of the Sun

A Trip to Bountiful

and the next movie I’m going to watch!

Thanks, Joe! We are really looking forward to the Drive-In theater and for more information on this new project please visit HERE

The Nantucket on Instagram

Clambake season is upon us and @breezenantucket’s Old Fashioned Clambakes are happening each Monday this summer. Call ahead to reserve your seat! Link in bio for details.

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Have you tried @breezenantucket this summer? Chef Adam Votaw’s menu of small plates, shareables, and coastal creations is turning heads and bringing tables together.

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Old fashion hospitality never goes out of style.

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Summer’s here. Dive right in.

📸: @erinmcginn

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Looking forward to a good old fashioned 4th of July, Nantucket-style 🇺🇸🇺🇸

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We were honored that our bus was involved in Hafsa Lewis’ installation for @fairwindsnantucket’s Blooming Bids for Nantucket's Kids last week. Our wonderful old bus was looking gorgeous for a good cause. Follow our friends at @fairwindsnantucket for more.

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Breezing into the weekend with Lobster Tacos at @breezenantucket

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Beep! beep! Next stop, Summer!

📸: @prepfordwife // @marcsford

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Happy Father’s Day to all the fun, inspiring, wise, and loving dads out there, from all of us at The Nantucket

📸: @emilyelisabethphotography

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Monday night clambake are back starting June 28th! Each Monday this summer, @breezenantucket will be serving up our signature Clambakes with good food, good company, and live music. Space fills up fast, so be sure to make a reservation! Tap the link in our bio to learn more.

📸: @jackiegreaney // @pjhavel

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Neither shaken, nor stirred. The Lobster Martini by Chef Adam. Follow @breezenantucket for more savory updates from Adam’s kitchen.

#Nantucket #Nantucketing 📸: @tasteofmassachusetts @trendsandtolstoy
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Happy Memorial Day from the whole team at The Nantucket Hotel! 🇺🇸

📸: @alisonatalya

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Strolling towards summer

📸: @thedrk_knight

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A familiar face to any guest or friend of the hotel, our versatile General Manager Jamie Holmes. Give Jamie a wave in the comment section if you met him during a stay with us!

📸: @shorelinesillustrated

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Looking forward to the blooming colors still to come this season 📸: @jackiegreaney

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Mother’s Day is this Sunday- how are you celebrating the mom in your life? Breeze’s Mother’s Day celebration is still accepting reservations! Tap the link in our bio to learn more 📸: @ingridbrown_

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Our new director of cuisine, Adam Votaw, is passionate about shareables, small plates, and dishes that bring the table together. Experience it for yourself- tap the link in our bio to make a reservation.

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Experience spring migration on Nantucket!

Spring migration brings a rich variety of seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl to the island each year, drawing amateur and professional ornithologists alike to catch a glimpse of the activity along the Atlantic Flyway in the island’s unique ecosystem. American Oystercatchers, Piping Plovers, and Northern Gannets, are staples of Nantucket’s birding season each spring.

This season we’ve partnered with the Linda Loring Nature Foundation to create a one-of-a-kind week of birding, socializing, presentation, and discussion to bring Spring migration on the island to life for enthusiasts of all ages and experience levels, including complimentary daily excursions during the week.

Led by LLNF Naturalist Seth Engelbourg, an expert on the island’s flora, fauna, and avian ecology, this program takes guests and locals alike into some of the island’s most exclusive birding sites for a closer look at the island’s annual migratory guests. Complete with a full weekend program of presentations and discussion, this program is designed to accommodate all levels of interest and experience.

Join us for a night or two between May 10th and 14th and enjoy complimentary birding each morning, or join us or for the full weekend program from May 14th - 16th.

Tap the link in our bio to learn more!

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Mother’s Day is around the corner! Tap the link in our bio to learn about making a trip to the island or a reservation for our Mother’s Day brunch!

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