The resurrected Sag Harbor Cinema will include a bar where ticketholders can order drinks before a movie or during intermission.
The Sag Harbor Village Planning Board gave the bar the green light at its Tuesday, June 23, virtual meeting, when board members unanimously voted to approve a revision to the cinema’s site plan. The original site plan had called for an office in the space where the bar will now go instead.
Sag Harbor Cinema officials pitched the bar in February in anticipation of having a soft opening at the end of March and a grand opening in April. The COVID-19 pandemic put opening plans on hold, and the Planning Board had canceled two monthly meetings for the same reason.
At the February Planning Board meeting, Sag Harbor Cinema attorney Christopher Kelley called the third-floor area a “flex space” that would be used for educational purposes and fundraising events in addition to a bar and concession stand.
At this month’s meeting, Planning Board member Larry Perrine noted that many modern theaters have a bar as an amenity.
“Even Bay Street Theater has, essentially, a bar, and it has multiple uses, and I think it is all positive and we should support it,” Mr. Perrine said.
Board member Neil Slevin assuaged concerns that the cinema bar area would attract large numbers of bargoers who aren’t there to see a movie.
“You’d be hard-pressed to get me to pay a $15 cover charge — which is essentially what the cost of the ticket would be — for the privilege of going in there and having a beer,” Mr. Slevin said. “I’d far rather go to the Corner Bar. That’s not what it’s going to be used for. It’s really, really a fantasy that people are going to be hanging around there, so I don’t see any problems with this.”
April Gornik, the North Haven artist who has led the movement to rebuild the cinema after a 2016 fire and reenvision it as a nonprofit institution, praised the decision.
“I’d really like to thank you all so much because I think this will make a huge difference in our sustainability,” she told the board.