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"Big Tent: Party For The Cinema" Raises Thousands To Help Build A New Sag Harbor Community Cinema

Sydney A. Braat

The original "Sag" sign from the Cinema was brought to the event as the center piece and served as a touching reminder of the primary purpose for the evening. (Photo: Sydney Braat)

Sag Harbor's Big Tent: Party for the Cinema on Sunday, July 16 was an evening to remember. The number of community members that came to show their appreciation for the Sag Harbor Cinema that burned down in 2016 was astonishing.

Dorothy Frankel, Jane Held, and Gary Bierfriend. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)


Local businesses ranging from Bedell Cellars, The Golden Pear Café, Buddha Berry and dozens more came with their food and drinks to support an incredible cause. The HOODOO Loungers had the crowd singing and dancing the whole evening. The family fun event welcomed children of all ages that were able to enjoy the music, kid-friendly food, and face painting. Located on the Long Wharf, guests of the event were able to enjoy the beautiful summer weather, an exquisite sunset, and great company all for a worthwhile cause.

Annette Hinkle signing copies of her book. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini)

"The enthusiasm and commitment for the Cinema's revival is nothing short of breath taking and inspirational," said Jayne Young, Partnership Board member and head of the volunteer committee.

"The Big Tent Party for the Cinema was the event of the summer," said April Gornik. "Our community came out en masse to celebrate, dance, and revel in seeing the sign lit once again, giving us all hope for going forward with this wonderful endeavor. From the volunteers to the food and drink to the art donated to the Sag Harbor Firemen flipping burgers, the level of sharing, giving and energy was one of the most inspiring things I have ever felt. Truly a team effort!"

In addition to the "Taste of Sag Harbor," there was an "Art for the Cinema Auction" hosted by Paddle8 that made well over $100,000. Nearly 100 artists offered their work for sale and donated a percentage of the proceeds toward saving the beloved community Cinema. Participating galleries included Grenning, Keyes, Monika Olko, Kramoris, Sara Nightingale, and Tulla Booth Galleries. A beautiful seascape by April Gornik sold for $32,000.

The Sag Harbor Partnership (formerly Serve Sag Harbor), the group that helped organize the event, is committed "to the preservation and enhancement of the quality of life in Sag Harbor. They are currently in contract to buy the Sag Harbor Cinema which will house a new not-for-profit, the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center (SHCAC), that is dedicated to "education, outreach, and programming for all the people of the East End, year-round." So far the Partnership has raised $5,000,000 for the purchase and restoration of the Cinema and must raise $8 million overall by December 31, 2017.

Hundreds of community members and visitors of the Hamptons gathered to raise money for the future of the Sag Harbor Cinema. (Photo: Sydney Braat)


Sag Harbor was certainly not defeated by the devastating fire and is committed to raising a better and stronger Cinema for everyone to enjoy. At $5,000,000, with five months of fundraising left, the Partnership is committed to reaching this goal and would appreciate any contributions.

To donate and for more information, visit www.sagharborpartnership.org.


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