Sag Harbor Cinema Plans Approved

A rendering by NK Architects and Croxton Collaborative Architects show the proposed three-story cinema arts building with two theaters, a screening room, and a rooftop deck. NK Architects and Croxton Collaborative Architects

The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center was one step closer to reality this week after the Sag Harbor Village Planning Board approved its building plans on Tuesday evening. The Sag Harbor Board of Historic Preservation and Architectural Review will render its decision, the center’s final hurdle, after a public hearing on April 12. 

The design calls for a three-story structure with two theaters, a screening room, and a rooftop deck. The facade will be rebuilt to match exactly the original movie house, which was destroyed by fire in December of 2016. 

While the vetting process has been underway, the Sag Harbor Partnership, an organization that spearheaded last year’s successful fund-raising effort to buy the property, has been hoping to see construction begin this summer. “We’ve been interviewing contractors and project managers and doing all sorts of due diligence,” said April Gornik, the vice president of the partnership. 

  The group’s goal is to raise $3 million by July, with a yard sale benefit planned for May and a tent party on July 8. Nick Gazzolo, the partnership’s president, said there is now a more upbeat air surrounding their efforts. “It’s less do or die,” he said. “We’re focusing on the fact that this is an amazing thing that we can do for the community.” 

Few residents attended the public hearing before the planning board on Tuesday, but that was interpreted as a strong indicator of support for the center. “I think that was a very good sign,” said Neil Slevin, a planning board member. “If I were the Sag Harbor Cinema, I’d be feeling very, very good about the degree of acceptance from the community.”