Less than a year after his hiring, and just weeks after the Memorial Day weekend grand opening of the Sag Harbor Cinema, Executive Director Jamie Hook has resigned to “pursue other interests.”
The Sag Harbor Cinema’s board of directors accepted his resignation in an announcement on Sunday.
In a brief interview on Monday, Mr. Hook said the lack of affordable housing played a role in his departure. “I’m back in New York City,” he said. “I can’t afford to live on the East End.” Mr. Hook said he had been living in “a wonderful shack with no running water” and that helped spur his decision to move on.
For the time being, the cinema will operate under the direction of Acting Executive Director Genevieve Villaflor, with Founding Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan continuing in her role.
“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work closely with the unique communities of Sag Harbor, including the village government, the school, and a host of other local cultural institutions,” said Mr. Hook, in a statement issued by the organization. “I was brought on to help reopen this historic cinema for the public, and after a long-awaited journey, I’m so pleased by the work that has been done by our team.
“As I depart to pursue other interests, I have no doubt that the Cinema will continue to thrive under Genevieve’s direction.”
Board President John Alschuler commended Mr. Hook’s work: “We recognize the passion and dedication Mr. Hook brought to the task of opening our brand-new cinema up to the public. We wish him good luck and trust he will remain a friend to the organization.”
Cinema representatives declined requests for interviews.
The cinema remains open for public screenings seven days a week.
Mr. Hook, a filmmaker, producer and nonprofit entrepreneur, replaced Gillian Crozier, the theater’s first executive director, in September 2020. He was called a “superstar candidate” by Mr. Alschuler at the time.
Mr. Hook was the founding director of the Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, where he started in 1995. He also ran the Minnesota-St. Paul International Film Festival and made films including “Vacationland,” with Karen Black, and “The Naked Proof,” with playwright August Wilson in his sole acting role.