Hampton Arts Cinema

2 Brook Road,
Westhampton Beach, NY 11978

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robboehm on May 13, 2022 at 10:40 am

The theatre which was purchased by Harvey L. Kaylie in 2003 for $575,000 is now on the market for $1.1 million. He died in 2018 but the building is officially an LLC. The theatre closed in the middle of the Covid pandemic and has been reportedly gutted. The property is considered very desirable and, therefore, not likely to remain a theatre. The East End is down to the Sag Harbor, Mattituck, East Hampton and the Hampton Bays. The latter has be touted as a site for a CVS.

The theatre was built in 1927 as the Star by Harry Nugent. The building contained Village offices and retail space. Nugent and his family lived in an apartment over the theatre. It was gutted by fire on February 13, 1933. Nugent and his family escaped.

It reopened in 1947 as a partial rebuild. In 1951 is became the Westhampton Summer Playhouse and attracted many noted actors and a national reputation. In 1952 there was even a “show bus” that originated in Patchogue and made stops along the way.

I’ve uploaded an image as the Hampton Star from the Westhampton Beach Library collection and one of an advertising flyer for the Summer Playhouse.

ridethectrain on June 4, 2021 at 7:41 pm

Cineplex Odeon took control on August 11, 1989, ad in photos

ridethectrain on December 21, 2020 at 9:30 pm

From Patch.com websiteFuture Uncertain For Historic Westhampton Beach Movie Theater The movie theater survived the Hurricane of ‘38, a devastating fire, and Superstorm Sandy. Coronavirus closed its doors, possibly forever. By Lisa Finn, Patch Staff Verified Patch Staff Badge Oct 30, 2020 6:32 pm ET | Updated Oct 30, 2020 8:05 pm ET

Replies (2) The marquee on the Hampton Arts Cinema reads “Closed.” And many are wondering if the theater will ever reopen again. The marquee on the Hampton Arts Cinema reads “Closed.” And many are wondering if the theater will ever reopen again. (Patch courtesy photo.) WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY — The coronavirus has left the future uncertain for an iconic movie theater in Westhampton Beach.

According to Marc Sabow, attorney for the family that owns the building where the Hampton Arts Cinema is located on Brook Road, the pandemic dealt a heavy blow to the business.

The Hamptons Arts Cinema, a small, twin-screen theater, has been a mainstay in the community since 1927, when it was known as the Hampton Star Theater, according to a video made in 2014 for a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for necessary upgrades, including a digital projection system.

The theater has survived the Hurricane of ‘38, Superstorm Sandy and a fire in 1947.

And it has long been known as a focal point in Westhampton Beach: Besides showing first-run films, events at the community-centered theater have included the Hamptons Synagogue Film Festival, the popular $5 Tuesday movie night, art shows, school programs, private birthday parties and more.

Subscribe According to Garden City-based attorney Sabow, operator Peter Vivian has leased the space to run the theater in past years.

“Unfortunately, due to COVID, he decided he did not want to operate the theater anymore,” Sabow said.

Recently, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that movie theaters could reopen on Long Island at 25 percent capacity, with social distancing and other guidelines, such as purification and air filtration systems.

Westhampton-Hampton Bays, NY | News | 3d 7 Stories From America’s Coronavirus Graveyard: Deaths Pass 300K Grief has piled on grief in the nine months the coronavirus has gripped the United States and killed more than 300,000 people.

Beth Dalbey’s profile picture Beth Dalbey, Patch Staff Verified Patch Staff Badge 7 Stories From America’s Coronavirus Graveyard: Deaths Pass 300K

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Despite Cuomo giving movie theaters the green light to open, Sabow said his client, who owns the building but whom he declined to name, “is not a theater operator. So at the moment, the theater is not operating. There is no operator for it.”

“There isn’t any plan right now about whether or not to reopen as a theater. We are not going to be operating it as a theater. If an individual came along wanting to operate it, we would evaluate that. But for the forseeable future, the movie theater is not active,” Sabow said.

The property has not yet been listed for sale, Sabow said.

“I don’t think the movie theater business is a particularly lucrative one at the moment,” Sabow said. “I don’t see anyone coming around,” especially during the pandemic, he added.

Due to COVID and the current climate of the real estate market, Sabow said, “I think the family is just evaluating their options.”

The theater has not been emptied, however, Sabow said. “The only thing not in there at the moment is the projectors, because they were owned by the prior operator. The seats, the concession stands, all of that is still there.”

The theater means much to many in the Westhampton Beach community, who are holding onto hope that the theater may one day open again, despite rumors to the contrary.

“Our little cinema holds fond memories for many in our village, so if the report that it will not reopen is true, it will be greatly missed,” said Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Maria Moore.

Laurie Rubick said she began working at the theater when she was still in high school, in October of 1990. She was there until Vivian decided to end his time with the cinema in August, due to the pandemic. “It’s a hard hit industry,” she said. “I hope the village will have a theater again.”

Local business owner Elyse Richman agreed. “I would hope that it would reopen again — after the pandemic is over.”

