Academy’s East Coast theater gets generous donation

posted by Michael Zoldessy on November 19, 2010 at 3:45 pm

NEW YORK, NY — Thanks to real estate developer Charles Cohen, the Academy of Arts and Sciences' east coast theater on East 59th Street is being renovated and reopened.

Over the years, however, the cinema fell into disrepair and since the charity didn’t have excess funds to upgrade the theater, the academy considered not renewing its contract with the Lighthouse. “I jumped in with both feet,” says Mr. Cohen, who often passed by the Lighthouse on his way to work.

He says he was able to utilize his own real-estate experience to help negotiate contracts and work with top designers and film specialists. “After four months of construction, it’s now the best-looking, best-sounding screening venue in the city,” he says.

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE: 11/21

Comments (2)

CSWalczak on November 20, 2010 at 9:41 am

The link above does not take you to the Academy’s “East Coast Theater;” it takes you instead to the CT page for the current Big Cinemas Manhattan (formerly the D.W. Griffith, CinĂ© Malibu, 59th Street East, and ImaginAsia). Big Cinemas Manhattan is at 239 E. 59th St. There is not anything on the CT page or on the Big Cinemas page that indicates any past or current connection with the the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS).

Lighthouse International is located at 111 E. 59th St. The theater is actually a part of the Lighthouse International Conference Center’s facilities. AMPAS clearly leases the theater for some showings and functions, so it is, at least in a sense, their “East Coast Theater,” but this webpage and others at the Lighthouse site about it clearly show that it can be used on a rental basis by other persons or groups (though I would imagine that AMPAS functions are given preference, and that the lease terms were favorable enough so that Lighthouse was more than willing to call it the Academy Theater at least for as long as the Academy wants to use it): View link

CSWalczak on November 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm

The link now takes you to the correct site.

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