For the last 84 years, the Fishers Island Theater has played an important role in Island life. Whether it was entertaining soldiers in a brand new theater in 1932, being terrified seeing Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” or the “Birds” in the 1960s, or Benchley’s “Jaws” in the 1980s, hooting and hollering when the film would break and the screen would go blank, attending Nature Days, a Fishers Island School Graduation or seeing the fabulous Whiffenpoofs with Stowe Phelps, or going to an outdoor concert during the wistful, cool summer of 2014 when the Theater building was closed, The Fishers Island Theater has entertained, educated and made the days of our youth magical. In return the Theater asks little in return but to be used and maintained well.
As we all know, buildings take a beating on Fishers Island, and the theater is no exception. With a valiant update and facelift spearheaded by Jeanne Calhoun in the 1990s, the Theater was holding its own but without proper maintenance had fallen on hard times. Recognizing the need to have a community based group come to the rescue of the Theater, the Friends of the Fishers Island Theater was formed with the mission of facilitating the renovation, preservation and management of the historic Fishers Island Theater as a community venue for performances and activities that entertain, educate and culturally enrich our community.
Our goal is to raise the necessary funds to renovate the Theater, but most importantly to make it sustainable and self-sufficient by developing programing and a management & maintenance strategy that supports the Theater on an ongoing basis. Over the last six years we have made many improvements to the building, inside and out. Through a generous grant from the Sanger Foundation, we purchased a new state-of-the-art digital projection system. We improved programming, developed a special event strategy that not only brought us Ben Cameron and the Whiffenpoofs but also the “Fishers Island Car Show”.
Now our objective is to take our historic theater, clunky and a little decrepit as it is, and turn it in to an island treasure that will be used and enjoyed for years to come not just during the summer but also during the shoulders seasons and for the occasional midwinter movie, school play, or cabaret.
We hope you will join us in being a contributor to this worthy project. If you remember going to the movies yourself, attended the Temptations concert or danced to a Ben live show, you know what a great venue our Theater is and how important it is to maintain its vital role in island life. In the words of Captain Lawrence of the USS Chesapeake, “Don’t give up the Ship”. Help us save the Fishers Island Theater for generations to come.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how you can support the Fishers Island Theater.