Just two weeks ago we went to see Moonlight at the Sag Harbor Cinema. We bought our tickets from the lovely lady in the little booth, got a bag of popcorn and grabbed a few of those small thin napkins neatly arrayed on the counter. We found our favorite seats, row five, center and settled into the chattering darkness. What a heartbreakingly beautiful film Moonlight is, and how further heartbreaking that Moonlight is the last film we saw at that historic movie house.
The facade’s been torn down after Friday’s fire, piles of black rubble carted away. A gaping dark hole in the street where dreams and fantasies once flickered on the screen. The Sag Harbor Cinema, lone independent movie house on the East End brave enough to show “art” films and “foreign” films, and films that challenged as even as they inspired us. The musty smell of the old seats, the banging pipes as heat slowly seeped into that cavernous room are now nostalgic memories.
We hope they will rebuild. We’re sure other buildings damaged or destroyed will rise again Phoenix-like from the ashes. We’re thankful no one was injured. We are all so grateful to our heroic firefighters. How quickly our compassionate community pulled together to lend a hand. A friend described a fire as something that refines, or clarifies, I put in. Just what will be refined or clarified from this December 16 fire remains to be seen. But fundraising efforts are underway and Sag Harbor will rise again! The village has endured several devastating fires from the time when villagers lit their lamps with whale oil to as recently as just a few years back. Please show your support for Main Street Sag Harbor, this holiday season and beyond.
*Photo taken the day after the fire. (c) Kathryn Szoka