The Sag Harbor Cinema, a single-screen Art Deco theater that has been a Main Street mainstay since it was built in the 1930s, is on the market for $14 million.
The owner, Gerald Mallow, who bought the theater in 1978 and runs it as a 400-seat art house cinema, has found upkeep on the older building challenging, says listing agent Ed Bruehl of Saunders & Associates. Mallow had offered the building for sale in 2008, according to published reports at the time, but this is the first time it’s officially on the market with an agent, Bruehl says.
“He loves the space, he loves the movies, but he thinks it’s time for someone else to turn it back on and give it another life,” Bruehl says.
Bruehl says the 7,000-square-foot structure likely would have to come down and be rebuilt, with zoning laws allowing a three-story, 21,000-square-foot structure. Zoning laws also require that the iconic neon Sag Harbor sign must remain.
“My desire would be for someone to tear the building down and have the face of the building rebuilt exactly the same way but built better and stronger,” says Mallow, adding, “I don’t want the face of Sag Harbor to change.”
It’s been a difficult time for single-screen movie theaters, with Manhattan’s Ziegfeld Theater closing recently to make way for an event space. Bruehl says there has been interest in keeping the theater element, and adding dining.