Cinema Arts Centre
423 Park Avenue,
5 people favorited this theater
Cinema Arts Centre (Official)
Functions: Movies (Independent)
Previous Names: New Community Cinema
Physically, the Cinema Arts Centre occupies space carved out of a surplus school building; the entrance and interior architecture are fine within those very severe limitations. The town’s senior citizens lunch program occupies adjacent space. It began as the New Community Cinema in 1973.
Culturally and politically, the cinema has been at or near the center of life on Long Island for all its thirty years. For the thousands of ageing hippies that haunt the highways and by-ways of Long Island’s suburban sprawl, the cinema provides a desperately-needed focus and a sense of belonging. Its co-founders are an obsessed, driven, universally-beloved couple named Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky, who started out with a small projector and a bedsheet tacked to the wall of a food co-op, advising audiences to bring cushions to sit on. They’ve miraculously managed to turn their funky non-profit operation into a huge, slick, prestigious and even rather glamorous enterprise, with Isabella Rosselini hosting gala benefit parties, without losing any of their original sense of mission and community. While first-run films bring in income, the other screens (and videos) feature African film festivals, leftist documentaries, and off-beat experiments by unknowns. Their son Dylan runs a cinema-within-a-cinema with his long-running series of horror flicks, ensuring that aging Generation-Xers are also part of the clientele.
The New Community Cinema occupied two or three other locations before convincing the town to let them into the present school building. An unsolicited million-dollar gift in 1990 allowed for renovation and expansion to 2-screens on September 6, 1991, and it was named Cinema Arts Centre from February 5, 1993 with 265-seats in the large auditorium. A third screen with 88-seats was added on March 17, 2000. The total seating capacity was 488.
In Spring of 2022 the auditoriums were re-seated with wider seats, reducing the seating capacities to 195-seats in the large screen Cinema 1, around 60-seats in screen 2 and 47-seats in the third screen.
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Recent comments (view all 15 comments)
I’m happy that this place is still around. I remember the “old days” when it was just a run down school auditorium. They do a good job with booking classics, neo-art films, and newly neglected ones (like David Lynch’s “Inland Empire”). ______HOWEVER, I have a problem with their bookings of so called “Cinema of the Wild”, and other “psychotronic” movies. Dylan (the owner’s son; and a very pleasant fellow), tends to over-shoot and under-shoot his bookings. Often the “Wild” titles are movies you are all too familiar with (“Blue Velvet”) or too-obscure Asian movies that, aren’t that are not “wild” at all. A recent “grind house” summer film festival featured “Streets of Fire” and “Xanadu” (!?). I was baffled and disappointed.
…they should actually have a REAL grind house night with some “roughies” like “Olga’s House of Shame” (a perfect example of a movie that EVERYONE has heard about—but few have actually seen it) or the Coffin Joe movies (from Brazil) that don’t get seen very much at all. Oh yeah; they should let you smoke in the theater as well; just like the old days!——————————-
**So if anyone at Cinema Arts is reading this NOW, please send Dylan this link and a nudge. Do a little more exploring into rarely seen BUT often noted movies.
Sethkino; I was in Joan Seman’s art class in high school. Have not seen her in years…
An article about the theater and its offerings: View link.
The folks at Cinema Arts are helping the fledgling Plaza Media and Arts Centre in Patchogue getting established.
Cool place, definitely has the arty vibe…saw Robot and Frank here on my way from Albany to party with an old college buddy in Northport
Please update, theatre is 488 seats and only has 3 screens.
My source is their websitehttps://cinemaartscentre.org/#sthash.i2RsXM8b.dpbs
Has not yet reopened. Phone message indicates they will at some time.
@robboehm theatre being renovated, pictures on their facebook page.
Please Update, It was renamed Cinema Arts Centre on February 5, 1993. The New Community Cinema was founded in 1973, they added a second screen on September 6, 1991 (Grand Opening ad in photos) and the 3rd screen on March 17, 2000