ESD Announces Groundbreaking of Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center

Historic Cinema Destroyed by Fire in 2016 To Be Restored as New Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center

June 16, 2018

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the groundbreaking of the new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, the restoration of the historic Sag Harbor Cinema partially destroyed by a fire in December 2016. The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, endorsed by the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC), will serve as a year-round, multi-use center for film arts, film history, and education upon completion in 2020.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said: “The Sag Harbor Cinema’s upcoming restoration furthers Empire State Development’s commitment to economic development strategies that help build  communities where New Yorkers want to live, work and play. This $1.4 million grant helps ensure that visitors and residents from across Long Island can experience the unique cultural resources Sag Harbor has to offer.”

The new Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center was awarded a $1.4 million grant through Round VII of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative. The Sag Harbor Partnership, which acquired the property at 90 Main Street, will commit $13 million to transform the property into a vibrant cultural destination on Long Island that will create six new jobs. The new facility will feature the cinema’s original façade and the original, iconic ‘Sag Harbor’ neon sign.

Sag Harbor Partnership President Nick Gazzolo said: "As our name suggests, we believe in the power of partnership. ESD has been a great partner for this ambitious project. I can honestly say that the Sag Harbor Partnership would not be moving forward with the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center without their substantial support. We are beyond grateful!"

As part of Round VII of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative, the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC) was awarded $84.3 million for 98 projects as one of five regional Top Performers. After seven rounds of the Regional Council initiative, the Long Island Region has received $570.8 million in state resources to support 688 projects across the region.  

LIREDC Co-Chairs, Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz and Long Island Association President Kevin Law, said: “The LIREDC is proud to support projects that add to the cultural fabric of Long island. The Sag Harbor Cinema was an important piece of local history, and we’re so pleased to be a part of its rebirth as the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center.”

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo's approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
After seven rounds of the REDC process, more than $5.4 billion has been awarded to more than 6,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each regions strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 220,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

About Empire State Development
Empire State Development is New York’s chief economic development agency ( The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, please visit and



Amy Varghese | [email protected] | 212-803-3740
ESD Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313