Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story included MFI’s original schedule of films at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. That schedule has since been changed to 6:30 and 7 p.m. and this story has been updated to reflect that change.

The Greenport Theater has long been closed in the wintertime, as the sleepy seaside village enters the doldrums of the cold season.

But this winter will be different, thanks to the Manhattan Film Institute, which has offered summer filmmaking workshops on the East End for the past several years.

MFI, in  partnership with the movie theater’s owner, Josh Sapan, have​ embarked this winter on a series of free screenings of classic films, after MFI co-founder Tony Spiridakis offered to repair the theater’s  heating system so it could be open in winter.

They began the series by showing classic Christmas movies the week between Christmas and New Years, and are planning three seperate film series on Saturdays this winter and spring, including a series of Best Picture Oscar winners from Jan. 19 through Feb. 23, a series titled “Women in Film” from March 2 through April 6 and a series titled “Great Directors” from April 20 through May 18.

Donations will be accepted at the door, by mail at MFI Film Group, PO Box 98, Orient, NY 11957 or on their website at manhattanfilminstitute.com. ​

The Best Picture series begins at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 19 with a screening of 1982’s “E.T.,” followed by a 7 p.m. screening of the 1975 film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” “Babe” from 1995 will be the 6:30 p.m. show on Jan. 26, followed by 1973’s “The Sting” at 7 p.m.

The 3 p.m. screening on Feb. 2 will be “War of the Buttons,” followed by the 1960 classic “The Apartment” at 7 p.m. Feb. 9’s screenings will be “Incredibles 2” at 6:30 p.m. and the 1988 film “Shakespeare in Love” at 7 p.m.

“Spy Kids will be the 6:30 p.m. showing on Feb. 16, followed by 1992’s “Unforgiven” at 7 p.m. On Feb. 23, “The Iron Giant” will play at 6:30 p.m. followed by the 1951 film “An American in Paris” at 7 p.m.

A full schedule of screenings is online at  www.manhattanfilminstitute.com/winterfilmseries

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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