Added Rubick: “It will always have a piece of my heart.”

robboehm on January 26, 2020 at 6:57 pm

Closing for the winter after Tuesday’s showings of Little Women and 1917.

robboehm on March 26, 2019 at 7:05 pm

Reopening for the season this Friday. Glad to have it back. Good movies at good prices. Who needs recliners?

robboehm on February 1, 2019 at 7:48 am

Once again closed for the winter; a combination of fewer people in a largely summer community and a heating system in need of replacement.

robboehm on February 28, 2018 at 7:39 pm

As per usual the cinema closed in February with a promise to reopen in the Spring, new heating system not withstanding.

robboehm on January 9, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Possibility they may remain open through the winter. They finally got a new heating system. Time will tell.

robboehm on January 6, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Surprise, surprise. We had a crippling snow and they didn’t close (yet). However, they didn’t update their website for showtimes past January 4th until I called them.

robboehm on February 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm

As per usual, first crippling snow storm and the theater closes until spring.

robboehm on August 2, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Deja vu. When I was a youth in the 1950s, the Eastern Long Island Theaters under the, long gone, Prudential banner had a policy of having matinees on rainy summer days. The Hampton Arts is offering that this year.

robboehm on April 3, 2015 at 11:17 am

Theater set to reopen April 10th. Guess the digital rental scheme worked out.

robboehm on February 22, 2015 at 1:41 pm

As per prior years, theater closed “For the Winter” in mid-February as the weather, which has been terrible, must have cut into business even with Fifty Shades, Still Alice and American Sniper as the last shows.

robboehm on October 16, 2014 at 7:03 am

Although the kickstart program failed to raise enough money for the conversion to digital the manager hopes to keep the theater viable by renting/leasing digital equipment.

robboehm on August 20, 2014 at 7:02 am

Went to the Hampton Arts the day I saw the reference to the kickstart program. There were some black and white copies of an innocuous flyer. I only saw it because I was looking for it. Was it there when I was there previously? Didn’t see anyone else glance at it. They’re going to have to be more aggressive.

robboehm on August 19, 2014 at 11:31 am

I see by the headlines on CT that the Hampton Arts must complete its $125,000 kickstart for digital upgrade by the end of the month. When I mentioned the upgrade to the manager in the fall there was no plan. After the winter hiatus I’ve been back about a half dozen times. Never saw anything about funding. Wonder who they’ve approached? Doesn’t seem like the general public.

robboehm on April 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm

So they said. But the shopping center has been in foreclosure. To do all they want to do is going to take more than a month. You may recall that the original projected opening date was Fall 2012 The Westbury was supposed to be open in March 2012. Still no word. The Suffolk, when it opened last month, was many months late. Islip is supposed to be open by the end of April. Doubt it. There are major problems with that building. The new management said they were going to put $400,000 into it. An informed source told me it would take closer to a million. An earlier newspaper article indicated that the remediation of the real problem would cost more than the value of the building. And Long Beach in general is still a mess.

fred1 on April 12, 2013 at 2:12 pm

The Soundview will open by the end of April

robboehm on April 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

Theater has reopened. Now all that remains are Long Beach (recovering from Sandy), Islip (renovating and under new management, Soundview (renovating and under new management) and the Westbury (renovating as a performing arts center).

robboehm on March 20, 2013 at 5:11 am

When doing some research on another theater I came upon information which indicated that the current building was built in 1927 but was damaged by fire in 1932 and closed. At that time the address was 6 Corners and it was called the Hampton Star. Corners are gone and now there is a traffic circle. The theater reopened in 1947. It operated as a summer theater for a time before returning to movies.

robboehm on March 7, 2013 at 7:01 am

Turns out the closure wasn’t weather related but a problem with the heating system which caused a potential fire hazard. Since they had to shut the system down this could further impact the infrastructure as temperatures plummet.

chelydra on February 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Apologies to RobertR, contributor of the accidentally deleted picture. I found a few substitutes on Google images (three almost certainly public domain, one originally in Newsday), but am unable to get them to appear in the Overview picture slot (can’t deletes the article scan to make the theater move into its place, either). I emailed the site managers to see if they can fix this, hopefully even restore RobertR’s.

chelydra on February 24, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Major screw-up, which I hope the management can undo – uploaded an old article about a painting stolen from the Hampton Arts lobby, and somehow it displaced a perfectly good photo of the theater itself! Cannot find any trace of the previous photo. Maybe it can be found, or maybe someone can find a substitute to upload?

robboehm on February 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

In a surprise move, the theater which usually operates year ‘round, closed suddenly for a break before spring. Don’t think this was intended but the severe weather with it’s lingering snow must have been a factor. Also, in 2013 the bargain Tuesdays now cost $ 5.00 rather than the previous $ 4.00. Still a major bargain.

robboehm on January 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Happy to report the marquee has been returned to the facade of the theatre. According to the original banner it was to have been repaired. However, driving by it looked new albeit the same. Wow, is it ever bright now. And they actually sprung for new letters for the signage.