The North Fork Arts Center, a new non-profit that took title to the former Greenport Theater in late November, has finalized its plans to screen a free series of holiday movies in the historic theater during the week between Christmas and the New Year.

Screenings will run from Thursday, Dec. 28 through Saturday, Dec. 30, with films ranging from “Elf” to “Die Hard,” “Home Alone,” “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Love Actually.”

The theater’s former owner, Josh Sapan, threw down a challenge to the community in January of 2023 when he put the building on the market, saying that if they could form a non-profit and raise $1 million to ensure they could cover a year’s worth of operating costs, he would donate the theater to the new non-profit. Nearly 600 members of the community donated, reaching their goal before the summer.

After the Nov. 20 closing on the property, North Fork Arts Center Executive Director Tony Spiridakis said the theater would be renamed the North Fork Arts Center at the Sapan Greenport Theatre.

“NFAC will be a vibrant cultural hub that will enrich lives and invigorate local businesses throughout the year, providing dynamic programming like first-run films, arthouse classics, fine art exhibitions, educational programming, live performances, lecture series, and so much more,” he said.

Mr. Spiridakis and his wife, Lisa Gillooly, founders of the Manhattan Film Institute, had worked with Mr. Sapan back in 2019 to revamp the heating system in the theater to allow them to show a winter movie series that continued until the pandemic. This year’s series will serve as a soft opening for the arts center, which will be working to make further upgrades to the theater this winter and spring, he announced at an October reception for donors.

The series begins on Thursday, Dec. 28 with two screenings of “Elf” at 6:15 and 7 p.m., with Q&A sessions with the film’s producer, Todd Komarnicki, after both screenings.

On Friday., Dec. 29, “Die Hard” will be shown in Theater 1 at 6:15 p.m., followed by “Home Alone” in Theater 2 at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Dec. 30, “It’s A Wonderful Life” will show in Theater 1 at 6:15 p.m. and “Love Actually” will show at 7 p.m. in Theater 2.

Theater 2 is located on the ground floor and is accessible via wheelchair, while Theater 1 is located upstairs and is not accessible via wheelchair.

The Arts Center is planning a permanent “Founding Members Wall” inside the theater, where the names of anyone who contributes before Dec. 31 will be displayed. Tax-deductible contributions can be made online here.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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