The time we’ve all been patiently waiting for has finally come. Nearly a year and half after a devastating fire left a gaping hole on Main Street in Sag Harbor, the Sag Harbor Partnership, local legislators, and the community came out in support of a groundbreaking ceremony for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center on Saturday, June 16.
Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Shroeder, Sag Harbor Partnership President Nick Gazzolo, Sag Harbor Partnership Vice President April Gornik, Sag Harbor Partnership Treasurer Susan Mead, Sag Harbor Partnership Secretary Hilary Loomis, Sag Harbor Partnership Board Member Jayne Young, and State Legislator Bridget Fleming were in attendance at the joyous affair.
The groundbreaking comes after 16 months of tireless fundraising, which allowed the Sag Harbor Partnership to purchase the Cinema’s property (90 Main Street) in early January for $8 million. Now, the Partnership will turn its efforts to the renovation – an endeavor that is currently estimated at $6 million. The project will commence with foundation work to replace the front of the building.
The Partnership hopes to raise $3 million for the renovation efforts before July 1st, but will use the $1.5 million it has already raised to begin work immediately.
Once the foundation work is finished, the Partnership will focus on the back of the building, so to not disturb the Main Street businesses during the busiest time of the year.
“We are reviving the spirit of the old cinema and making it into a state of the art cinematheque. There is tremendous passion from everyone involved with the project,” reflected award-winning architect Allen Kopelson of NK Architects, who was selected to lend his expertise to the project. Racanelli Construction, a division of Racanelli, ConRac Construction LLC, a WMBE-certified company, will oversee the initial phase of the building process.
Fundraising efforts will continue with The Big Tent: Party for the Cinema 2 on Sunday, July 8, and other upcoming events.
“With the groundbreaking for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, another milestone has been reached in the community effort to restore and revitalize our Village’s beloved movie theater. The partnership is raising our cinema from the ashes to new heights by restoring the best of the old, while providing us with a future filled with new cultural opportunities for Sag Harbor and residents across the East End,” added Assemblyman Fred Thiele. “This project represents not just an enrichment of the arts and culture that are a cornerstone of the Sag Harbor community, but also a vital part of an economic development and job creation strategy which depends on a vibrant downtown. Every Sag Harbor business will benefit from the project.”
The Partnership’s goal is to have the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center completed by summer 2019.