Top video shot by Kathryn G. Menu; Bottom footage by Annette Hinkle
At the end of a cold day for Sag Harbor, and after the facade was assessed by two structural engineers and a historic preservationist, the decision was made to demolish the Sag Harbor Cinema on Friday night. The Cinema – easily the most iconic facade on Main Street – was one of several storefronts and apartments damaged in a massive fire that ripped through the village bringing close to 20 fire departments and emergency service crews from across Long Island to Sag Harbor.
“It was just unsafe,” said Mayor Sandra Schroeder on Saturday morning. “We couldn’t risk having it up any longer.”
With pockets of people huddled across the street from the Cinema, the demolition began just after 8:15 p.m. The “Sag Harbor” cinema sign – a replica of the original – was saved, although damaged, with Christopher Denon of Twin Forks Moving & Storage offering to transport and store the sign for owner Gerald Mallow.
The demolition continued Saturday, and was almost complete, according to Sag Harbor Police Chief Austin McGuire, around 12:30 p.m. Only the front portion of the building was torn down – the remainder, including the actual cinema space, is structurally sound, said Chief McGuire.