Property developer Aby Rosen – known for acquiring some of Manhattan’s most beloved buildings – is the mystery buyer of the iconic Southampton cinema, Page Six can exclusively reveal.
And locals are freaking out about his potential plans for the space.
Last November, the Colonial-style theater was purchased for $8 million by Hill Street Cinema LLC, beating out documentarians Ben and Orson Cummings and a coalition of other locals.
Hamptons residents are now angry over rumors that Rosen, the man behind the LLC, plans to turn the place into a private club for his billionaire friends.
A source tells us that scaffolding has been erected around the historic site, and word is circulating around town: “an email was sent to the village’s wealthiest residents requesting million dollar contributions and dues six figures to gain access to the client lounge and a private lounge. restaurant… oh, and screening rooms.
“This will be another no-fly zone for ordinary people in the community who are seeing their hometown being taken over,” said one disgruntled resident.
But a representative for Rosen – who confirms he is the buyer – tells us exclusively: “Mr Rosen has no plans to create a private club at the Southampton cinema. Once again, he will not create a private club there.
When asked what the high-end developer would do with the space, the rep told us, “We’re not ready to share our plans at this time.” »
A press release dated August 17, 2022 on the theater’s website states that there are “plans to reopen the historic structure as a theater for films and cultural events.”
The post also quotes a Hill Street Cinema spokesperson as saying: “The purchase was driven by our fervent desire to preserve this essential component of Southampton village culture as well as reactivate the building’s distinctive architecture, who anchored the community center for many years. »
The theater – built in 1932 and restructured as a multiplex in the 1990s – has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was granted historic landmark status by the Southampton Village Board for Architectural Review and Historic Preservation in January, with members noting that it has been “an institution and focal point in the village,” according to the news outlet local 27 East.
Rosen previously spearheaded luxury upgrades to the Chrysler Building and the former Four Seasons restaurant in his Seagram Building.
The avid art collector is also behind the Soho Lounge the Blond, at his trendy 11 Howard hotel, and he also owns the Paramount Hotel in New York and the W Hotel in Miami, which is a mainstay of the chic vibe of Art Basel.
He also previously owned the iconic Lever House and the Gramercy Park Hotel, and he helped finance the private Core Club on the Upper East Side.
The real estate mogul also owns a $21.5 million art-filled mansion along Southampton’s “Billionaire’s Lane.”