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Sag Harbor Cinema Reaches Fundraising Goal With Pledges From Leonardo DiCaprio, Sarah Jessica Parker, And Matthew Broderick

Nicole Barylski

A schematic of rebuilt Cinema. (Photo courtesy of NK Architects and Croxton Creative Architects)

Nearly one year after the tragic fire on Main Street in Sag Harbor that left the Sag Harbor Cinema in despair and impacted four businesses and several apartments, the Sag Harbor Partnership and the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center (SHCAC) has announced that it has met its fundraising goal, allowing the Partnership to move forward with the purchase of the cinema. Through numerous events and fundraising campaigns, the Partnership has raised just under $8 million.

"We are ecstatic that our efforts over the last year have helped us meet our funding goal to save the Cinema," said April Gornik, Vice President of the Sag Harbor Partnership and Chair of the SHCAC. "This was truly the work of an incredible community of people with a common goal."

A $1.4 million state grant and an anonymous $500,000 donation helped the Partnership reach its goal a few weeks before its deadline. "We want to thank all of our local elected officials who have been supportive of the cinema effort," added Nick Gazzolo, President of the Sag Harbor Partnership. "This grant helps us ring the bell to close on the property right before the anniversary of the fire. Their support was very important in
making this possible."

In addition to donations from Billy Joel (who will have a popcorn stand named after him at the Cinema), Julie Andrews, Martin Scorsese, and many other notable names, it was also recently revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, and Darren Star also pledged to the cause.

"We also extend a huge thank you to Leo, Sarah, Matthew and Darren for their support as we rebuild the Cinema to bring independent film back to Main Street," Gornik shared.

Once finished, cinemagoers will experience state-of-the-art equipment, a new sound system, and projection ratios and equipment that allow the Cinema to present films digitally, in 35mm, and 16mm with remarkable resolution. Renowed architect John Eberson's original façade will be rebuilt and the beloved "Sag Harbor" sign, which is being stored at Twin Forks Storage, will once again take center stage on Main Street. The main theater will offer approximately 250 seats and a second theater with 150 seats will be featured on the same floor. Additionally, a more intimate 30 seat screening room, that can also serve as a classroom, will be offered on the second floor.

The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center recently launched its new American Values Film Series, "an exciting and provocative film exploration of the diverse and enduring ideas that have shaped our country and its people, transcend our current political climate, and continue to inspire us today." After each free screening, a special guest will discuss the featured film. December will feature Bloody Hall with filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and Toy Story with Academy Award nominated screenwriter Alec Sokolow. January features Casablanca with actress and filmmaker Isabella Rossellini and Chicago with Academy Award nominated director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca. The series continues in February with a film to be determined and artist and director Laurie Anderson. Academy Award winning actor and author Julie Andrews, a Cinema Advisory Board Member, will attend a screening of The Americanization of Emily in March.

Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center has also partnered with LTV and Historic Films Archive for a Monday night film series on LTV (channel 20 in East Hampton). At 8 p.m., "cinematic gem" curated by Joe Lauro of Historic Films Archive will be screened.

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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