“In the Heights,” one of the biggest films of 2021, opens at Vashon Theatre on July 2 (Courtesy Photo).

“In the Heights,” one of the biggest films of 2021, opens at Vashon Theatre on July 2 (Courtesy Photo).

What’s Happening July 1 – 8

Big summer blockbusters at Vashon Theatre, Drama Dock presents “ART,” and more.

  • Thursday, July 1, 2021 6:30pm
  • Arts

At the movies

Fans of movie musicals, rejoice: Vashon Theatre has booked its run of the summer’s biggest blockbusters, “In the Heights,” for July 2 to 8.

The movie, based on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits, plus a cast of hundreds singing and dancing through the Dominican Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City.

It’s a film made to be seen on the biggest screen possible, with one Busbey Berkley-like dance number taking place in a city pool, and stagecraft and spectacle including a scene in which the film’s stars dance down the side of a New York City apartment building.

In partnership with Open Space for Arts & Community, Vashon Theatre is also now running its drive-in movie theater, on the Great Lawn of Open Space, for the second year in a row. Films playing this weekend at the drive-in are “Jurassic World,” on July 1 and 3, and “Chicken Run,” on July 2.

With Gov. Inslee’s reopening of the state, a few things have changed for movie-goers on Vashon, and some have remained the same.

Theater owner Eileen Wolcott said her business will follow guidelines set by the state in terms of the requirement of masks at the movie theatre. The drive-in, she said, has already added the option for patrons to sit in the truck beds or open-topped cars to enjoy cinema under the stars.

Patrons must still purchase concessions online, in advance of screenings at both the theater and the drive-in, Wolcott said — explaining that this protocol was still necessary due to staffing cuts at the theater. Currently, patrons check-in at the counter, receive a pager if they have ordered concessions, and immediately take their seats.

“Having our customers set everything up before arriving at the theatre is helping us make it through to better times,” Wolcott said, adding that the system had made going to the theatre more pleasant for movie-goers, too.

“It’s just nicer to let people sit in their seat until their order is ready,” she said.

Wolcott anticipates, in the coming weeks, to open up more seats in the 300-seat theater and allow patrons who didn’t pre-order concessions to do so when they enter the theater — with the understanding they’ll be paged to come to get their concessions after those who did pre-order. She also said that as more islanders come back to the movies, she hopes to re-open her box office and offer matinees as well as evening shows.

To find out screening times and buy tickets and concessions for shows at the drive-in and movie theatre, visit vashontheatre.com.

See Drama Dock’s ART

Drama Dock will present the Tony Award-winning play “ART,” by Yasmina Reza, at 7:30 p.m. July 15, 16, and 17, and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on July 18. The cast, directed by Lisa Peretti, includes Steve Jones, Jon Kuzma and William Epstein.

Critics loved the play, which also won the 1996 Olivier Award for Best Comedy. The Daily Mail of London cited its “acute ear for the idiocies, trivia and petty assaults that pepper the conversation between friends … The real pleasures come from Reza’s creation of three beautifully defined, original characters.”

Find out more about the show and get tickets at dramadock.org and vashoncenterforthearts.org. (See page 6 for a commentary, by Jon Flora, about Drama Dock’s longtime place in the community and its plans for 2021.)

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