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Sag Harbor Cinema update: $2M pledged to rebuild, Billy Joel shows support

The Sag Harbor Partnership is working to get restoration underway

Photo courtesy of Sunshine Sachs

The Sag Harbor Cinema’s restoration project has received over $2 million in pledges.

The historic cinema was burned in a fire that ripped through Main Street in December, but is being restored and turned into a local arts center by a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Sag Harbor Partnership.

The new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center will do year-round outreach and programming, focusing on cinema tradition.

Many people have shown their support in the restoration project—pledges from Billy Joel, Martin Scorsese, and Harvey Weinstein have been made. The popcorn stand that will be in the cinema is going to be named after Billy Joel in honor of his contribution and support.

The Advisory Board has also taken on some big names, including Anne Chaisson and Julie Andrews.

“I believe in the power of film not only to entertain, but to bring unsung heroes to life, and to change the world around us,” Martin Scorsese said. “This theatre was about art, and the ability for film to inspire people to persevere in the face of adversity.”

The historic building is going to be restored in a way that will maintain its Art-Deco architectural charm, but will have state-of-the-art equipment, including a new sound system. There are also plans to have equipment that will allow digital, 35mm, and even 16mm film to be viewed at high resolution so that the film will be shown in the way that it was intended.

The partnership’s fundraising campaign needs to raise $6 million in donations and pledges by July 1 in order to ensure the project. The total cost of restoration is an estimated $8 million.

If the goal is not reached, all donors will receive a refund and pledges will be canceled.