The Sag Harbor Partnership is finally starting to see the finish line.
After the Sag Harbor Cinema was tragically severely damaged during a fire in December 2016, the Partnership rallied the community and raised enough funds to purchase the Cinema from longtime owner Gerry Mallow.
On Wednesday, January 10, the Partnership officially closed on the property.
“We could not be more grateful for the outpouring of support this effort received – it’s such a beautiful tribute to the history of this theater, and the passion our community has to ensure the cinema has an even brighter future for East End residents of every age and income,” said Cinema Campaign Chair April Gornik.
To ensure ownership and the Cinema’s rebuild, the Partnership set a lofty $8,000,000 fundraising goal, which it needed to do within under a year. “We have had over 2,500 people donate to our campaign, and more than 90 people of donations have been $1,000 and under,” the Partnership said in a letter to the community.
The Partnership can now focus on rebuilding the structure.
After the Cinema’s reconstruction is final, the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, a registered not-for-profit established by the Partnership – which is awaiting its 501(c)(3) status, will take over operations. The Center will “preserve the showing of independent, foreign and documentary films on the East End of Long Island.”
“There’s few things more exciting than seeing a building go up, and since the Cinema is going to belong to everybody on the East End, we think it’s going to be truly inspiring,” reflected Nick Gazzolo, President of the Sag Harbor Partnership. “How fast it goes will depend on support, but if last year was any indication, it could be reopened as soon as a year and a half from now. We need everyone’s help getting through this next phase.”
Even before the Partnership had reached its fundraising goal, the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center began enriching the Hamptons. In December the Center launched its programming with the American Values Film Series, “an exciting and provocative film exploration of the diverse and enduring ideas that have shaped our country and its people, transcend our current political climate, and continue to inspire us today.” The series premiered with a screening of True Grit that included a conversation with Academy Award nominated composer Carter Burwell.
The series continues with Casablanca with actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini on Sunday, January 28. Academy Award winning director Rob Marshall and choreographer/director/producer John Deluca will discuss their Prohibition era musical Chicago on Sunday, February 11. Artist and director Laurie Anderson will host a screening of American Psycho on Sunday, February 18, and The Americanization of Emily can be seen Sunday, March 4. Academy Award winning actor and author Julie Andrews will serve as the afternoon’s special guest. Admission to the American Values Film Series is free.
For more information, visit www.sagharborcinema.org.