Why was the price of the Cinema $8M?
The last public asking price for the Cinema was $14M, listed with Brown Harris Stevens. The Cinema was appraised before the fire at $8M. The building across the street is now listed at $12.5M. The Capitol One building that sold across the street was sold for over $5M. It has less than half the square footage and less Main St frontage. It’s hard to determine how much, to a developer, a building like the Cinema, potentially combined with the Compass building, for instance, might be worth. To a big box or luxury brand store, a $12M purchase could be a valuable lost leader right in the center of Main Street in the most popular village in the Hamptons. This is one reason we jumped on the contract as soon as we were able to finalize it, which took almost 9 months. The seller is keeping the insurance money, which was a condition of sale.
How about the sign and the façade?
The Cinema will be rebuilt as exactly as possible as it had been, and the sign, which was saved but badly damaged, will be replaced. The iconic art deco facade and entrance will be rebuilt and the interior will also remain true to its art deco past.
How much is rebuilding going to cost?
We estimate the rebuild will be $5-6M, and we have budgeted $800,000 for contingencies, included. We also anticipate getting help from the community in the form of building material donated (all new seat coverings are already donated, and the sign is being repaired for free, thanks to Elizabeth Dow and John Battle) and we have spoken to Town, County, and State officials about grant money that is available, which could be considerable once we have closed on the property.
How can you make it sustainable?
The main theater will still have that classic big-screen Cinema experience. The theater had 480 seats, and we will shorten it to an approximately 200-250 seat room for the “big screen” theater. Behind it will be room for an approximately 150-seat theater. On the 2nd floor where the upper floor of the art gallery was will be a 40-seat screening room. This will enable us to have multiple showings at many hours, be able to rent out the screening room, which will double as a classroom, and permit us to do film experiences for all age groups, all year round. For instance, we will be able to do screenings of Japanese Anime films for teenagers, cartoon festivals for kids, senior screenings of classics in the afternoon, even Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight!
Cinemas that show “art house” type movies are becoming increasingly popular. For instance, the Metrograph in NYC has become profitable, and the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village has reopened. Cinema is the new vinyl!
In addition, we will lease the ground floor space to the south, formerly an art gallery, to become a locally-sourced café.
And what about a concession stand?
We’ll still have a popcorn stand, of course! Now named in honor of Billy Joel's contribution.
What’s the new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center?
The Sag Harbor Partnership is taking the lead on this project because we are already a 501c3 not for profit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center has received its designation as a New York not for profit corporation. An application for a 501c3 designation has been filed with the IRS and we are awaiting approval, and it will take over the running of the Sag Harbor Cinema. We will find an executive director, artistic director, and possibly education director. We will also need to hire a projectionist and ticket vendor.
What’s so special about the Sag Harbor Cinema as a new “art house”?
What will distinguish the Sag Harbor Cinema, and indeed put it on the international map, is that we will be able to show films as they were originally intended, satisfying casual moviegoers and savvy cinephiles alike. We will be able to project even the most precious archival prints, and in a way that honors the filmmaker's vision. We have used the expert advice of the renowned projection and sound specialist firm Digital Media System, among whose clients are the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the Museum of the Moving Image, Sikelia Productions and film studios such as Twentieth Century Fox and Dreamworks. Digital Media System will also produce an entirely new sound system for us. Once the renovation is completed the SHCAC will be able to provide state of the art digital projection as well as dual 35mm projection (as per FIAF guidelines) and even 16mm. We will offer, but are not limited to:
• 4K Digital Cinema Projection (with 3D)
• Dolby ATMOS Cinema Sound System
• 35mm Change-Over Projection
• 16mm Change-Over Projection
• 4K Digital Cinema Projection (no 3D)
• 7.1 Cinema Sound System
• 2K Digital Cinema Projection (no 3D)
• 7.1 Cinema Sound System
Few art houses the world over offer this kind of complete cinematic experience.
Have you thought of naming rights to raise funds?
YES! We have several donor levels available:
Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center: $6,000,000
Main Theater: $3,000,000
Repertory Theater: $2,000,000 * NAMED
Screening Room Theater: $1,000,000
Grand Staircase: $500,000
Rooftop Terrace: $500,000
Popcorn Stand: $500,000 – NAMED
Main Lobby Gallery: $400,000
Ticket Booth: $250,000 – RESERVED
Screening Room Gallery: $200,000
Men's Main Floor Restroom: $100,000– NAMED
Women's Main Floor Restroom: $100,000– NAMED
Director's Office: $75,000
Projection Booth: $50,000
Men's 2nd Floor Restroom: $50,000
Women's 2nd Floor Restroom: $50,000
Water Fountain Main Floor: $50,000
Water Fountain 2nd Floor: $25,000
Restored Seats: $5,000 per seat
TERRANCE ENTRANCE FLOOR:
Names to be inset in concentric circles that bisect the terrazzo entrance outside and inside Cinema. $50,000 per name.
Large plaque that will be on the east wall opposite the Repertory Theater. Font sizes will emphasize level of donation.
All donations at and above $500, unless donor prefers to remain anonymous, will be listed.
In addition, donations can be made as recurring or one-time, and pledges over $10,000 can be made over a multi-year time period. We are also looking to name programming series for contributors.
How will you impact the other cultural organizations out here?
The Cinema Arts Center hopes to forge partnerships with local schools, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders to engage in education, outreach, and community development
programs. For example:
• Working with local students and teachers to create afternoon film programs that complement their curriculums
• Calling upon area experts to introduce screenings and educate audiences
• Hosting free screenings for schools and community groups
• Developing filmmaking and cinema appreciation courses
• Cross-promoting fellow creative organizations’ programs
Will you offer other entertainment, like stage performances?
No, we are committed to being a CINEMA ARTS center. There is plenty of theatrical activity available under that description!
How will you be an educational facility?
We are lucky to have an award-winning public school here in Sag Harbor that excels in both the arts and sciences. We will be able to offer courses, lectures, and symposia to children about film history and comprehension, courses on making films (on iPhones, of course!) as well as adult education, film discussion groups, etc. etc. and we will work with all schools on the East End to broaden students' cultural exposure and education.
The Sag Harbor Cinema will be a venue for the most important film events in the area, such as film premieres and sneak previews, and will provide an additional venue for existing Film Festivals. We will celebrate the history as well as the art of film.