Not Quite There, Partnership Proceeds With Plans to Buy Cinema

Trisha Burke, Matt Lauer, Lisa Schiffter Greenberg, and Christie Brinkley attended a June benefit for the Sag Harbor Cinema at Le Bilboquet in Sag Harbor, one of many events planned to raise money for the project. Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com

Those marking off the pages of their calendars in anticipation of the self-imposed July 1 deadline for meeting a $6 million goal of the Sag Harbor Partnership to purchase the Sag Harbor Cinema property, can rest easy.

“The point of our goal was to gauge community support and it is abundantly there!” said April Gornik on Friday.

After meeting close to 75 percent of its goal, or about $4.5 million, Ms. Gornik, who is on the board of the partnership, said its members had decided to go forward with the contract with the intention of rebuilding the cinema as both a film screening and community space. 

In addition, Ms. Gornik said that there were several substantial pledges expected and several summer benefit events planned, including the Big Tent: Party for the Cinema on July 16 at Long Wharf. Major donors for the project already include Eric Fischl, Billy Joel, and Andy Cohen.

The partnership will go into contract with Gerry Mallow, the longtime owner of the property, as of July 5 with the balance of a $1 million dollar down payment. A $100,000 retainer was already paid to Mr. Mallow. 

The closing date for the contract will be Dec. 31. The group will have to have $7 million more by then, otherwise all pledges will be cancelled and the donations will be returned. Once the sale closes, work on rebuilding can begin.

 “We are excited for this next stage of the campaign. The number of people who join the effort every week is inspiring. There's a lot of work to be done, but we have every confidence that the support is there to raise the additional funds by December to secure the purchase of the historic Sag Harbor Cinema,” Ms. Gornik and Nick Gazzolo, who is president of the group, said in a statement.