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

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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Many a friend at last weekend’s Yappy Hour 📸: @allisoncolejewelry

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While we are missing our annual Daffodil Fest celebrations, we’ve lined up some fun activities at The Nantucket Hotel to help you feel the springtime spirit of the island. Tap the link in our bio to learn how we’re celebrating this year!

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Last call for Easter brunch! Tap the link in our bio to learn about our dine-in and takeout options!

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Our first yappy hour was fun for all!

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Last chance to book a magical weekend (3/26 - 3/28) of rest and wellness with yoga instructor, Patricia Dolloff.

Enjoy daily, socially-distanced morning and evening meditation and yoga in our large and airy ballroom.

In the morning join Pat for a guided walk in nature, treat yourself to an hour of total relaxation with a massage, and simply enjoy the signs and smells of spring on the island to bring you inner calm.

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We’re almost back! The Nantucket reopens March 5th for some cozy off-seasoning in the heart of historic and downtown Nantucket. Tap the link in our bio to learn more! 📸: @styleinherited

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Valentines Day is around the corner and maybe you’re still looking for a gift... give the gift of Nantucket this year with a Nantucket Hotel gift card. Tap the link in our bio for details! 📸: @marcsford // @prepfordwife ...

We're closed for the moment to spruce the hotel up for the year ahead of us. We'll be back open in March and ready to host more cozy moments like this PC: @dirtandglass

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Missing celebrating the new year with all of you but can’t wait to see you all in the next year none-the-less! Happy 2021 from all of us at @thenantucket

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A merry merry Christmas from our family to yours 📸: @nantucketislandprints

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All is calm, all is bright, and the drinks aren’t bad either! Thanks to those who have chosen to cozy up with us this holiday season 🥃Did you know we have the most extensive hot drinks menu on the island? 📸: @ashleyculkins

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It’s the perfect December to stay in and stay cozy. Tag someone you want hunker down with on Nantucket 📸: @ashleyculkins
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Looking your usual festive self, Nantucket. Raise your hand 🤚 if you love the #GreyLady in December 📸: @zofiaphoto
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Things are looking magical in our lobby. Tap the link in our bio to learn about our holiday to-go boxes and other festive activities at the hotel this December!
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Anyone else feeling festive as we stride into December? Tap the link in our bio to learn what’s happening at the hotel this holiday season 📸: @kristynewengland
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Looking for the perfect gift this season? Why not give the gift of Nantucket with a Nantucket Hotel gift card? Tap the link in our bio to share a little #nantucketing with someone special in your life 📸: @kristynewengland
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