Historic Lynwood Theatre to Celebrate its 87th Birthday on Longest Day of the Year!

Ok, quick quiz. What are the three oldest, continuously operating businesses on Bainbridge Island?

Any ideas? How about the Bainbridge Review, the Lynwood Theatre and Bainbridge Gardens? “That’s what I’ve always heard are the top three,” says Kevin Lynch, General Manager of the Historic Lynwood Theatre.

Historic Lynwood TheatreThe theatre, owned and operated by Far Away Entertainment of Bainbridge Island, which also owns the Bainbridge Cinemas in The Pavilion in Downtown Winslow, is steeped in old-time movie magic. The lobby has some neat posters preserved from a few memorable silver screen productions from yesteryear, as well as a retro feeling candy counter and popcorn machine.

Inside, the theatre itself has seating for about 200 patrons, plus some interesting lighting and a crushed red velvet curtain that swings open when a movie is about to start. Not long ago, Tj Faddis, a local movie aficionado, would regale audiences prior to the showing of a particularly interesting independent film with a commentary on its background, direction, actors and so on.

Lynwood Theatre June 21 posterIt’s these sorts of traditions that the old movie house is planning to celebrate on June 21st – the summer solstice – with an event aptly titled, “The Longest Day” that will honor the Lynwood’s 87th year.

“Considering our tenure, doing this continuously since 1936,” says Lynch, “we decided to use that longevity to celebrate our birthday.”

The celebration will feature 15 hours of non-stop entertainment, from 9 am to midnight, Lynch notes. Activities will include free movies, music, magic, food, an auction, raffles, a film festival, and merchandise, “along with the live filming of all events to create a documentary video.”

A number of local businesses have stepped up to sponsor each hour block, and participants will be able to sample some of the food, wine and beer offered by some of these vendors.

Adds Lynch, “As a fund-raising event, all donated proceeds will go towards upgrading the historic Island venue, including curtains, seats, (the) sound system and several other necessary structural improvements. The number eighty-seven does double duty sharing the age and fund-raising goal. The (theatre’s) accounting department reports that if every person on the island contributed $3.87 (less than a cup of coffee!) the ambitious target will be reached!”

Besides raffles, auctions and food and drink, a number of keynote speakers will address the audience, including Gov. Jay Inslee, a long-time Bainbridge resident, Far Away owners Jeff Brien and Sam Granato, and “local celebrities who have worked in Hollywood,” adds Lynch, who did not disclose any names.

Fenderskirts at Historic Lynwood TheatreAt around 2:30 pm the music will start, and one of the acts scheduled to perform will be the famous local band, the Fabulous Fenderskirts*, who are coming out of retirement to play the Lynwood gig. From 7 pm – 9 pm, Eugenie Jones, a world-class Bremerton-based blues singer will perform.

The day will then be capped off by a movie selected by Lynch and chosen from the theatre’s, “Your favorite movie contest” that has been going on for several months.

Lynch says the fundraising aspects of the event are crucial to the theatre’s survival. “The reality is we’re counting on the community to keep us going,” he says. “Times are tough for movie theaters,” what with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, the Internet and social media?

“We’re doing this event (the Longest Day) to try and differentiate ourselves from other ways of doing fundraisers,” Lynch says, by way of explaining the theater’s yeoman promotional effort .

Lynwood Theatre June 21 music posterA few of The Longest Day’s features include:

  • Animated morning features
  • Annual Five-Minute Film Festival Award Winners Screenings
  • Five local bands live on-stage
  • “Your Favorite Movie” promotion with grand prize drawing
  • Auction of custom framed movie posters
  • Specialty food samples by local restaurants
  • Special celebrity presentations
  • Live “Off Island Telephone Pledge Drive”
  • Live filming of event for subsequent video release
  • Valet parking
  • Full Day/Half Day VIP Passes available at Farawayentertainment.com
  • Custom Event T-Shirts

For more information visit: Farawayentertainment.com

*A date with the Fabulous Fenderskirts – Gala Movie Event and Fundraiser | THE ISLAND WANDERER and The Fabulous Fenderskirts: How three women became the island’s most iconic musical trio | THE ISLAND WANDERER

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