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Westport Cinema Group Hosts Four Screenings

How'd you like to catch a movie, or four, in Westport this weekend? Although there are no more movie theaters in town, the Westport Cinema Initiative, a nonprofit group determined to bring movie-going back to town, is hosting a series of screenings Saturday at the Westport Country Playhouse.

Starting at 9:30 a.m., you can see the original "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory," introduced by Bedford Middle School theater director and performing arts teacher Karen McCormick. And after the movie, you can fill up on free Wonka candy.

At 1 p.m., the award-winning documentary "Waste Land" will be shown, followed by a discussion. At 7:30 p.m., catch "Big Night," a restaurant comedy, and stick around for a post-screening question and answer session with chefs Pietro Scotti of Da Pieros, Bryan Malcarney of Blue Lemon and Steve Carpentieri of Dunville's.

For all you night owls, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" will be shown at 10 p.m. Westport Police Chief Al Fiore will introduce this classic horror film.

Sandy Lefkowitz, executive director of WCI, said these screenings are just the first of many planned for the year.

"We are going to have screenings on regular basis, probably about every two months," Sandy said. "Not all of them will be held [at the Westport Country Playhouse], but will be held at different venues around town."

The next screenings, she said, will be July 4 at the Levitt Pavilion on a big outdoor screen. Not only are these an important step in whetting Westport's appetite for a theater and building an audience, Sandy said they are an important step to raising funds. All money raised will go toward covering the costs of securing the contracts to screen these and future movies.

Outside of the cost of admission, which is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, the group is looking for "$1,000 angels." Sandy said these "angels" pledge to donate $1,000 to the group to help cover this year's budget.

The goal is to bring a two-screen art house theater to town, complete with a café and concession stand.

Would you like to see a movie theater back in Westport?

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