In search of a Margaret River Valley wine map, we stopped into a local tourist information office. We were unsuccessful in scoring a map, but didn’t leave completely empty handed. As we exited the office, a brochure caught my eye: Movies at Cape Mentelle.
On many occasions, we talked about going to a movie and even scoped out the movie selections in a number of different cities around the world. We were most excited about the potential of seeing a movie under the starts at the Moonlight Cinema in Melbourne, which takes place during the summer months at Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Garden. Unfortunately between the weather, the Australian Open tennis tournament and our social calendar, we were never able to attend.
Having missed out on Melbourne’s outdoor screenings, it took only a few moments of deliberation before we both agreed on an impromptu “date night” at Cape Mentelle. The opportunity to spend a mild, fall evening relaxing in a vineyard, watching a movie under the stars, eating wood-fired pizza and drinking a nice bottle of wine sounded like an ideal night out. At the time, we were not overly excited about the evening’s film, Dallas Buyer’s Club. (We’ve been so out of touch with American pop culture that we had no idea Matthew McConaughey had just won an Oscar for his performance.) Even though we weren’t familiar with the film, we knew that it would be more enjoyable than spending the night in our hotel doing client work and planning the next leg of our trip.
Since we had just arrived into town, we weren’t able to purchase advance tickets. Thus we arrived early hoping the movie was not already sold out, and as luck would have it we were able to purchase tickets without any issues. After ordering ourselves a pizza and bottle of wine, we found ourselves a nice patch of grass to the left of the screen, unfolded our meager beach towel and settled in for the evening. We watched with envy as others filed in with beanbags, blankets, pillows and picnic baskets. Although we weren’t the most prepared for the evening, we were definitely thankful to at least have a small beach towel which was an impromptu $7 purchase from Target a few weeks earlier.
After a few enjoyable hours in the vineyard watching the sun fade into the night sky, the small crowd was starting to become restless. What was taking so long? It did seem like there was a lot of employee activity behind the movie screen.
Around 8:30 pm, a gentleman with a microphone stepped out from behind the screen and offered the group an apology for the delay. He proceeded to inform us that the delay was due to an issue unlocking the planned movie. The staff had exhausted their options and as a result would be playing a different movie: Philomena. They also informed us that they would refund everyone’s entrance fees for the inconvenience.
Ironically, only a few hours earlier, Kevin and I had just lamented about how we wished they were showing Philomena tonight (Thursday), instead of Saturday according to their schedule. Kevin’s mom had recommended the film months before and we had been hoping to see it. Thus the turn of events actually seemed to work in our favor. Not only was it a film we wanted to see, but we would have the opportunity to see it under the stars for free!
We must commend Cape Mentelle for how they handled the situation: they showed an alternate movie; refunded the entrance fees; and provided a voucher good for a future show and a glass of wine! If only we’d be in the region longer.
Our date night in the Margaret River Valley was even better than we hoped. It was one of the many highlights of our short stay in the area. If you pass through the Valley, we highly recommend enjoying a relaxing evening under the stars at Cape Mentelle. We only wish that we had vineyards a little closer to Denver!