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Cinema Arts Centre Huntington

'I Like It Here'

This April, the 1st Annual Long Island Jewish Film Festival will make its debut at Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington, from April 14 to 16 and will include screenings of films at the forefront of Jewish cultural storytelling. 

The festival will feature films that include powerful documentaries, riveting dramas, and rarely seen pieces of film history, all curated by David Schwartz, Manager of Theatrical Programming at Netflix.

The Long Island Jewish Film Festival was organized to help celebrate the rich cultural traditions and history of the Jewish community in America, as well as abroad.  The featured films embody the vanguard of modern Jewish cinema, and will introduce Long Island audiences to the artists creating work most representative of leading Jewish filmmaking in the 21st century.

The Long Island Jewish Film Festival will begin on Friday, April 14 with a screening of the touching documentary I Like it Here, which features a Q&A with filmmaker Ralph Arlyck, and will run throughout the weekend, concluding with on Sunday, April 16 with a screening of the rarely seen 1924 silent film City Without Jews which features a live score performed by acclaimed musicians Alicia Svigals & Donald Sosin, as well as a screening of the Yiddish language Ukrainian film, Shttl, which will include a discussion with the film’s star, Moshe Lobel. 

Other films featured in the festival include My Neighbor Adolf, starring veteran German actor Udo Kier, America from award winning Israeli filmmaker, Ofir Raul Graizer, and the award-winning film, Farewell, Mr. Haffmann.

The Films:

Still from ‘I Like it Here’. 2022. Timed Exposures. Courtesy of Argot Pictures.

I Like It Here
Friday, April 14th at 7 PM

With Director Ralph Arlyck In Person

$15 Public | $10 Members
A meditation on aging, survival, memory, and the connections we build with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers, Ralph Arlyck’s utterly charming personal film asks, “How do we make the most of the precious time we have?” What started as a movie about his neighbor, a reclusive Hungarian immigrant, ended up as something universal, capturing the moments in daily life that reveal the pitfalls and pleasures of getting old. While always aware of mortality, it is a movie whose ultimate message is “L’chaim.” (2022, 88 mins)

Promotional Image from ‘My Neighbor Adolf.’ 2022. Courtesy of 2-Team Productions & Film Produkcja.

My Neighbor Adolf
Saturday, April 15th at 1 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members

In 1960s Colombia, a cantankerous Holocaust survivor passes his time tending to his garden and studying chess. His routine is interrupted by the arrival of a German man who he gradually becomes convinced is none other than Adolf Hitler. A surprisingly touching tale of loneliness and misunderstanding, it is also a master class in acting, with nuanced ‘performances by the Scottish actor David Hayman and veteran German actor Udo Kier, who has worked extensively with top directors including Werner Herzog, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and Gus Van Sant. (2022, 96 mins)

A scene from ‘America’. Photo courtesy of Beta Cinema

America
Saturday, April 15th at 3:30 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members

When an Israeli man returns home after ten years in America, an emotional encounter with a childhood friend and his future-wife will change everyone’s lives. An engrossing drama that unfolds in lush landscape, America absorbs its characters, and the audience, in matters of life, death, and love. After the success of The Cakemaker, writer/director Ofir Raul Graizer returns with a film full of emotion and moral complexity, and beauty that is held together by three indelible performances by its young stars. (2022, 127 mins)

A scene from ‘Farewell, Mr. Haffmann’ Photo from YouTube

Farewell, Mr. Haffmann
Saturday, April 15th at 7 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members

Occupied Paris,1941: as members of the Jewish community are instructed to identify themselves to authorities, a jewelry shop owner (Daniel Auteuil) arranges for his family to flee the city and offers his employee (Gilles Lellouche) the chance to take over his store until the conflict subsides. Adapted from an acclaimed play, Farewell, Mr. Hoffmannpresents a world where lives are irrevocably shaped by the occupation. Rich in moral complexity and empathy, with several twists too good to spoil, this is grand, big-screen adult entertainment at its finest. (2021,115 mins)

Still from ‘City Without Jews’. 1924. Walterskirchen und Bittner. Public Domain.

