Celebrating Film in Sag Harbor

An homage to a century of cinema on Main Street
Inside the projection booth at the old Sag Harbor Cinema. Michael Heller

“Sag Harbor: 100 Years of Film in the Village,” an homage to a century of cinema on Main Street, came out on Tuesday. Written by Annette Hinkle, former associate editor of The Sag Harbor Express and currently the community news editor of The Shelter Island Reporter, the book traces the theater’s history from the silent era to its nearly four-decade tenure as the last independent, single-screen theater on the East End. 

The book is filled with vintage photographs, recollections and testimonials by village residents, and fascinating details about films shown there and the people who made it possible. In her introduction, Ms. Hinkle writes, “The beautiful thing about the theater was that for the eight decades it stood, it remained the same. As the world beyond transformed, grew, suffered, went to war and became jaded, within those four walls life appeared to remain a perpetual constant.”

In his foreword, the novelist and essayist Jay McInerney writes, “For as long as any of us could remember, the big red letters floating above Main Street on the white facade of the cinema situated us and grounded us, reminding us, if perhaps we’d had one too many at the bar in the American Hotel, across the street, of just where we were: SAG HARBOR.”

A book launch will be held at Sylvester & Co. in Sag Harbor on July 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Copies of the $35 hardcover will be in local bookstores and other locations — Naturopathica in East Hampton, Marders in Bridgehampton, and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill among them, according to Ms. Hinkle — by the end of this week. A portion of the proceeds from sales will be donated to the Sag Harbor Partnership’s campaign to rebuild the cinema, and Ms. Hinkle will have a table at the partnership’s Party Under the Tent on Long Wharf on July 16.