Editorial: A Beautiful Friendship
The Sag Harbor Partnership this week announced it had received a big boost in the form of financial support from musical icon Billy Joel — a part time resident of the village — in its bid to purchase and rebuild the Sag Harbor Cinema. Mr. Joel, a longtime supporter of the arts and arts in education, deserves kudos for not only offering a substantial donation, but also for putting his name behind the project. For those who have gotten to know Mr. Joel during his many years in Sag Harbor, this generosity of spirit is not surprising, but still much appreciated by residents and business owners who have had to stare down a blackened alleyway in the heart of Main Street for five months now.
The partnership also revealed this week it has received support from legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, whose team helped in the design phase of the proposed new cinema arts center. Harvey Weinstein, who is credited with discovering emerging talent in the form of writers, actors, and directors and translating those discoveries into films, independent and otherwise, that found critical and commercial success — is also on board with the cinema project.
This is all coupled with the partnership’s increasingly impressive advisory board, whose mission is to create one of several important cultural institutions on the South Fork intended to partner with, and not compete against, institutions like Guild Hall, the Hamptons International Film Festival and Bay Street Theater.
The momentum is there, and with $2.25 million already pledged, the money is starting to come in at a rate that makes this dream seem closer to a reality. That said, with over $3 million yet to raise, those connected to Sag Harbor, to its business community, to the arts, to the vista we all miss driving down Main Street, need to show their support any way they can.
We can’t all be the Piano Man, that is certain, but like him we can do what we can to bring back a part of Main Street that feels hollow without its cinema.