Narrow Gauge Cinema Reopens 

By Sydney Beecher, Contributing Writer


    After Governor Janet Mills announced that drive-ins theaters could reopen in May, Narrow Gauge Cinema in Farmington began offering drive-in movies, a concert series, and various other events to the community. Near the end of August, the cinema began offering indoor screenings every weekend for the near future.

    When Franklin Savings Bank heard of Mills’ plan to reopen drive-ins in May, they knew that they wanted to help offer a safe activity to local communities. The bank decided to partner with John Moore, the owner of Narrow Gauge Cinemas, to sponsor a month’s worth of movies. “When Franklin Savings said that they wanted to sponsor a show, we were thrilled. When they said they wanted to sponsor the first four weeks, we were more than happy to collaborate on yet another community event with the organization,” Moore said in a statement to The Daily Bulldog. Together, Narrow Gauge Cinema offered moviegoers four different movies each week for a month, ranging from new releases to the classics. 

    When they finished screening those movies in June, Narrow Gauge introduced a lineup of live music to perform throughout the summer. These three hour-long shows featured bands like Ghost of Paul Revere, David Mallett and the Mallett Brothers Band, and the Rustic Overtones. 

    Miranda Kramer, a sophomore, attended two concerts at the drive-in and loved the experience. “The newly renovated drive-in accommodated social distancing guidelines very well. Everyone was spaced out in their own spots,” said Kramer. “We had a perfect view of the stage and the bands, even from two rows back. Both of the concerts were the highlight of my summer.”

    In August, Narrow Gauge Cinemas was finally able to reopen its indoor theater for the first time in over five months. In order to comply with Maine’s guidelines, the cinema had to make some changes to the theater setup. Among the first few visitors was Cam Foss, a sophomore, who saw a variety of movies last semester at the cinema. “It was definitely a different experience than when I went to Narrow Gauge in the spring,” said Foss. “There were a few rows taken out to maintain social distancing, so there were fewer seats and a lot of legroom between each row. Either way, I was glad that the theater reopened and I can watch movies in-person again.” 

    Since Maine has been experiencing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, Narrow Gauge has had to change some of their policies in order to create a safer environment for moviegoers. According to a Facebook post made by Moore on Narrow Gauge Cinema’s page on Oct. 30, the capacity in each theater room has been reduced to 20 people per theater show, customers are asked to be no earlier than 15 minutes to their show, and the drive-in will be continuing to offer movies as long as people are going for $10 a carload. “We have every intention of staying open and are adjusting our protocols in hopes to do that,” the post says. “We think it is important to have some continuity as a business…We thank everyone for their continued support.”

     Moviegoers are asked to wear a mask until they are seated. The indoor theater offers $5 tickets to all moviegoers and plans to remain open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the near future. To find out an updated list of movie screenings, visit or Narrow Gauge Cinema’s Facebook page.

Campus Community Garden Proves to be Immense Success

Campus Community Garden Proves to be Immense Success

by Faith Rouillard, Contributing Writer

UMF Community Garden

The New UMF Community Garden (Photo courtesy of UMF Community Garden’s Facebook page)

   Yellow, pink, red, and purple… the colors of the UMF campus garden have begun to emerge. In the Fall of 2019, a construction crew made their way onto the UMF campus. Questions filled the air, “Why are they taking down the creative writing house?” and, “What will take its place?” The old, disheveled building was leveled and grass was planted in its absence. Luckily, this space didn’t remain empty for long.   

    Students on campus have spent many hours in the garden making it what it is today. Some classes have been planting flowers. Jessie Minior’s ‘Field Methods’ class has been studying the microclimate of the garden; whereas other courses such as, ‘Dig It: Gardening for a Change,’ goes to the garden once a week for experiential learning. Gretchen Legler, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing, applied for the grant that funds the garden.“Students are learning about things they’ve never learned before,” said Legler. “It has provided an experiential way for students to learn about sustainability. It has been really wonderful.” 

    In summer 2020, work initiative students, Sara Taylor and James Cooke, spent their time building the garden beds, filling them with soil, planting, and harvesting once a week. They filled the beds with parsley, sage, onions, lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes, tomatoes, squash and more.

    The garden operates with many important goals: “Producing food for the community, providing classroom space, providing an aesthetically pleasing space on campus, providing flowers and herbs as a home for pollinators, and overall excitement for the community,” said Legler. “A big success has been a bridge between the campus and the community. One way to gauge its success is it’s providing a space for happiness, hope, and delight in a time that is incredibly hard on people.”

   At the end of the growing season, the campus garden will have made eight donations of food to the Farmington community. The garden has donated over 100 pounds of food to St. Joseph’s Church, Old South Church, Wilton Food Bank, Fairbanks Food Pantry, and the UMF community. “It has been a terrific and unexpected success,” said Legler.

    “My impression is that students are very excited about the garden,” said Legler. ‘Dig It’ student, Sava Nappi, said, “Every school I have been to has had a garden. This is something I assumed would already be here, so I have really enjoyed it.” The students aren’t the only ones who enjoy the garden though. “I am nearing the end of my teaching career, and this garden breeds new life into my job, so it is very meaningful to me,” said Legler.

     The garden provides a welcoming space for all. It includes an accessible elevated garden bed for individuals who may not be able to bend over or those who may be in a wheelchair. There will be an open house for the garden on Tuesday, October 27th from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. for UMF community members.