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 had its official opening in June of 2021.
Who We Are
Genevieve Villaflor, 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.
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
Julie O'Neill-Bliss, DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
Julie comes to the Cinema with a love of the East End and its Arts Community. She is an accomplished business professional with a proven track record in development, business management and marketing.
Julie spent her early career in NYC where she developed and quickly tripled revenue for an international fashion retail and wholesale business. Her love for fundraising and charity work developed from her work as Director of Sponsorship and Marketing for the Shelter Island 10k Run, then serving as a committee member and board member for various local non-profits. In addition to her work with the 10k and 5k runs, her East End experience includes owning and running a successful and much loved restaurant for 11 years and leading the growth of many local businesses with her marketing and development acumen.
She moved to Shelter Island over 20 years ago to escape the city grind and has never looked back. She met and married her husband Sebastian in Shelter Island where they are raising their two children.
Ana Dezso, CFO
Delighted to have been asked to join the Sag Harbor Cinema organization and give back to a community I and my family have been so fortunate to know personally and professionally for many years. I am particularly pleased to offer my services as a professional accountant, providing guidance from a technical field to the arts in a way that will be both accessible and informative.
It is important, I have always believed, that the economic factors that underpin artistic endeavors be understood by those at the helm and by generous supporters of community aesthetic endeavors. It is especially so with the Sag Harbor Cinema, a new, innovative, creative enterprise that has the potential to transform the arts and our town.
It is my hope that I bring my over fifteen years of experience in public accounting at major local banks, including Bridgehampton National Bank, Suffolk County National Bank and Empire National Bank, analyzing, reviewing and evaluating most efficient processes, and as a comptroller and financial reporting analyst at other institutions, to serve this exciting venture in a way that will resonate to the great benefit of our community. A graduate of both CUNY and SUNY, I feel an attachment to our state, but as a resident of Sag Harbor, a special call to advance the Sag Harbor Cinema at this moment of existential challenge and cultural need.
Thierry Balihuta, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
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.
Sara Meyers, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR/PROJECTIONIST
Sara has been a 35mm film projectionist since 2007. She graduated with a BA in Film Studies from Suffolk University, Boston in 2011 and went on to receive a Certificate in Film Preservation from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School in 2013. Sara has filled positions at a number of non-profit cinemas, film archives, and international film festivals, most recently working at the Museum of Modern Art as an audio visual technician. Outside of motion-picture related endeavors, Sara enjoys making visual art and music.
Meghan McGinley, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Meghan McGinley (she/her/hers) is the Director of Education at Sag Harbor Cinema. She is a specialist in French film, focusing on the French New Wave. Her doctoral work explores the weaponization of play in the post-WWII era and how it shaped French visual culture of the late 1950s and 1960s.
As an educator, McGinley’s teaching practice is student centered and community driven. She prizes transformative learning, guiding students to critically assess their individual and collective relationships to the world around them. At Vanderbilt University, she was honored for her pedagogical ingenuity and excellence in the classroom.
When she isn’t watching movies, McGinley enjoys making visual art, playing the violin, and taking walks with her dog Moon Bear.
Sam Hamilton, COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER
Amelia Garner, PROGRAMMING COORDINATOR
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 Sag Harbor Cinema. Favorite film: Raging Bull.
Sag Harbor Cinema Board
John Alschuler, PRESIDENT
Susan Mead, TREASURER
Hilary Mills Loomis, SECRETARY
Gregg Winter, FINANCE CHAIR
Bill Collage, EDUCATION CHAIR
Bill is a screenwriter who 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 Emancipation, Assassins Creed, Allegient, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Transporter Refuelled, Tower Heist, Accepted, and many more. His next project is the feature film Sleeping Dogs, starring Russell Crowe.
Wendy Keys, DEVELOPMENT CO-CHAIR
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.
Nick Gazzolo, DEVELOPMENT CO-CHAIR
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
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.
In 1966 he met artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de St. Phalle in Paris and made his first film on the destruction of “The Hon”, a large temporary collaborative work by Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely and Swedish artist, Per Olof Ultvedt in the Moderna Museet in Stockholm. De Menil ultimately made a half hour film on each (“Tinguely-A Kinetic Cosmos” and” Niki”), as well as an hour length documentary on the sculptor Mark di Suvero, “North Star: Mark Di Suvero”, with author and art critic Barbara Rose which aired on the PBS network. He also produced “Gizmo” with Academy Award documentary filmmaker Howard Smith and, with producer Hanna Weinstein, de Menil developed and associate produced “Stir Crazy,” the comedy with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor and directed by Sidney Poitier.
