To see more on current proposed plans, know more about who we are, and how we'll be looking to the future, download this PDF by clicking the above image.
Photo Credit: Laurie Lambrecht
"Roller Coaster" had been playing for eight weeks in Sag Harbor when Gerald Mallow purchased the Sag harbor Theater in 1978. It certainly had not been an "Art House" .
The transformation began with "Madame Rosa", in French with subtitles, starring Simone Signoret. It was so well received by the community that Mr Mallow was encouraged to continue programming foreign and "arthouse" films.
That is when the Sag Harbor Theater became the SH Cinema. – FDM
The Sag Harbor Partnership, after months of fundraising, purchased the Sag Harbor Cinema from its longtime owner, Gerald Mallow, in April 2017.
The Partnership has continued to raise funds from generous donors for the rebuilding of the Cinema, to continue its long tradition of exceptional programming and to expand it to include the formation of a new not-for-profit, the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center (SHCAC). The SHCAC was incorporated as a 501c3 with the state of New York in January, 2018. This group is committed to education, outreach, and programming for all the people of the East End year-round. The rebuilding of the Cinema will save Main Street and the Cinema as its cultural pillar after the terrible devastation suffered in the fire that destroyed the entire front of the Cinema and adjoining buildings on December 16, 2016.
The façade of the Cinema will be rebuilt replicating renowed architect John Eberson’s original, with the iconic “Sag Harbor” sign, which has been kindly kept at Twin Forks Storage, repaired and replaced. However, the theater and equipment to be installed will be new and state-of-the-art.
The Mayor and Village Board of Trustees and other Village officials have offered support in expediting this project.
A little history: An original "save the Cinema" group met back in 2009 to see about buying it when it was then advertised for sale. The concern, then and now, was that a big box store would come into its place, and Main Street would be irrevocably changed. We reassembled again in July 2016, with new input and members, when the Cinema's longtime owner, Gerry Mallow, approached us about wanting to sell the Cinema to someone who would preserve it. The Sag Harbor Partnership, acting as temporary lead agent until a new Cinema-specific not-for-profit could be formed, met with the Cinema committee. A signed contract was anticipated at the end of December when the fire threw everything into disarray, but on April 6, 2017, a contract was finally signed.
The Sag Harbor Partnership closed on the purchase of the Cinema on January 10, 2018, thanks to the superlative support of our generous community.
Part of our mission is historic preservation, and to ensure that our community remains a place of discovery and culture. The restoration of the Cinema as a not-for-profit cultural resource is a vital part of that purpose.
Film writer and curator Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan of the Venice Film Festival and producer Andrew Fierberg, a member of Film Forum’s finance committee and both part of the 2009 cinema group, laid the original vision for what will become a year-round, fully functioning Cinema Arts Center. Its programs are built on the art house tradition established by Mallow to be integrated with a rich variety of retrospective programs of international cinema, as well as educational initiatives tailored to local schools and the local community, and designed to take full advantage of the wealth of artists and filmmakers here. "The Cinema Arts Center will provide an opportunity to draw on the talents and experiences of an ever-expanding year-round community on the East End” said Susan Lacy, filmmaker and creator of the American Masters series on PBS. We have already begun programming for our community with the American Values Series, currently in production at various venues on the East End.
Plans include the division of the original large, 480-seat theater into two, while preserving the wonderful "big screen" experience of its former glory, with the second theater acting as a more intimate repertory theater. A smaller 40 seat screening room, doubling as a classroom, will be on the second floor, and a third floor is being constructed which will further expand possibilities. Award-winning architect Allen Kopelson of NK Architects began his brilliant design pro bono, like all the other work done by our group, and was subsequently officially hired after the job was bid. Another renovation and revenue plus will be a locally sourced cafe downstairs to satisfy hungry patrons and passers-by. Our construction company is ConRac and we are seeing almost daily construction advancements.
All contributions to the purchase and rebuilding of the Cinema are tax-deductible.
Thank you for your continued support for this exciting endeavor!
A film by Rich Ficara and Nick Gazzolo, with the participation of many of our Board Members.