The Southampton movie theater, which has been shuttered since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020, will be reopening soon.
The Southampton Village Cinema at 43 Hill Street is under contract as of last week, according to a press release sent by Great Ink Media Relations, based in New York City. Hill Street Cinema LLC says it plans to reopen as a theater for movies and cultural events. The purchase price was not disclosed, but it had been on the market for $8.9 million.
“The purchase was motivated by our fervent desire to preserve this essential component of Southampton Village’s culture as well as reactivating the building’s distinctive architecture, which has anchored the community’s center for many years,” said a spokesperson for Hill Street Cinema, though who is behind the purchase was not revealed.
It has been reported that filmmakers Ben and Orson Cummings, who are Bridgehampton natives, have expressed interest in purchasing the property, though they do not appear to be the buyers, as 27East reported Orson Cummings said he had received news that the property was sold. They were putting together plans to host live performances, as well as film screenings, and put in a café.
The building is 17,859 square feet in size and sits on a 2.2-acre site at the gateway of the village business district.
Southampton movie theater history
The Colonial-style movie house was built by Michael Glynne in 1932 as the 1,062-seat Glynne’s Southampton Theatre, “featuring an opulent auditorium known for its massive chandelier,” the statement says.
Fifty years later, United Artists Theatre demolished the auditorium and replaced it with a four-screen multiplex. A fifth screen, in what was once a basement dressing room, was in place until 1995.
Regal Entertainment Group as the Southampton 4 Theatres operated the theater last.
The seller is listed as Southold Properties, Inc., with mailing being sent to Henry M. Karlin of Southold. The owner has been identified publicly as Ken Karlin.
The Southampton theater is only a handful of movie theaters o the East End. The only major movie theaters remaining are in East Hampton and Mattituck. The Sag Harbor Cinema, a triplex movie theater rebuilt after a fire destroyed it in 2016, is run by a community-based organization and is dedicated to not only showing films, but education.
There are longstanding plans to close the United Artists movie theater in Hampton Bays to make way for a CVS. Meanwhile, the Westhampton Beach movie theater, known as Hampton Arts Cinema, also shuttered since the pandemic, has been on the market for $1.1 million.
A small Montauk cinema closed its doors in 2014.