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

Joe Hale
A crowd of people in front of Dreamland
Saturday night at the Dreamland

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𝗜𝗧'𝗦 𝗔𝗟𝗪𝗔𝗬𝗦 𝗜𝗖𝗘𝗗 𝗖𝗢𝗙𝗙𝗘𝗘 𝗦𝗘𝗔𝗦𝗢𝗡

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#ack #nantucketing #nantucket
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𝘒𝘪𝘤𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘬𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘧𝘧 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 “𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦” 𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘩𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧.

#ack #vactionmode #nantucket #nantucketing #graylady #newengland #igersnewengland
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𝘊𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘕𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘶𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘵 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴.

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𝗙𝗥𝗢𝗠 𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗙𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗟𝗬 𝗧𝗢 𝗢𝗔𝗥𝗦

𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯.

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𝗛𝗘𝗬 𝗙𝗥𝗜𝗘𝗡𝗗𝗦,


Here’s to another Nantucket Summer where your feet can’t touch the ground!

Love,
𝗡𝗛+𝗥

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What’s your favorite Nantucket shop?

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𝗦 . 𝗣 . 𝗣 . 𝗙

Sun Pillow Protection Factor
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What an honor to share #6 in @travelandleisure’s annual ranking of New England’s top resorts. Look at us, @winnetu.mv!

📸: @stacieflinner // @jackiegreaney
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Happy 4th from 30 miles out to sea 🇺🇸

📸: @howieguja
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Did you know The Nantucket Hotel is pet-friendly? Bringing your WHOLE family adds a little extra enjoyment to a Nantucket getaway 🐕

📸 @kai.thecavapoo
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It’s June and you know what that means….annual Monday night clambakes are right around the corner! See you June 20th for the first clambake of the season. ...

Throw the Nantucket wedding of your dreams with the help from our events team. From ceremonies, to receptions, accommodations, and transportation, we take care of it all. Bring to life the timeless wedding you’ve always envisioned. ...

There’s still time to book your stay for this year’s Wine & Food Festival (@nantucketwineandfood)! This annual celebration has quickly turned into a highlight of the season. Participate in events like the St. Tropez Soiree, Passport Wines around the World, and the Great British Afterparty. Closeout the weekend with our signature Sunday Brunch, sponsored by Chateau Minuty where you will get an exclusive taste of their rosé. ...

Chef Philip Sireci believes that cooking and music share a lot in common, and he has the experience to back his theory up. Before finding his way to the kitchen, Chef Sireci worked as an audio engineer and a guitarist with aspirations to be the next Eric Clapton. “Creating menus that satisfy a person’s five senses is like composing a song. Cooking and music require similar cadence of creativity”. Chef Sireci comes to us from New York City where he led the kitchen at @fineandrarenyc and @theflatironroom. He lands on Nantucket alongside his wife Marla and their adorable dog, Mona Lisa. ...

Join us in welcoming Urmas Karner as he takes the helm as General Manager of The Nantucket Hotel. Urmas comes to us from the Turks and Caicos where he once won Hotelier of the Year as GM of the Somerset on Grace Bay. “Now another island beckons… I look forward to applying my experience and enthusiasm for the benefit of our guests, visitors, the local community, and my co-worker family” says Karner. We are glad Nantucket beckoned him here and can’t wait to welcome him to The Nantucket family!

#nantucketing #ack #nantucket
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It’s with great fondness that we bid farewell to General Manager Jamie Holmes. Jamie’s been with us since our opening day, way back in 2012, and has been a genial presence, a capable leader, and a good friend for all of his ten years at The Nantucket Hotel. Share a Jamie Holmes memory in the comment section, and join us in wishing him well in his next adventure!

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There’s nothing more Nantucket than blooming hydrangeas. Looking forward to seeing these colors come bursting back in just a few short weeks. ...

We’ll see you again on March 5th! While we’re closed, this grand old hotel will receive some TLC and our employees are enjoying some much-deserved time off. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back soon enough! ...

We’re proud to once again be nominated for @travelandleisure 2022 World's Best Award in the hotel category. We're passionate about providing the world's best experience and we'd be honored if you gave us your vote of confidence.

Tap the link in our bio and vote by February 28th, 2022 and you'll be entered to win a $15,000 dream trip, courtesy of Travel + Leisure!
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