On With The Show for the Sag Harbor Cinema

The iconic Sag Harbor Cinema.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and members of the Southampton Town Board are pleased to announce the purchase of a Historic Preservation and Conservation Easement to protect the architectural and aesthetic features of the Sag Harbor Cinema, including its façade and memorable neon sign.

The Community Preservation Fund (CPF) agreed to acquire a restrictive use easement on the property to eliminate commercial development rights and ensure that it be used for community cultural arts purposes. The town also agreed to purchase a facade easement to protect the art deco front face of the building so iconic to the Sag Harbor streetscape. The restrictive use easement was purchased in November, 2018, and the facade easement closed last week. The combined rights provided the community cinema with $4 million toward its redevelopment.

The Sag Harbor Cinema, located on Main Street in the Village of Sag Harbor and within the Historic District, was rebuilt following a devastating fire in December, 2016. This effort through the town’s Community Preservation Fund caps a several-year pursuit to protect the much-loved historic property.

In 2018, the Town of Southampton took action to permanently preserve the cinema’s historic and cultural values, including its use as a cinema arts center for films, lectures and related activities. Under the agreement with the town, Southampton residents will receive movie theatre tickets at a reduced price.

“We could not have rebuilt the cinema nor preserved the historic façade without the support of the Town of Southampton,” said Susan Mead, treasurer of the Sag Cinema Arts Center. “On behalf of the Sag Harbor Cinema, we thank the Supervisor and the Town Board for assisting us in preserving this anchor of our historic and vibrant Main Street.”

The non-profit Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, Inc. now operates the cinema to provide programs and education for all ages. Grand opening festivities originally set for the second weekend in April, have been postponed due to COVID 19. Until the cinema re-opens, first run films and newly restored classics can be viewed on the cinema’s website sagharborcinema.org.