City Without Jews
Sunday, April 16th at 2:00 PM
With live accompaniment by Alicia Svigals & Donald Sosin
$17 Public | $12 Members

Directed by H. K. Breslauer, and based on the novel by Hugo Bettauer. City Without Jews predicted the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. Set in the fictional Austrian city of Utopia, the story depicts the consequences of an anti-Semitic law forcing all Jews to leave the country. Shortly after the film’s premiere, Bettauer was murdered by the Nazis. Shown in public for the last time in 1933 as a protest against Hitler’s rise to power, the film contains ominous and eerily realistic sequences, such as shots of freight trains transporting Jews out of the city. (1924, 80 mins)

Still from ‘Shttl’. 2022. Forecast Pictures, UP Hub & Wild Tribe Films. Courtesy of Bron Releasing.

Shttl
Sunday, April 16th at 5 PM
With star Moshe Lobel in-person

$15 Public | $10 Members

A Jewish village in Ukraine is on the verge of being invaded by Nazis. Evocative and visually compelling, Shttl draws from the vibrant canvas of a community with many differing reactions to the impending tragedy. Filmed in Ukraine, and edited to appear as one continuous shot, the camera never stops as it explores the rich world that it creates, and the vitality of lives about to be destroyed. Featuring a remarkable cast including Moshe Lobel (Broadway’s YiddishFiddler on the Roof revival) and Yiddish-fluent actor Saul Rubinek. (2022, 114 mins)

Tickets are $15 per screening with the exception of the film “City Without Jews,” which costs $17. A full festival pass is also available for $60, granting access to every film in the festival. To order tickets, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org. For more info, call 631-423-7610.

A scene from 'The Mummy'

To kick off the new year, Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre will begin screening an assortment of hit films from the 1980s and 90s. This selection of films will include something for everyone, including beloved family friendly classics, offbeat comedies, action adventures, and obscure cult classics.

At a time when cinema attendance is down across the country, the Cinema Arts Centre wants to remind people why coming to the movies is so special — by playing audience favorites that are rarely seen in theaters.

The Cinema will host screenings of films that include The Addams Family (1991), The Mummy (1999) starring Brendan Fraser, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), The Goonies (1985) Happy Gilmore (1996), the Coen Brothers’ Raising Arizona (1987) Slumber Party Massacre II (1987), Darren Aronofsky’s Pi (1998), Little Giants (1994) starring Rick Moranis, The NeverEnding Story (1984), and Roald Dahl’s Matilda (1996), The Witches (1990), & James and the Giant Peach (1996).

This selection of films represents some of the favorite guilty pleasures of staff and supporters of the Cinema Arts Centre, and films that audiences feel a great sense of nostalgia for. Many of these films were programed after being suggested by local film lovers. The Cinema encourages the Huntington community to reach out to share films that they want to see. Suggestions should be sent to [email protected].

Upcoming Programs:

The Addams Family (1991)

Sunday, January 1st at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids

Tickets: https://bit.ly/AddamsFamilyCAC

When a man (Christopher Lloyd) claiming to be Fester, the missing brother of Gomez Addams (Raul Julia), arrives at the Addams’ home, the family is thrilled. However, Morticia (Anjelica Huston) begins to suspect the man is a fraud, since he cannot recall details of Fester’s life. With the help of lawyer Tully Alford (Dan Hedaya), Fester manages to get the Addams clan evicted from their home. Gomez realizes the two men are conspiring to swindle the Addams fortune and that he must challenge Fester. (US, 1991, 99min., English, PG-13 | Dir. Barry Sonnenfeld)

The Mummy (1999)

Friday, January 6th at 9:30 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/TheMummyCAC

Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz star in the cult classic that set the standard for the action-adventure genre, 1999’s The Mummy. Adapted from Karl Freund’s 1932 film of the same name, the story follows adventurer Rick O’Connell (Fraser), who discovers the hidden ruins of Hamunaptra. Returning with an archaeological expedition, the mummy of High Priest Imhotep wakes after 3,000 years and begins to wreak havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love. (US, 1999, 125min., English, PG-13 | Dir. Stephen Sommers)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Sunday, January 8th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/TMNTcac

In New York, mysterious radioactive ooze has mutated four sewer turtles into talking, upright-walking, crime-fighting ninjas. The intrepid heroes – Michelangelo (Robbie Rist), Donatello (Corey Feldman), Raphael (Josh Pais) and Leonardo (Brian Tochi) – are trained in the Ninjutsu arts by their rat sensei, Splinter. When a villainous rogue ninja, who is a former pupil of Splinter, arrives and spreads lawlessness throughout the city, it’s up to the plucky turtles to stop him. (Hong Kong/US, 1990, 93min., English, PG | Dir. Steve Barron)

Happy Gilmore (1996)

Cult Café

Saturday, January 14th at 10:00 PM
$7 Public | $5 Members

Tickets: https://bit.ly/HappyGilmoreCAC

All Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) has ever wanted is to be a professional hockey player. But he soon discovers he may actually have a talent for playing an entirely different sport: golf. When his grandmother (Frances Bay) learns she is about to lose her home, Happy joins a golf tournament to try and win enough money to buy it for her. With his powerful driving skills and foulmouthed attitude, Happy becomes an unlikely golf hero – much to the chagrin of the well-mannered golf professionals. (USA, 1996, 92 min, PG-13| Dir. Dennis Dugan)

Slumber Party Massacre 2 (1987)

With post-Film discussion with Costume Designer Jolene Marie Richardson and Fashion Historian Marcus Slabine

Thursday, January 19th at 7:30 PM
$17 Public | $12 Members
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/SlumberParty2CAC
An all-female hard rock band rents a condo for a much-needed vacation. Their tranquility is cut short by a heavy metal dream-demon and his murder weapon of choice: the drill-tar.Written and directed by Deborah Brock (Rock ’N’ Roll High School Forever), Slumber Party Massacre II combines the most successful elements of Satisfaction, A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 and Beverly Hills, 90210 to create one of the most outrageous trash-slashers. Although the sequel contains none of Slumber Party Massacre’s subversiveness, it does have a wise-cracking killer who materializes from a dream and takes time out for breakdancing. This is how life should be. (US, 1987, 77min., English, R | Dir. Deborah Brock)

Pi (1998)

Friday, January 20th at 9:30 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/PIcac
Numbers whiz Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) is stunted by psychological delusions of paranoia and debilitating headaches. He lives in a messy Chinatown apartment, where he tinkers with equations and his homemade, super-advanced computer. One day, however, Cohen encounters a mysterious number. Soon after reporting his discovery to his mentor (Mark Margolis) and to a religious friend (Ben Shenkman), he finds himself the target of ill-intentioned Wall Street agents bent on using the number for profit. (US, 1998, 84min., English, R | Dir. Darren Aronofsky)

Raising Arizona (1987)

Friday, January 27th at 9:30 PM
$15 Public | $10 Members
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/RaisingArizonaCAC
An ex-con (Nicolas Cage) and an ex-cop (Holly Hunter) meet, marry and long for a child of their own. When it is discovered that Hi is unable to have children they decide to snatch a baby. They try to keep their crime a secret, while friends, co-workers and a bounty hunter look to use the child for their own purposes. (US, 1987, 94min., English, PG-13 | Dir. Joel Coen)

Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (1992)

Cult Café

Saturday, February 11th at 10:00 PM
$7 Public | $5 Members

Tickets: https://bit.ly/MalcolmXcac

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride. (USA, 1992, 201 min, PG-13| Dir. Spike Lee)


The Goonies (1985)

Sunday, February 12th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/GooniesCAC

