Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
– Casablanca, Michael Curitz
A Brief History of the Cinema
Designed by renowned architect John Eberson—one of the great designers of atmospheric theaters—and beckoning moviegoers since the 1930s with its classic art deco neon sign, the original Sag Harbor Cinema stands as a symbol of the progression of 20th-century culture. It began as a vaudeville and burlesque theater in the 1890s, then became a silent movie house that evolved to show talkies, and after its purchase in 1978 became one of the few single-screen arthouse cinemas left in the country, thanks to the stewardship of Gerald Mallow, its owner and programmer for 38 years.
In July 2016, the Sag Harbor Partnership had begun negotiating with Mr. Mallow to purchase the theater and preserve it as a non-profit “art-house” Cinema. But on December 16, 2016, the cinema was partially destroyed by a massive fire that ripped through Sag Harbor’s Main Street, damaging several adjacent buildings. Firefighters from 19 companies courageously stopped the blaze, icicles hanging from their helmets, after hours in extreme conditions.
The theater’s façade and lobby had to be demolished, but its auditorium remained standing and its iconic sign was salvaged from the rubble and repaired, gratis, by community volunteers Chris Denon of North Fork Moving and Storage and sculptor and ironworker John Battle. The fire in December altered negotiations, and the purchase of the Cinema was not finalized until April 2017.
After extensive consultation with successful art-house Cinemas like the Jacob Burns Film Center, the stewards of this volunteer effort by the Sag Harbor Partnership settled on a multiple screen cinema, reconstructed with the help of NK Architects and ConRac Construction Co. with three separate theaters, each with its own character, and with salvaged and replicated historic details to acknowledge its storied history. The original two-story building was also built up to three stories to maximize its potential and help ensure its sustainability.
Because of the Covid pandemic and a nearly six month construction delay, what was projected as the theater’s reopening in April 2020 had to be postponed. The Cinema finally received its Certificate of Occupancy in fall 2020, and its official opening has had to be delayed due to continuing Covid restrictions and health and safety concerns.
Who We Are
Jamie Hook, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Jamie Hook is a filmmaker, a producer, and a non-profit entrepreneur. In 1995, he was the founding director of Seattle’s Northwest Film Forum, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. More recently, he was the director of the Denmark Arts Center, a small rural arts center in Denmark, ME. In between, he produced and directed films (the Naked Proof, Vacationland) and theater (Point Break LIVE!, Beyond Belief), and hybrids (Brand Upon the Brain LIVE!). Mr. Hook likes the films of Ozu best.
Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan has served as U.S. Programmer and Selection Committee member of the Venice Film Festival since 2008. Her retrospectives have been featured at renowned institutions worldwide, including Film Forum, The Metrograph and the Museum of Moving Image in New York, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles, La Cinémathèque Française in Paris, and the Brisbane and Melbourne Film Festivals.
Among her books are monographs devoted to Clint Eastwood, John Carpenter, George Romero, Walter Hill, John Milius, Robert Aldrich, William Friedkin and John Landis. Her last volume, Altman, was published by Abrams Books in 2014. D’Agnolo Vallan covers the most prestigious film festivals and serves on international film juries.
Her involvement in the Sag Harbor Cinema started in 2009. She was responsible, together with producer Andrew Fierberg, for the original proposal that has served as the blue print for the new cinema
Genevieve Villaflor, ASSOCIATE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Throughout her career, Genevieve Villaflor has been involved with film festivals, non-profit organizations, and specialty publicity firms, working in programming, PR, fundraising, special events, and artist support. After college at the University of Virginia, she worked on early editions of the Virginia Film Festival before moving to New York City to start a 15-year tenure at Film at Lincoln Center (then The Film Society of Lincoln Center) during the opening of the Walter Reade Theater. While there, she held positions in PR, programming, and development, starting programs like Independents Night, the Grand Marnier Film Fellowships, and selecting shorts for the New York Film Festival.
Over the years, she served on juries, lectured on film festivals, and attended Rotterdam, Cannes, Toronto, San Francisco, and Sundance – where she was on the Advisory Committee for Features and Documentaries from 1995 -1998. In addition to working at The Hamptons International Film Festival, Film Movement, and Sundance Channel, Genevieve most recently worked at The Gotham where she managed the IFP/HBO New True Stories Funding Initiative, supporting non-fiction projects in the early development stage.
