Billy Joel, a part-time Sag Harbor resident, Martin Scorsese and Harvey Weinstein have joined the Sag Harbor Partnership’s campaign to save and rebuild the Sag Harbor Cinema.
“Billy (Mr. Joel) has spent a lot of time in Sag Harbor. He knows exactly how much the sign and the cinema mean to all of Main Street,” explained Nick Gazzolo, President of the Sag Harbor Partnership. “It’s so encouraging that he answered the call to help restore this landmark with such a generous gift.”
Joel, who made a generous contribution to the restoration efforts, will be commemorated by the Sag Harbor Partnership with a Cinema Popcorn Stand that will be named in his honor.
“So many of his songs show his understanding of how much specific places mean to people, and we are so grateful that he agrees the Sag Harbor Cinema is a special place worth fighting for,” added Gazzolo.
In April, the Sag Harbor Partnership, a group of committed community residents, announced they were in contract to purchase the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema, but the Partnership must raise $8 million by December 31, 2017, and 75 percent of that – $6 million – must be secured by July 1, 2017. Thanks to an anonymous donor that pledged $1 million, Joel’s generous contribution, and the community’s support, the Partnership has already raised over $2 million.
While the Partnership plans to keep the Cinema’s Art-Deco architectural charm, restoration efforts will revolve around major improvements, including spectacular state-of-the-art equipment that the Sag Harbor Partnership has been working with Digital Media Systems advisors to design. In addition to the impressive brand new sound system, the Cinema will boast projection ratios and equipment that will offer an unparalleled viewing experience. The new equipment will allow the Cinema to present digital, 35mm, and even 16mm, all with amazing resolution – a feature that not many other art houses have the ability to offer. This screening bonus will ensure the Cinema can showcase film history as well as contemporary movie-making.
“I believe in the power of film not only to entertain, but to bring unsung heroes to life, and to change the world around us. For as long as I can remember, the Sag Harbor Cinema has stood as a beacon of culture on Long Island,” shared famed director Martin Scorsese. “On the evening it was destroyed, the cinema was showing two European films, neither of which were considered blockbuster hits, but that wasn’t the point. This theatre was about art, and the ability for film to inspire people to persevere in the face of adversity. I hope people from all over the East End will join in this fight to save Sag Harbor’s center of culture.”
The Sag Harbor Partnership’s ever-growing Advisory Board is composed of both local and world renowned notable names, including Oscar winning actress, singer, author, famed theatre director and dancer, Dame Julie Andrews, Anne Chaisson, Executive Director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, Wendy Keys, filmmaker and former Executive Producer/Programmer for the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Andrea Grover, Executive Director of East Hampton’s Guild Hall and Founding Director of the Aurora Picture Show in Houston, TX, Carol Ostrow, Producing Director of The Flea Theater in Manhattan, and Jacqui Lofaro, Executive Director of The Hamptons Take-2 Documentary Film Festival.
All pledges to the Sag Harbor Cinema are tax-deductible, and will be refunded if the Partnership does not meet the campaign goal at the end of the year.
For more information, or to donate, visit www.sagharborcinema.org.