From the imagination of Steven Spielberg, The Goonies plunges a band of small heroes into a swashbuckling, surprise-around-every-corner quest beyond their wildest dreams! Following a mysterious treasure map into a spectacular underground realm of twisting passages, outrageous booby traps and a long-lost pirate ship full of golden doubloons, the kids race to stay one step ahead of a family of bumbling bad guys… and a mild-mannered monster with a face only a mother could love. A family adventure classic from start to buccaneering finish, The Goonies is a cinematic treasure trove of breathtaking action, dazzling effects and shiver-yer-timbers thrills! (US, 1985, 114min., English, PG | Dir. Richard Donner)

Boyz N The Hood (1991)

Cult Café

Saturday, February 18th at 10:00 PM
$7 Public | $5 Members

Tickets: https://bit.ly/BoyzntheHoodCAC

Tre (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is sent to live with his father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), in tough South Central Los Angeles. Although his hard-nosed father instills proper values and respect in him, and his devout girlfriend Brandi (Nia Long) teaches him about faith, Tre’s friends Doughboy (Ice Cube) and Ricky (Morris Chestnut) don’t have the same kind of support and are drawn into the neighborhood’s booming drug and gang culture, with increasingly tragic results. (USA, 1991, 112 min, R | Dir. John Singleton)

Little Giants (1994)

Sunday, February 19th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/LittleGiantsCAC

Ever since childhood, nerdy Danny O’Shea (Rick Moranis) has felt inferior to his brother, Kevin (Ed O’Neill), a former college football star. Danny runs a gas station, while Kevin coaches the local youth football team. When Kevin’s team rejects Danny’s daughter, Becky (Shawna Waldron), because she’s a girl, Becky convinces her dad to start a rival team, though the city can support only one. To prove himself against his brother, Danny begins coaching his team of misfits for a playoff game. (US, 1994, 107min., English, PG | Dir. Duwayne Dunham)

The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Sunday, February 26th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/NeverEndingStoryCAC

On his way to school, Bastian (Barret Oliver) ducks into a bookstore to avoid bullies. Sneaking away with a book called “The Neverending Story,” Bastian begins reading it in the school attic. The novel is about Fantasia, a fantasy land threatened by “The Nothing,” a darkness that destroys everything it touches. The kingdom needs the help of a human child to survive. When Bastian reads a description of himself in the book, he begins to wonder if Fantasia is real and needs him to survive. (West Germany/US, 1984, 102min., English, PG | Dir. Wolfgang Petersen)

Matilda (1996)

Sunday, March 5th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/MatildaCAC

This film adaptation of a Roald Dahl work tells the story of Matilda Wormwood (Mara Wilson), a gifted girl forced to put up with a crude, distant father (Danny DeVito) and mother (Rhea Perlman). Worse, Agatha Trunchbull (Pam Ferris), the evil principal at Matilda’s school, is a terrifyingly strict bully. However, when Matilda realizes she has the power of telekinesis, she begins to defend her friends from Trunchbull’s wrath and fight back against her unkind parents. (US, 1996, 102min., English, PG | Dir. Danny DeVito)

The Witches (1990)

Sunday, March 12th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/TheWitchesCAC

While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on a convention of witches. The Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) reveals a plan to turn all children into mice through a magical formula. When they find that Luke has overheard, the witches test the formula on him. Now, with the help of Helga and the hotel manager, Mr. Stringer (Rowan Atkinson), Luke the mouse must fight back against the witches. Based on the book by Roald Dahl. (UK/US, 1990, 91min., English, PG | Nicolas Roeg)

James And the Giant Peach (1996)

Sunday, March 26th at 12:00 PM
$12 Public | $7 Members | $5 Kids
Tickets: 
https://bit.ly/GiantPeachCAC