Thierry Balihuta, OPERATIONS MANAGER
Thierry is an amateur photographer hailing from Butare, Rwanda. In 2005, he moved from Houston, TX to Sag Harbor, NY to attend the Ross School. He subsequently attended the University of Maine in Orono, ME and Suffolk Community College in Riverhead, NY. More recently he has worked as the manager of The UPS Store in Sag Harbor while also developing his photography skills. Thierry loves Louis De Funès and Bourvil (the greatest French Comedians), documentaries, and most of all soccer.
Gail Bruesewitz, OFFICE MANAGER
A veteran of the music industry, as Director, National Dance Music Marketing for Columbia Records/SONY Music, Gail worked on the team that launched the careers of recording artists such as George Michael, LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Ranked # 2 in Billboard’s year-end Dance Music Charts for 7 years, she published a newsletter (pre-dating online communication) called “Brueser’s Boogie Backpage,” a kitschy, weekly tome of dance music hype and photos.
Yves Leibowitz, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR
Yves has been in the Movie Theater Industry since early June of 2000 working for theater chains such as United Artists Theaters & Regal Cinemas, starting as an Usher and becoming a 35mm Film Projectionist in 2002. Later, Yves moved up to projecting IMAX 15/70mm Film in 2007 and Digital Cinema in 2011. Running hundreds of titles in multiple formats and working in many multiplexes big & small has given Yves’ wide-ranging knowledge of the movie theater world. Yves has also worked for companies and theaters such as IMAX Corporation, The Maritime Aquarium IMAX, Jacob Burns Film Center and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. He is also a successful YouTuber with thousands of followers & millions of views and a collector of Movie Theater Memorabilia. His favorite movie is a tie between Die Hard(1988) & RoboCop(1987).
Sam Hamilton, COMMUNCATIONS MANAGER
Amelia Garner, PROGRAMMING ASSISTANT
Amelia Garner is the cinema’s programming assistant, working under the artistic direction of Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan. She earned a degree in English Literature and Film Studies from Barnard College. After graduating, Amelia studied 16mm film at London Film Academy. Her experience in film is wide ranging, from working at Hungry Man, a commercial production company in Manhattan, to the costume department of Jessica Jones to editing videos for a subscription based educational program. Along with film, Amelia’s special interests are 18th Century British poetry and prose and surveillance art.
Joe Salerno, CAFE MANAGER
Joe Salerno is the manager of the Cinema Café at Sag Harbor Cinema. Before coming to the cinema, he worked for a number of years in the hospitality business in Manhattan, most recently for Executive Chef David Pasternack and restauranteur Joe Bastianich at Esca in the Theater district. Joe is looking forward to welcoming you to the beautiful new Sag Harbor Cinema. Favorite film: Raging Bull.
Jennifer Hall, FINANCE ASSISTANT
Jennifer Hall is the finance assistant of the Sag Harbor Cinema. She has a bachelor’s degree in accounting, with a concentration in non-profit accounting. Jennifer is local to Sag Harbor, and is very excited to be a part of the Sag Harbor Cinema team.
Sag Harbor Cinema Board
John Alschuler, PRESIDENT
John is the Emeritus Chair of Friends of the High Line, NYC. His work focuses on development finance and revitalization of urban communities. John’s core skills include structuring public-private partnerships, development finance, building parklands, and creating innovative development strategies. His practice is national and international in scope, focusing on large-scale urban transformations and discrete real estate transactions. Since founding the New York office of HR&A in 1984, he has led bold plans for important waterfront developments around the world.
April Gornik, CHAIR
April is an artist and community activist/organizer working with the Sag Harbor Partnership, and is Campaign Chair for the restoration of the Cinema. With artist Eric Fischl, she has co-founded The Church, a new arts and creativity center in Sag Harbor. She has fundraised for local and national causes and believes in the power of art and culture to unite and move a community forward.