In 1983 deMenil returned to college to study architecture at the Cooper Union and graduated in 1987. He established his architecture practice in 1991 and is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and a LEED Accredited Professional with a Building Design and Construction specialty. He is a registered architect in three states and certified by the National Council of Architectural Review Boards.
He has worked in television as a producer, writer, and director for the TV show Fringe, for which he garnered a Saturn Award and a Hugo Award nomination; as well as Underground, which was nominated for multiple NAACP Image Awards. Current television includes the live-action series Titans, Star Trek: Picard, and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Goldsman is now in post-production on The Crowded Room and will also EP the upcoming series The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.
Under his Weed Road Pictures banner, Goldsman has produced Deep Blue Sea, Constantine, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Hancock, Without Remorse, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things, Back to the Outback, Firestarter, and Meet Cute.
April is an artist and community activist/organizer working with the Sag Harbor Partnership, and was 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.
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.
Suzanne B. Harwood
Career highlights include directing the launch publicity and promotion of Us magazine for the New York Times Magazine Group and heading up business development at Horizon Media, an independent media buying service, while a member of its operating committee and running the company’s most profitable and largest business unit.
Beginning in 2002, Suzanne redirected her over 30 years of career experience as a senior executive in sales and marketing within the advertising and media industries to a private consulting practice and volunteer initiatives.
In 2002 Suzanne was asked to join the AARP New York State Executive Council, a volunteer strategic and policy-making board that helped guide the overall direction of the office.
Suzanne became a member of the Jacob Burns Film center in 2004. She became a major supporter, providing generous donor gifts annually since 2008. In 2020, Suzanne and her husband provided the funds that allowed the Burns to refurbish the theater marquee with special lighting.
Early in the Burns development of what is now an expanding range of teaching tools for educators, Suzanne partnered with Burns staff to create stop-motion videos with 4th graders in their classrooms. As a result of close relationships developed over the years with JBFC Board members and staff, an exchange of ideas among them continues.
A graduate of Alfred University, Suzanne pursued a combined Master of Arts in
American History at The College of William and Mary with a Fellowship/Apprenticeship from Colonial Williamsburg.
Jennifer L. Morgan
Esther R. Newberg
Her clients at ICM include Tom Hanks, Bob Iger, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Caroline Kennedy, The Skimm, Prince, Lesley Stahl, Lynn Sherr, Pete Dexter, Pete Hamill, Steve Martin, Carl Hiaasen, Thomas L. Friedman, Maureen Dowd, John Feinstein, Steve Martini, Michael Beschloss, Ina Garten, Frank Fukuyama, John Sandford, Mike Lupica, Dennis Ross, George Saunders, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Sandel, Sally Jenkins, and Seymour Hersh, among others. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
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.
A past president of New York Women in Film and Television, Bank now serves on NYWIFT’s Advisory Board, as well as on the Board of Directors of the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures, and on the Advisory Board of the Bronx Documentary Center. She is a MacDowell Fellow; a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio as a director; and an originating member of New Day Films.
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.
Emma Walton Hamilton
Gina Bruer Hadley
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.
His Motion Pictures in the 21st century and the 1990’s include Ghost Town, Anamorph, RV,Dreamer, Secret Window, Autofocus, The Mothman Prophecies, October Sky, Stir of Echoes, Dance with Me, Metro, Faithful, The Fantastics, Murder in the First, Jack the Bear, Scenes from a Mall
Among his films shot in the 1980’s are Enemies a Love Story , Fresh Horses , Full Moon in Blue Water, Best Seller, The Dead, Five Corners, Hoosiers, The Trip to Bountiful, Eddie and the Cruisers and Heartland. He was co-cinematographer with Henri Alekan on The State of Things, which won the Golden Lion at the 1983 Venice Film Festival. His feature film career began with release of Girlfriends in 1978.
Television work includes, The Good Wife, Fringe, The Good Fight, Evil,Braindead, Witness Protection , The Final days, Sessions, The Gardeners Son and the pilot for Nothing Sacred.
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.