Featuring stop-motion animation and live action, this inventive adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s tale follows the adventures of James (Paul Terry), an orphaned young British boy. Forced to live with his cruel aunts (Joanna LumleyMiriam Margolyes), James finds a way out of his bleak existence when he discovers an enormous enchanted peach. After rolling into the sea inside the buoyant fruit, James, accompanied by a crew of friendly talking insects, sets sail for New York City. (UK/US, 1996, 79min., English, PG | Dir. Henry Selick)

 The Cinema Arts Centre, is located at 423 Park Ave, Huntington. For more information, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org

Open Mic Night. Metro photo

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Avenue, Huntington, joins with the Folk Music Society of Huntington in presenting the NorthShore Original Open Mic (NOOM) three Wednesday nights each month, beginning October 12.  The open mic series, to be held in the Cinema’s Sky Room, is set for 7 p.m. with open mic sign-up beginning at 6:30 p.m. Although it is free to attend, donations will be sought and gratefully accepted.

“It’s our pleasure to continue the ever-deepening partnership between the Cinema Arts Centre and two pillars of Long Island music scene – the Folk Music Society of Huntington and NorthShore Original Open Mic (NOOM),” said Dylan Skolnick, co-director of the Cinema Arts Centre.

“The Folk Music Society of Huntington’s monthly Hard Luck Café series has been a mainstay of our programming for many years, bringing some of the country’s best folk music performers to dedicated folk fans here in Huntington. With the introduction of a weekly open mic night we are delighted to offer even more opportunities for music lovers and artists to come together, as well as a space where seasoned performers can try out their newest original pieces and where up-and-coming musicians can get used to performing for a crowd,” Skolnick added.

“NOOM is thrilled to partner with the Folk Music Society of Huntington and the Cinema Arts Centre and lay the groundwork for a weekly opportunity for original songwriters and performers to present their original songs in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere,” said Toby Tobias, a Huntington-based singer-songwriter who launched the open mic series at a small coffee shop in Northport in the fall of 2013.

One of the longest running weekly original open mics on Long Island, NOOM has reincarnated itself at quite a few North Shore locations through the years — most recently at Finley’s in Huntington.  Although the COVID-19 pandemic precluded NOOM from taking place in-person since March 2020, songwriter Richard Parr has been livestreaming the open mic every week since then and will also be playing a major role when it resumes in-person.

“We invite singer-songwriters of varying skill levels and those who love live music, to gather at the Cinema Arts Centre to listen to songwriters, dedicated to the craft of writing and singing their songs, play and talk about their original music in an environment of goodwill and open-mindedness,” said Tobias. He noted that each NOOM will also include a featured 20-minute performance by a known/emerging local or touring songwriter starting at around 8 p.m. “I am very excited to be a part of this,” he said.

Michael Kornfeld, longtime president of the Folk Music Society of Huntington, shares their excitement. “FMSH is delighted to extend its partnerships with both NOOM and the Cinema Arts Centre and to help provide opportunities for local singer-songwriters to share their music with our community,” he said. “NOOM has been an Acoustic Ally of FMSH for a number of years. We’ve cross-promoted each other’s events and presented a couple of joint livestreams over the past two years.”

Affording local artists opportunities to share their talents with appreciative audiences in an intimate listening room atmosphere was the initial impetus behind the nonprofit presenting organization’s Hard Luck Café concert series many years ago, Kornfeld noted.  That series now features a mix of local, regional and national touring artists. The Cinema Arts Centre has partnered with the Folk Music Society of Huntington and hosted the monthly Hard Luck Café concerts in its Sky Room for more than a decade. That series resumes on October 19 with featured act No Fuss and Feathers and will take place on the third Wednesday of each month, from 7-9:30/10 p.m. An open mic also precedes most Hard Luck Café concerts.

Upcoming dates include:

October 12, 26

November 2, 9, 30

December 7, 14, 28

Sign up here.

For more information, visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

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A scene from Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope. LucasFilm Ltd. & 20th Century Fox. Image courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

By Tara Mae

The force is strong with Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre (CAC), which for the first time in its history will screen George Lucas’s original Star Wars trilogy for a limited week-long engagement.