Wendy Keys, VICE PRESIDENT
Wendy was Executive Producer/ Programming of the Film Society of Lincoln Center until 2008. For over 30 years she was on the New York Film Festival selection committee, curated film programs at the Walter Reade Theater and produced and directed their annual gala tribute to a major film artist, among whom were Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Clint Eastwood, Mike Nichols and Meryl Streep. Tributes to John Huston and Billy Wilder were aired on PBS on Live from Lincoln Center. At the Walter Reade she directed many retrospectives of actors and directors and organized a variety of thematic series. Ms Keys produced and directed Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight and All Aboard, a film for the Friends of the High Line. She is a Director Emeritus of Human Rights Watch, and from 1969-2003 was a board member and film programmer for the International Design Conference in Aspen. She currently sits on the boards of the High Line and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Susan Mead, TREASURER
Susan served as a partner in a major US law firm for many years with the highest ABA rating. She has served on many not-for-profits as an officer and/or board member, such as the Dallas Fine Arts Museum, Dallas Arboretum and Downtown Dallas Association. Since relocating to Sag Harbor, she has been a founding member of Save Sag Harbor, the Sag Harbor Partnership and the Sag Harbor Cinema.
Hilary Mills Loomis, SECRETARY
Hilary is the author of Mailer: A Biography. She is a former syndicated book columnist, and her non-fiction work has appeared in Vanity Fair and other national magazines. Her fiction has appeared in Southampton Review and Manhattan Magazine. She is currently the co-Director of Save Sag Harbor and a founding member of the Sag Harbor Partnership and the Sag Harbor Cinema.
Bill Collage, EDUCATION CHAIR
Bill is a screenwriter who lives and works full-time in Sag Harbor. He has worked on more than 50 projects for major studios, with produced credits totaling over a billion dollars in worldwide box office. His films include Assassins Creed, Allegient, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Transporter Refuelled, Tower Heist Accepted, and many more. His next project is the feature film Emancipation for Apple, starring Will Smith and directed by Antoine Fuqua.
Ryan Greenawalt, DEVELOPMENT CHAIR
Ryan joined the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center board in December 2020, where he serves on the executive committee as Development Chair. He also currently Co-Chairs the Board of Trustees for the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) – where he has served since 2011. He is a managing director at Ramirez & Co., where in 2013 he started to build an investment bond trading and sales business for the firm. Ramirez is one of the oldest Hispanic/family-owned firms on Wall Street.
After attending the New York Film Academy in 2011, Mr. Greenawalt founded Harrison Street Productions, a film production company based in Los Angeles. He served as executive producer on Codebreaker, a documentary about British mathematician Alan Turing, which aired globally on broadcast and cable TV networks. In 2013, he helped produce the documentary, The Battle of amfAR, which aired on HBO and tells the story of Dr. Mathilde Krim and Hollywood superstar Elizabeth Taylor joining forces to start the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) in 1985.
Philip I. Kent, GOVERNANCE CHAIR
Phil Kent served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. from 2003 until 2013. He was a resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School during the 2014 Fall semester, as well as a 2016 Advanced Leadership Fellow. As CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Mr. Kent oversaw all of Turner’s domestic and international news and entertainment businesses including CNN, TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network, among others. Before joining Turner, Mr. Kent was a television packaging agent at Creative Artists Agency. He has served as Chair of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center, The Advertising Council and The Atlanta Committee for Progress, and currently serves on the advisory board of The Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School, The Center for Disease Control Foundation Board, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Board, the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, and is currently vice-chair of The Better Angels Society, an adivsory board led by filmmaker Ken Burns, for which he is leading education and community outreach efforts.
Susan Lacy, ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR
Susan created the celebrated PBS series, American Masters and served as its executive producer for 29 years. She then formed Pentimento Productions. Under an HBO exclusive, multiyear production contract, she has completed films about Steven Spielberg, Jane Fonda and Ralph Lauren. Under her leadership, American Masters earned a record 71 Emmy nominations and 28 wins, 12 Peabodys, 3 Grammys, 2 Oscars, and a host of other awards, including the Producers Guild award for best documentary series for three consecutive years. The multi–award-winning films she has directed include subjects as diverse as Leonard Bernstein, David Geffen, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Lena Horne, Rod Serling, and Judy Garland.
Diana has published extensively on the subject of mental health and the application of psychoanalytic concepts to understanding film narratives. She is a professor of Clinical Psychology in the City University of New York, adjunct assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and is on the faculty of NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute.
Andrew has produced more than 40 independent films, including his most recent, Laurie Simmons’s My Art, and is the executive producer on the second season of the Girlfriend Experience. Andrew sits on the Finance Committee of Film Forum, as well as on the Board of Advisors of BOMB Magazine and the Storefront for Art and Architecture. He is also an associate at Harvard University’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. He was the media producer for the American Pavilion at the 2014 Architecture Biennale in Venice.
