Established in 1976, Westport Arts Festival is not only one of Ireland’s longest running festivals, but an on-going celebration of the arts in and around Ireland. With over 100 events spanning ten days, this year’s festival represents one of the most ambitious to date. Amongst the array of events at this year’s festival is a drive-in movie event. That’s right; you can watch films from the comfort and safety of your own automobile! A 200-year-old courtyard at Westport House, built by the 2nd Marquess of Sligo no less, will be transformed into a state-of-the-art drive-in movie theatre for a series of screenings of classic movies as part of the Westport Arts Festival.
For fright fans there’s the classic terror of Jaws, the ultimate horror summer blockbuster, and the darkly disturbing Dutch psychological thriller Spoorloos, a film that can be described as a genuine horror. Horror fans will also be delighted to know that the Wyatt Hotel will host a screening of the classic silent chiller Nosferatu with musical accompaniment by Aisling Smyth.
For those less inclined to the dark side of cinema, fear not - other titles to be screened at the drive-in cinema include Casablanca, Dirty Dancing, This is Spinal Tap and Harold and Maude.
The Drive-In Movie series runs from Friday, September 23 to Sunday, October 2. All screenings commence at 7.30pm in the Courtyard behind Gracie’s bar at Westport House. Admission is free, but ticketed. Parking spaces costing €20 are optional and may also be reserved online. The film soundtrack will be broadcast on FM radio.
Organised entirely by volunteers, the annual Westport Arts Festival has been a fixture in the Irish arts calendar since 1976, making it one of the longest-running festivals in the country. It has proved itself time and again to be a beacon in Clew Bay for both aspiring and internationally famous artists, performers, writers and musicians, giving them an opportunity to showcase their talents to a passionate West coast audience.
For further information, the low-down on all other festival events and to buy tickets, visit their website.
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