From Aug.  26 to Thursday, Sept. 1, the CAC will screen A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983) in chronological order with successive screenings taking place on Friday and Saturday, for fans who want to binge watch the entire trilogy. It is a rare opportunity to watch the movies, each a mega blockbuster in its own right, on the big screen. They are rarely rereleased in theaters, much less shown in sequence, not due to lack of interest but rather lack of opportunity. 

“The original trilogy is rarely presented on the big screen, and for many years it was unavailable to theaters. It was only recently that LucasFilm has started to allow screenings of the original trilogy,” said Nate Close, Director of Marketing and Communications at the CAC.

A New Hope launched director George Lucas and actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford into the stratosphere of popular culture. The two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, chronicled the acute losses and buoying victories in the ongoing battle between good and evil as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and their compatriots fought Darth Vader and the imperial regime. 

The Cinema Arts Centre is screening the trilogy as part of an ongoing effort to reengage audiences and entice them back into the theater. For while Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, and company had Darth Vader to battle and ultimately defeat, movie theaters, film centers, and other art institutions are contending with the effects of an ongoing pandemic and other hurdles. 

“The movie theater industry is still in the process of bouncing back from the Covid era, so we thought this was a good time to give fans something that would really excite them and motivate them to come out and see a movie,” Close said. “We hope that people will take advantage of the rare opportunity to see some of their favorite films on the big screen.” 

The trilogy spawned a number of prequels, graphic novels, books, television shows, and an entire alternative universe populated by heroic and villainous archetypes, emotive AI, and adorably ferocious creatures.

“The original Star Wars trilogy is timeless. Nearly everything about the films, from the characters, the music, and the world-building makes them some of the most memorable and entertaining movies ever made,” Close added. ”It’s hard to find another piece of fantasy media that has had such a tremendous impact on our culture. And that all started with the release of George Lucas’s original trilogy.” 

The Star Wars Trilogy screening is just the beginning of an upcoming season that incorporates crowd favorites and comfort watches selected in the spirit of encouraging audiences to return to the theater. A screening of The Godfather on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. in honor of the 50th anniversary of its release, is the first in a series of Tuesday film screenings that celebrate the anniversaries of some Hollywood classics including To Kill a Mockingbird on Sept. 20 for its 60th anniversary; Lawrence of Arabia on Oct. 5 for its 60th anniversary; and Singin’ in the Rain on Nov. 20 for its 70th anniversary. And in the spirit of the holidays, the CAC will screen White Christmas on Dec. 13.

Since its reopening the Cinema Arts Centre has organized and presented a number of dynamic events geared towards welcoming diverse audiences, including comedy shows, book signings, a 12-hour horror movie marathon, the Maritime Film Festival, its Anything but Silent series that combines silent films with live accompaniment by organist Ben Model, documentary screenings, the Cult Cafe series, Cinema for Kids, Sunday Schmooze series, and much more. Check out their website at www.cinemaartcentre.org for a full schedule and ticket prices. 

The Cinema Arts Centre is located at 423 Park Ave. in Huntington. For more information, call 631-423-7610.

One of the newly renovated theaters at the Cinema Arts Centre. Photo by Nate Close

After a long closure, and full renovation, Huntington’s Cinema Art Centre has reopened for in-person screenings and events

After more than two years, the Cinema Arts Centre (CAC), 423 Park Ave., Huntington has reopened with a newly renovated space. Independent film screenings and special programming are back at the cinema, with great events planned for this spring and summer, and more on the way.

Having first closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CAC decided to use the opportunity to embark upon a large scale renovation of its lobby and three theaters. The work on the theater includes brand new seats, carpeting, ceilings, an updated ventilation system, as well as new paint and carpeting in the lobby and new seats and tables in the café, which are set to arrive any day. The floors in the theaters have also been re-profiled to create better sight lines, the bathrooms have been refurbished, and additional handicap seating has been added to the theaters.

