The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center launches construction with fanfare with a groundbreaking ceremony set for Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 2 p.m. in front of the building in Sag Harbor Village, NY. Set in the center of Main Street at 90 Main, a vibrant turnout is expected by the community and government officials including New York State Legislator Bridget Fleming, New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Sag Harbor Mayor Sandra Schroeder, East End Town Supervisors and others.

The ceremony draws attention to the beginning of construction, which launches by replacing the front of the building and the foundation work, according to Sag Harbor Partnership (SHP) who owns the building. The movie theater was devastated in a fire on December 16, 2016 and was purchased by SHP after 16 months of fundraising in early January 2017 for $8 million. The renovation cost is currently estimated at $6 million, according to SHP.

“It’s so thrilling to actually start the building process," stated April Gornik, the Sag Harbor Partnership Vice President and Cinema Campaign Chair, in the announcement. "We love the metaphor that a new foundation represents!”

Assemblyman Fred Thiele stated, "With the groundbreaking for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, another milestone has been reached in the community effort to restore and revitalize our Village's beloved movie theater. The partnership is raising our cinema from the ashes to new heights by restoring the best of the old, while providing us with a future filled with new cultural opportunities for Sag Harbor and residents across the East End. This project represents not just an enrichment of the arts and culture that are a cornerstone of the Sag Harbor community, but also a vital part of an economic development and job creation strategy which depends on a vibrant downtown. Every Sag Harbor business will benefit from the project."

Award-winning architect Allen Kopelson of NK Architects of New York City and New Jersey and Racanelli Construction of Melville, NY on Long Island, were selected for the renovation project after SHP received several bids, according to the group. The foundation is expected to be completed by July 1, 2018 with work continuing from the back of the building, according to SHP. The existing theater infrastructure will be used for staging and storage.

Mr. Kopelson shared his enthusiasm for the project and stated in the announcement, “We are reviving the spirit of the old cinema and making it into a state of the art cinematheque. There is tremendous passion from everyone involved with the project.”

SHP has a goal of raising $3 million before July 1, 2018 with $1.5 million raised so far, the organization offered. A big push revolves around its upcoming benefit: Big Tent: Party for the Cinema to be held July 8, 2018 on the Long Wharf in Sag Harbor, NY. Grant writing and efforts to encourage private donations continue to meet this goal and the next ones.

Plans call for the construction to be completed by Summer 2019. For details and to donate, visit www.sagharborpartnership.org.

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Sag Harbor Cinema before destroyed by fire in December 2016.

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BASIC FACTS: The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center begins construction for its transformation with the goal of finishing the project by Summer 2019. The movie theater is located at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor, NY and is currently owned by the Sag Harbor Partnership, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the theater and transforming it into the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center (SHCAC). Click here for details and to discover more.

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