Wellfleet Preservation Hall’s “Food on Film” series combines the big screen with great-tasting cuisine

Appetizing evenings are on the menu, Winter 2016 Cape Cod Home | capecodlife.com

Wellfleet Preservation Hall, at 335 Main Street in Wellfleet, was originally built as a Catholic church. Today the venue plays host to a range of events, including the organization’s annual “Food on Film” series. Photo by Charles Sternaimolo

Though the weather outside will likely be chilly, the screen will be heating up at Wellfleet Preservation Hall this winter.

The nonprofit venue in downtown Wellfleet and Lola’s Local Food Lab are together putting a fresh spin on “dinner and a movie” for the fifth year of “Food on Film.” Between January and April 2017, movie buffs, friends, families, couples, singletons, and everyone in between are invited to gather to watch thought-provoking feature films and graze on small plates inspired by the movies.

Like many great ideas, this series was born out of shared passions between friends. Vanessa Downing, Preservation Hall’s managing director, is a self-described movie buff who moved to Cape Cod in 2004 to co-manage three movie screens in Provincetown. She started working part time at Preservation Hall in 2011 and became managing director in 2013. Kim Shkapich, owner and chef of Lola’s Local Food Lab in Wellfleet, is not only a passionate foodie but also a movie fan.

In 2013, while Shkapich was volunteering at the hall, the two women saw an opportunity to combine food and film in the century-old building. Their first event shone the spotlight on Big Night, a 1996 movie centered on a failing Italian restaurant run by two brothers. Red-and-white-checkered tablecloths, Italian music, scattered candles, and timpano (a layered pasta dish featured in the film) transformed the hall into a film-worthy setting.