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Sag Harbor Cinema Honors First Responders Who Battled Devastating 2016 Fire

Nicole Barylski

The aftermath. (Photo: Michael Heller)

Four years ago to the date, on a frigid, blustery morning, the Sag Harbor Fire Department and the 16 surrounding departments responded to a call on Sag Harbor's Main Street. For hours, they bravely battled a fire that devastated the Sag Harbor Cinema (SHC) and several surrounding businesses.

To honor those heroic first responders and the rebuilding of the Main Street staple, Sag Harbor Cinema has released a 5-minute-long documentary featuring firefighters who were present on that fateful day. Our Own Main Street Fire delves into the firefighters' hopes for the future of the iconic theater, as well as the brutal conditions they faced on the coldest day of the year in 2016.

"Without the efforts of all of the East End fire departments that responded to the call on 12/16/2020, there would have been no cinema to rebuild--let alone a downtown Sag Harbor!" Sag Harbor Cinema Executive Director Jamie Hook noted. "We hope this small video reminds the community of Sag Harbor of their heroic volunteer efforts, and acts as a thank you for your continuing patience as our opening plans change with the circumstances. We look forward to the day that we can reopen our doors to members of the community and guests of our great village when it is safe to do so."

Sag Harbor resident Sam Hamilton shot the short, which was produced by Hook. The film includes interviews from former Sag Harbor Fire Department Chefs Tom Gardella and Bruce Schiavoni and others, photos from local photographer and firefighter Michael Heller, and a score by Oscar-nominated composer and Amagansett Fire Department volunteer Carter Burwell.

Click here to view Our Own Main Street Fire.

Hamilton also directed and edited SHC's Cinema Minutes, a special selection of Christmas movie scenes that will premiere on Thursday, December 17. Curated and introduced by Artistic Director Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan, the holiday-themed Cinema Minutes can be seen either online or in the outdoor and indoor digital poster vitrines of the SHC Café. Julian Alvarez served as director of photography.

"Christmas has such a great cinematic tradition and we were hoping to be open by now... Given that we cannot yet welcome the public in our three theaters, this little selection of scenes is as close as I can think of to programming a mini-retrospective," D'Agnolo Vallan said. "I mixed classics with less obvious titles, old and new, sweet and naughty, the uplifting and the ridiculous. They are all movies I love. I hope our audience will cherish the idea of us bringing attention to a scene as an opportunity to revisit the entire film."

Sag Harbor Cinema is located at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit www.sagharborcinema.org.


Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski




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