New lobby carpeting at the Cinema Arts Centre. Photo by Nate Close

During its closure the Cinema Arts Centre stayed busy presenting pop-up and drive-in screenings along with a diverse range of virtual programming, some of which will continue in some capacity into the future.

The Cinema is now open for in-person programming, and tickets are on sale for a number of films and special events this year. One series that particularly excites that staff is the Maritime Film Festival.

A celebration of Long Island’s coastal culture, the multi-day Maritime Film Festival, will explore topics such as Long Island’s bay houses, the first all-female crew of sailors to circumnavigate the globe, and the Bungalows of Rockaway. The festival will feature a number of special guests including filmmakers, subjects of the films, and experts on Long Island history. You can purchase tickets or find more information about these and other events at www.cinemaartscentre.org

“It has been a long road to get us to this point,” said Nate Close, director of communications at the CAC. “We experienced a few delays along the way but we are thrilled to be finally reopening as an even better version of the Cinema Arts Centre. With our comfortable new seats and more modern theater design, we are excited to once again provide a space where people in our community can come together. We want to sincerely thank our members, donors, and everyone in our amazing Huntington and Long Island communities who made this possible.”

A scene from 'Homecoming: The Story of African American Farmers.' Photo courtesy of CAC

The Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington will present a free special online screening of Homecoming: The Story of African American Farmers on Wednesday,  Jan. 26 at 7 p.m.

The final program of its LI AgriCULTURE series, the event will include a discussion with the film’s director, Charlene Gilbert.

In 1920 there were hundreds of thousands of black farmers in America; in 1999 there were fewer than 18,000. Filmmaker Charlene Gilbert travelled to Georgia, the place she calls home, where her cousin still farms the family’s land. Gilbert recounts her family history while she investigates the social and political implications of the decline of black farming, and explores the bittersweet legacy of the land, a symbol of both struggle and survival.

Homecoming paints a picture of the courageous journey of black farmers who started as freed slaves after the Civil War. By 1910, there were 200,000 African American farmers who had bought land, a staggering number considering the poverty and discrimination they faced. However, the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision on Brown v. Board of Education polarized the whole country. Its impact in the South went far beyond the classroom; many farmers who needed credit found they suddenly couldn’t get it, a process known as “red-lining.”

Gilbert unearths footage of U.S. government farm bureaucrats paying lip service to black farmers. A 1964 study of the Department of Agriculture under the Johnson administration found that there had been discrimination against African Americans in every level of the agency. Homecoming explores the spiritual and symbolic meaning of land for black farmers in America.

This program is presented in partnership with Choose LI and the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development and Planning, and made possible with support from the Long Island Community Foundation.

A link to view the film and an invitation to join the discussion and Q&A  will be provided in your email order confirmation after you RSVP at www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Barry Sonnenfeld. Photo from CAC

Join film director Barry Sonnenfeld (“Get Shorty,” “The Addams Family,” “Men in Black Trilogy”) for a lively evening at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington featuring film clips from some of his most beloved works and a discussion of his new book, “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker” at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $50, $45 members, include a reception and a copy of Sonnenfeld’s new book. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Photo from CAC

‘The Cat Rescuers’

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will present the documentary “The Cat Rescuers” on Jan. 23 at 7:30 p.m. With over 500,000 street cats struggling to survive in NYC, spirited volunteers like Sassee, Claire, Stu and Tara have come to their aid. Their beat is Brooklyn, where the problem has exploded. Combing the borough’s alleys, backyards and housing projects, they trap the cats, get them fixed and returned to their colonies, or adopted. “The Cat Rescuers” shows the skill, resilience and humor they bring to this challenging and rewarding work, and how their mission to reduce animal suffering, has changed their lives. With director Rob Fruchtman in person. Tickets are $16, $11 members. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org for more information.

Tom Manuel. Photo from The Jazz Loft

By Erika Riley

New Year’s Eve is the holiday to close out the season, and there is no better way to celebrate Dec. 31 than to do something fun for the night. Whether you’re in the mood for music, comedy or to simply see a movie before you head out for the night, the North Shore offers several great ways to spend the evening.

