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Monday, August 11, 2014

Plans for Downtown Cinema and Arts Center Detailed

By James Lomuscio

Plans for a membership-supported, nonprofit, three-screen movie theater in downtown Westport—as well as relocating the Westport Arts Center (WAC) from Riverside Avenue to Jesup Green—were detailed at a Downtown Steering Committee (DSC) public presentation tonight that drew 30 persons to the Town Hall auditorium.

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Sandy Lefkowitz, executive director of the Westport Cinema Initiative, outlined plans foe a two-screen theater on Westport’s Main Street behind Tavern on Main. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Wesport Cinema Initiative (WCI) principals including Executive Director Sandy Lefkowitz, President Jonathan Steinberg and Vice President Doug Tirola, choreographed how the planned two-story cinema located in a parking area behind Tavern on Main would offer first-run art films and retrospective movies, as well as films geared for children.

WCI leadership also stressed how the cinema, expected to cost $4.5 million in private funding for construction and first year operational expenses, would offer educational programs, benefit families and forge a greater sense of community.

“Our mission has always been to bring film to the community and to build the community through film,” said Steinberg, who recalled a time when Westport had five movie theaters and noted that as a young man he was an usher in the Fine Arts Theatre, now home to Restoration Hardware.

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