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Jun 13, 2018 10:57 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Construction To Start On Sag Harbor Cinema Art Center This Saturday

The original Sag Harbor Cinema. PRESS FILE
Jun 13, 2018 11:14 AM

The Sag Harbor Partnership announced on Tuesday that it will break ground for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center on Saturday, June 16, at 2 p.m.

“It’s so thrilling to actually start the building process,” April Gornik, vice president of the partnership, said in the announcement. “We love the metaphor that a new foundation represents.”

This will be the start of the construction process for a new not-for-profit community center with two movie screening rooms on the first floor for showing new releases, along with a cafe, as well as a second-floor 49-seat screening room for special events.

The cinema building was severely damaged in a fire 18 months ago, and the partnership closed on the purchase of the property at 90 Main Street in January after spending the previous year raising the $8 million needed to buy it from former owner Gerald Mallow.

The partnership had the new goal of $3 million to raise before July 1 to start construction but has decided to start work with the $1.5 million it has raised so far. According to the release, the decision was made to complete the foundation work before July 1 to avoid disturbing the neighboring retail stores on Main Street during the busy summer season. If the work is completed before July 1, construction will then move to the back of the building to divide the existing screening room into two screenings rooms and set up an area for storage.

Allen Kopelson of NK Architects was chosen to design the cinema arts center, which received site plan approval from the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board in March.

“We are reviving the spirit of the old cinema and making it into a state-of-the-art cinematheque,” Mr. Kopelson said in the announcement. “There is tremendous passion from everyone involved with the project.”

The entire construction is estimated to cost between $5 million and $6 million, with the partnership continuing to hold fundraisers to pay for the work. One will be The Big Tent: Party for the Cinema, on Sunday, July 8, at Long Wharf, which will include an art auction.

In the meantime, the partnership will host a public ceremony on Saturday at 2 p.m. with guests including Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming and State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr.

“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,” Mr. Thiele said in the announcement.”

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