Huntington

Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre will screen ‘Lion’ starring Dev Patel on New Year’s Eve

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will be hosting a celebration of film on New Year’s Eve. There will be food, drinks, films and friends! First, attendees will have their pick of three films to view before the ball drops including “Jackie” starring Natalie Portman (8:15 p.m.), “Lion” starring Dev Patel (8:30 p.m.) and a third movie that is yet to be announced. After the movie screenings, guests can join the party in the Sky Room Cafe for some delicious food, cake and champagne toasts while viewing the ball dropping in Times Square on a television in the Cafe. Tickets are $40 per person, $35 members, and may be purchased online at www.cinemaartscentre.org or via phone at 631-423-FILM.

Port Jefferson

Paul Anthony will bring his comedy act to Theatre Three on New Year’s Eve

This year, Theatre Three, located at 412 Main Street in Port Jefferson will be offering a comedy show titled “New Year’s Laughin’ Eve” at two different times, featuring some of the biggest names in comedy. The “early bird” show will begin at 6 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m., and the later show will start at 8 p.m. and end by 9:30 p.m., giving attendees plenty of time to take in a New Year’s party and watch the ball drop after the show. Douglas Quattrock, director of development and group sales and special events coordinator, says that the event is a great alternative for those who don’t want to go out to a bar but still want to go do something. “It’s a great way to kick off the new year and end the holiday season,” Quattrock said. “There’s no better medicine than laughter.”

There will be three comedians at the show, the first being Paul Anthony from Massapequa. Anthony is the host of the Long Island Comedy Festival and the host of the new 50+ Comedy Tour, a group of comedians who are targeting their comedy to a slightly older generation. The second guest is Rich Walker, who has been named the Best Comedian on Long Island two years in a row, has headlined in Las Vegas, and has been featured by the New York Times and the third comedian is Keith Anthony, who has been featured on Showtime, A&E and Comedy Central, and has also headlined his own shows. Quattrock said that while the comedy isn’t for kids, it’s also not brute or offensive. Tickets for the shows are $49 per person at the door, $45 in advance at www.theatrethree.com or by calling 631-928-9100.

Smithtown

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown will present a New Year’s Eve comedy show titled “Loads of Laughs,” featuring six headlining comics. Of the six comics, Ken Washington of the center said, “The comedians are always top of the line ‘headlining’ comics who have been seen on a variety of different media outlets as well as comedy clubs throughout the area.” Eddie Clark, former cop and current full-time comic, will be in attendance, as well as seasoned comedians Marvin Bell and Matt Burke. Guests can also expect to see Peyton Clarkson, winner of the New York City Laugh-Off, Joe Currie, a member of several bands as well as a comic, and Warren Holstein, club headliner and occasional contributor to SNL’s “Weekend Update.” Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 10 p.m. Tickets are $180 per couple or $90 per person (there is a $10 discount for members) and include a buffet of Italian hors d’oeuvres and light fare as well as an open bar of wine and beer. Dessert will be served during intermission and a champagne toast will be made to ring in the New Year. To order, call 631-724-3700. Note: Show contains adult language.

Stony Brook

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue in Stony Brook, will be hosting a New Year’s Eve Celebration featuring jazz musician Tom Manuel and the Syncopated Seven from 7:30 to 12:30 p.m. The performance will also showcase guest artist Melanie Marod, who is a modern jazz vocalist who performs regularly around popular clubs in New York City. “What I’m most excited about is just having a wonderful group of people together in such a classy exciting place with such great music, I feel like when you put together great food and great people and great music it’s a guaranteed home-run evening,” said Manuel , who is also the curator and director of the Jazz Loft. Tickets are $150 per person, which includes a buffet dinner catered by the Three Village Inn, cocktail hour and a champagne toast at midnight. To order, call 631-751-1895 or visit www.thejazzloft.org.