John is a media executive with over 20 years of experience working at the crossroads of entertainment, brands and culture. He is currently the founder of Prizefighter, a boutique entertainment consultancy, and a partner at Alldayeveryday, an award-winning, full-service entertainment production and branding company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Portland and Tokyo. Previously, he spent a decade as an agent at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). He is a recent transplant to Sag Harbor and loves movies.
Jennifer L. Morgan
Honorary & Advisory Board
Carter has composed the music for a number of feature films, including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller’s Crossing, Gods and Monsters, Fargo, Being John Malkovich, Before Night Falls, Adaptation, In Bruges, Twilight, Anomalisa, and True Grit. In 2015 he was nominated for an Academy Award for the score to Carol. He’s on the Honorary Board of the Hamptons Film Festival and is a member of the Amagansett Volunteer Fire Department.
Linda Leroy Janklow
Linda Janklow is a Founding Trustee of the Museum of the Moving Image, Founding Chairman of ArtsConnection, the largest and most comprehensive arts education organization in New York City. She is Chairman Emeritus of Lincoln Center Theater, having served as Chairman for 12 years and a member of the Executive committee since 1979.
Katie, a 16-year Hamptons resident, is the Emmy nominated co-host of Food Network’s hit show The Kitchen and the host of Cooking Channel’s Beach Bites with KAtie Lee. She is the author of three cookbooks, most recently the Endless Summer Cookbook, which is largely inspired by the food of the East End, and the novel. Groundswell. Outside of her culinary and literary adventures, Katie sits on the board of the Food Bank for New York City.
Myrna is a writer and editorial consultant, working closely with artists, architects, designers, cultural institutions and entrepreneurs on promotional projects, exhibitions and books. She is Executive Director Emerita of the Art Directors Club, a graduate of Barnard College, and was founding co-chair of the Sag Harbor Preservation Commission in the early 1970’s which gained landmark status for the historic village. She serves on the boards of Save Sag Harbor and the School Art League in New York.
Gina Bruer Hadley
Emma Walton Hamilton
Joe is an archivist and filmmaker who has produced and directed over 15 music documentaries the most recent beingThe Big Beat: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock and Roll. He is the CEO of Historic Film Archive, a commercial archive specializing in the preservation and licensing of vintage music performances and Americana. Joe is on the board of directors of the Sag Harbor American Music Fesitval and a musician who performs regularly with his band, The HooDoo Loungers.
Don is an award-winning documentary director/cameraman best known for his cinema verité work on films covering a wide range of cultural and social subjects. His credits as a cinematographer appear on five academy award-winning feature documentaries: Woodstock, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancing, Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, The Long Way Home, and Into the Arms of Strangers. He has worked on numerous documentaries for Public Television including Georgie O’Keefe: A Portrait, De Kooning on De Kooning Vladimir Horovitz: The Last Romantic, and James Baldwin: The Price of a Ticket Among the theatrically distributed documentaries he worked on are The Greatful Dead Movie and Say Amen, Somebody. His directing credits include Fathers and Sons and the Emmy Award-winning Itzhak Perlman: In The Fiddler’s House (1995). Don is a member of the Advisory Board of the Hamptons Documentary Film Festival.
Bob Weinstein is President, Executive Director of Concrete Brand Imaging Group, a New York based branding and design agency who created the logo, look and feel of the capital campaign for the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center. A longtime resident of Sag Harbor, Bob is co-President of local advocacy group Save Sag Harbor, as well as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Sag Harbor Whaling and Historical Museum.
Jayne Young spent over 25 years in the magazine publishing industry leading iconic brands. As President and Publisher of The Atlantic Monthly, she is credited with reviving the publication through revamping its brand and rebuilding its business base leading to profitability for the first time in decades. Successful marketing platforms were created including the establishment of The Influential Americans research and the televised public policy series The Atlantic Monthly Forum. Under her leadership The Atlantic became the first consumer magazine online in 1993 when it also launched the first-ever online live conferences. The Atlantic won numerous awards including several prestigious National Magazine Awards and inclusion on Adweek’s Top Magazine List. Prior to The Atlantic, Jayne held several executive positions including at Institutional Investor magazine. Jayne is a native New Yorker and now full time resident of Sag Harbor where she is immersed in local issues and sits on the board of Save Sag Harbor and the Sag Harbor Partnership.