There is a new performance space Up-Island as the old Westbury Theater has had life breathed back into it with a major renovation that has transformed it into The Space at Westbury
Located in the heart of Westbury this once proud lady was built in 1927 as a single screen movie theater during the birth of the new emerging art form that was to sweep the nation...film! The Westbury Theater flourished through the 1970s, but the onslaught of multi-plexs soon made this classic movie house obsolete forcing its closure. Abandoned for years and fallen into graffiti covered disrepair, she was slated for demolition.
Enter Cyrus Hakakian and his Lowe Properties partners eight years ago with a vision to save the Westbury Theater by bringing it into the 21st Century. After eight long years of a labor of love, the Westbury Theater has been turned into a state-of-the-art performance venue and re-named The Space at Westbury.
The new theater officially opened last week with a dignitary filled celebration on September 17th. Hakakian officially cut the ribbon with Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, welcoming the first audience into the theater for a spectacular light and sound show that demonstrated the facility's unique capabilities for the presentation of music, theater, dance, film and family programs, as well as, special events of all types from weddings to fundraisers.
The interior of The Space at Westbury during the opening ceremony lighting demonstration. (Photo: Rob Rich)
In remarks to the distinguished crowd, Hakakian thanked Peter Cavallaro, for his unflagging support of the project and Edward Mangano and Tom Suozzi, former Nassau County Executive, Mr. Ernie Strada, former Mayor of Westbury, Richard Nicolello, Deputy Presiding Officer, Nassau County Legislature, Legislator Robert Troiano and Senator Jack Martins for their recognition of the role the showplace will have in the revitalization of downtown Westbury. Following remarks by a number of dignitaries including Eric Alexander of Vision Long Island, Bruce Michael
introduced Jim Glancy, partner in The Bowery Presents, one of the country's premiere entertainment promoters to speak about upcoming musical acts The Bowery Presents will showcase in the stunning new venue including legendary performers like Rickie Lee Jones
, Soul Asylum and Dr. John, to name but a few.
Among the guests marveling at the sound & light demonstration were Assemblyman Michael Montesano of the 15th District, Legislator Robert Troiano, Councilman Tom Dwyer, North Hempstead, Councilwoman Viviana Russell , Jerry Kremer, founder and Chairman of Empire Government Strategies, Aviva Miller, Festival Director and Executive Producer at Gold Coast International Film Festival
, Dawn Blinn, Executive Director Westbury BID, Annie Hurst-Smith
, Greater Westbury Council for the Arts, Ned Gaudette, Marketing Specialist, Venues and National Tours | Ticketmaster, Carrie Phillips, Ticketmaster Client Development Director and Jim Glancy and his team from The Bowery Presents including John Moore, Anthony Makes, Hal Gould and Jaime Roberts.
Real estate development at its best as private enterprise along with civic leadership worked together to not only save a grand and historic art venue, but to revitalize a downtown. Yes, The Space at Westbury has accomplished both thanks to Cyrus Hakakian and his Lowe Properties partners.
Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro and Cyrus Hakakian of Lowe Properties with local officials and cultural leaders. (Photo: Rob Rich)
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Frequently mistaken for the "Most Interesting Man in the World" from the Dos Equis commercials and the iconic gray-bearded Sean Connery, DMH is the Senior Contributing Editor at Hamptons.com. www.hamptons.com