Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Cinema Summer

I was recalling my last walk down Main Street before the Cinema fire. I had been admiring the neon sign, as always. Thinking of taking a photo, I reach into my bag for the phone. I stop. How many times will I photograph the same thing? Just look. Observe. Admire. The landmark sign gave me a sense of belonging. My town. My Cinema. My community where I walk to shopping, dinner, church or the movie theater. It is still that community, but we miss our sign, our beacon of home. 
Express-News and Corrector, Thursday May 28, 1936
Annette Hinkle's new book, Sag Harbor, 100 Years of Film in the Village tells the story of Sag Harbor's theater and cinema community. Our Sag Harbor Cinema had its Gala open Wednesday, June 3, 1936 at 8:30 pm. Isn't it funny? I don't think of people in 1936 going to a theater Gala at 8:30 at night on a Wednesday night. I think of them going to bed when the sun goes down because they are up at dawn baking bread or something like that. No, they were out for the evening viewing Shirley Temple as an adorable orphan (of course!) being rescued by a bachelor lighthouse keeper who fights to keep custody of the little angel. They tap dance their way to a happy ending. Hinkle interviews local residents for anecdotes, ransacks photo collections and includes theatrical asides. The book is a gem. I can't wait for Book Two.
Author, Annette Hinkle
Book Signing at Sylvester and Co.
Since the spring we've been in fund raising mode. We have a plan for a new Cinema Arts Center, keeping the classic design and restoring and recreating a better interior. We only need to raise the funds to complete the purchase of the property from the Cinema's owner of 38 years by year's end.
The site is ready. 
Shops are reopening on Main Street.
Matta was the first to reopen followed by Sagtown coffee. Matta hosted a show by artist, Erica Lynn-Huberty of works repurposing salvaged smoke and water "seasoned" fabric from Matta.  Huberty has one of these works in the upcoming Paddle8 Art Auction for the Cinema. It is currently on display at Estia's with 37 other works that have been donated to raise funds for the Cinema.
Since its celebrity appearance at the Big Tent Party, the SIGN has made a few cameo appearances. In the instance below, at a private screening benefit at a private residence. 
photo by April Gornik
During this fundraising process so many people have volunteered their time and given their treasure. This week the Cinema's eBay for Charity auction went live. I am amazed at the VIPs who have donated the gift of their time to raise funds for the Cinema.
Concert tickets with meet and greet with Billy Joel
A tour of the Today Show studios with Matt Lauer 
An hour hitting tennis balls with John McEnroe
Lunch with Morgan Spurlock
Tea for 6 with Julie Andrews
Tickets to Conan in L.A.
A walk-on role in Martin Scorcese's next film
Menu planning with Katie Lee
Lunch and Tour with eBay CEO Devin Wenig 

If this is not enough fabulousness there is a South African Safari and stay in Provence and much MORE to bid on. Do check out the list. So many of the experiences are really priceless. I have my items picked out if I win Powerball tonight ;)
The summer's end will culminate in a Block Party on Sunday, September 10th at Estia's Little Kitchen and live auction of art currently previewing on Paddle8. I'm hoping The Sign will attend.
Block Party Information HERE
All of the drum beating, begging and cajoling for money will end as soon as $8 million is raised or 12/31/17 occurs. Then... I hope.... if the efforts succeeds, we can get the rebuilding started and our Sag Harbor Cinema sign back where it belongs.



  1. It will surely happen!Doesn't Christie Brinkley live there also?Bet she would attract donations also..such a visible figure in the community?Kudos Gail you are doing so much!

    1. Thanks Monique! Christie has definitely helped!

  2. I'm a very big fan of theatre restoration. It cuts me to the quick to see an old theatre torn down when it could be restored. I'm thrilled you have such good support and many high fives to you for all you are doing!


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