John Waters is cooking up a formal dinner for 10 – at the Provincetown Dump

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Photo credit: Greg Gorman

Filmmaker John Waters doesn’t like to repeat himself, in movies or anything else.

So when the Provincetown Film Society asked him to donate an item to include in its fundraising auction this year, Waters didn’t want to contribute what he did last year – a guided tour of sex haunts in Provincetown.

This year he came up with a different idea that’s still fitting for the man known as “The Pope of Trash”:

He’s offering a formal dinner for 10 – at the town dump.

According to the auction website, successful bidders will be treated to a “dumpster dive meal” with food from local markets prepared by Chef Jack Hetnarski, formerly of Prune NYC. It will be served on “custom damaged plates” from artist John Derian, alongside “dead flower arrangements” from Garden Renovations Nursery of Provincetown. And it will all take place at the Provincetown Dump, where people bring their trash and recyclables.

“Regardless of your culinary sense of adventure, we can promise you’ve never had a dinner like this,” the film society says on its website. “How can you resist?”

The Provincetown Dump will serve as the dining venue for whomever has the winning auction bid for a “formal dinner” with John Waters. Photo courtesy of Provincetown Film Society.

“Director John Waters: A Formal Dinner at the Provincetown Dump,” is one of more than 100 items up for bid in the annual winter auction to raise money for the film society, which produces the Provincetown International Film Festival and many other events.

Although he’s based in Baltimore, Waters has spent every summer in Provincetown since 1964. He’s a strong supporter of the film society and he knows the town well. His recent cover story in Town & Country magazine was photographed there. His tour of sex haunts last year raised more than $17,000.

At the same time, trash and filth have been running themes of Waters’ movies, especially his “Trash Trilogy” of Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble and Desperate Living. He calls himself a “filth elder.” In Serial Mom, Kathleen Turner’s Beverly Sutphin was good friends with the trash collectors. Pink Flamingos followed Divine’s/Babs Johnson’s quest to be The Filthiest Person Alive.” In Desperate Living, Mortville was a town made entirely out of recycled trash.

“It’s not out of character” to have a dinner there, Waters reasons. “We’re making it elegant but it’s going to be at the dump…I think it’ll be a fun night.”

Waters said he’s very familiar with the dump from his years in Provincetown.

“I used to go to the dump in Provincetown and find stuff all the time. I even found a bicycle there once.”

And he knows exactly what to wear: “A good thrift shop outfit, I would think.”

Waters said planning for this event reminds him of a contest he had in Baltimore when he was just starting out as a filmmaker.

“It was the Mondo Trasho premiere, in a church,” he recalled. “The door prize was dinner for two at the Little Tavern. You remember what the Little Tavern was? We took them in a limousine…That’s kind of the opposite – the worst restaurant in town but going in style.”

The dinner date with John Waters will be either July 18, 19 or 20. The website shows three lots up for bid with two tickets each and four lots with one ticket. The winners will all dine on the same night, and the date will be firmed up once the winning bidders are identified and contacted, so people can make travel arrangements if necessary. All bidders for this item must be over 21 and must follow local public health protocols.

Other auction items include: a virtual Provincetown architectural tour with historian David Dunlap; vacation rentals in Umbertide, Italy, and Culebra, Puerto Rico; a private Provincetown dune tour; a stay at designer Ken Fulk’s Mary Heaton Vorse House; a custom voice mail message by Kathleen Turner; Broadway tickets to Company, Mrs. Doubtfire, Six and Hadestown; and souvenirs, private dinners and gift certificates to various Provincetown shops and restaurants.

The online auction went live on Feb. 2 and ends on Feb. 13 at 11:59 p.m. The website is:

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