Stories Behind the Bricks

Throughout the year, visitors to the Cinema Arts Centre use our garden for relaxation, a stroll after a film, or to enjoy a dish from our Sky Room Cafe. The bricks along our pathways are engraved with messages from hundreds of the Cinema’s supporters. Some messages are simple and clear, and others are personal and intimate. We asked some of our supporters to share the stories behind their bricks. Here are some of the responses we received.

For more information, please call Ted Cavooris, Associate Director of Development at 631-423-7610, ext. 11 or e-mail ted@cinemaartscentre.org

“The Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, which is now in it’s 17th year, has had a extraordinary relationship with the Cinema Arts Centre. The Cinema Arts Centre has hosted our November Film Festival & Out At The Movies monthly program for over 15 years, and has been unwavering in their support. So when it came to find a way to honor the retiring festival director, Steve Flynn, choosing an engraved brick in the Cinema’s garden was the perfect choice. Steve was moved beyond words. Thank you to all the hard work the Cinema Arts has done and continues to do for us.”

–  Jim Stewart, Executive Director, LIGLFF

 “Sue Rosen was the dynamic organizer of a social Meetup. Thanks to her, I had a full social calendar filled with concerts, karaoke, house parties and theater and many new friends. Many of our meet ups were at the Cinema Arts Centre. Sue’s talent was in creating a calendar of events that allowed members to meet each other while having a great time. She was an amazing woman, smart, savvy and full of energy.

When Sue succumbed to cancer last October, her family chose to cremate her. I thought about how sad it was that there was not a place for Sue. Then I remembered that not only did I have a brick at the Cinema Arts Centre but had also bought a brick for my friend Yvonne Cohen who had also succumbed to cancer. It would be so right to have a brick there in memory of our Sue who was a member and loved the Cinema Arts Centre. And so, I approached our members for funding that would allow us to buy a brick. Because of their generosity, we were able to secure a place right outside the front door in the circle with all the famous names. She would have loved that!

I was told that the brick could be installed any time the weather warmed up. It is ironic that of all the days the brick could have been installed, it was done on Sue’s birthday! We held her brick unveiling on July 26, 2014 and celebrated her life with wine and sweet desserts. It is heart-warming that this memorial will forever remain a visual tribute to her. We can now pause at her brick and smile as we continue to meet up at the Cinema Arts Centre.”

– Diane Berg, Organizer, Sue’s Long Island Days and Nice Nights Out Social Group

 “It was a privilege to be able to leave a brick in honor of Maya Deren on one of the CAC paths. Her experimentations are as intriguing now as they were in the 1940’s and 1950’s (yes, within my memory). She was a cinematic shaman, leaving behind for us great gifts of enchantment and beauty. Long live Meshes of the AfternoonDivine Horsemen, and all the other works one can still see through her unique vision.”

– Sharon Bourke

It has been many years since I walked into the infamous “New Community Cinema” and purchased my brick. Little did I know it was not only a donation but an acknowledgement that positivity did exist deep down inside of me.  You see what I had engraved on my brick was the name and date of the business I had recently opened-Universal Touch Professional (Pro) Massage-’88.  Though I might have been afraid of the potential risk of opening a business the opportunity to buy one of the infamous bricks at the Cinema validated for me the desire to succeed and “plant” a seed in the form of this brick.  And also in doing so, the path to my “home away from home” was starting to be paved.  The New Community Cinema (as it was called way back then) – with its wonderful gardens (both flower and sculpture), lectures, food, special people and yes… incredible films always provided me with a “home away from home.”  With a good seat and some special snack… off I went to one of the theaters (whether alone or with a friend) and always managed to enjoy being comfortably “home.”

– Andrea Gordon

“We bought this brick for our father, Stu Polisner, to pay tribute to a man who is truly heroic to us, while supporting one of the places dearest to his heart: the Cinema Arts Centre and its beautiful gardens (which he helped to plant and design). Our dad has always been our Superman – a literal and figurative lifesaver and rescuer of people, plants, and animals – a doctor extraordinaire, gardener/landscaper, and fixer of all things, who is always there for others to mend a hand, or lend one. When he’s not at home tinkering around his own gardens with his dogs and his wife and best friend, Ginger, at his side, he can be found at the Cinema doing all of the above. Like the canna lilies and hollyhocks he nurtures to incredible heights, no one has thrived more from his kindness, generosity, and wisdom (not to mention tender loving medical care) than, we, his daughters. Like a brick in the path, our dad has been our solid foundation, and, we, his most tended flowers.”

– Gae Polisner

I became a member when the Cinema had sheets hanging to project onto – we sat on couches and some smoked cigarettes! That’s how far back I go.

So now is where I owe you my life – my life as I know it today. I’ve been a member forever – I don’t even know how long! My ex-husband and I were always members, and we always loved Charlotte and Vic. I especially loved Vic’s discussions after the films! He was such a wise and knowledgeable man. I got divorced in 1981, but of course I stayed a member. In 1988, I came to the Cinema to see a foreign film – that’s when you had herbal teas in the back and you had to stand in line – before it was a beautiful and state-of-the-art-space and a young man walked in, wearing yellow aviator sunglasses, his collar up, and he had thick dark curly hair and very long dark eyelashes. I say we were seeing a French film –  he says we were seeing something else. I was with a girlfriend, he was with a professor friend. He was so cute – I kept staring at him and staring at him..

I sat down with my friend in the theater, and he sat at the end of our row! I told my friend I wish that he sat closer, so I could elbow him. At the end of the movie, he and his friend came down the aisle to talk to us. He had an interesting accent, he was Armenian. There was something so soft, warm, appealing and inviting about him, and he asked if we’d like to go for a drink.  I told him we didn’t drink – but we’d go across the street to the Blue Dolphin for coffee.

Even though we had just met, and he was quite a bit younger than I, I felt as if we had known each other forever. We started going out. On the first date, he brought matching tennis rackets! How cute is that? More intimate than candy or flowers,  or any other cliché and with a thought to the future.  In January of 1995, we got married. It was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life. He’s a wonderful, kind, giving stepfather to my kids, and a grandfather to my grandkids.

My brick says “Marsha et Arek – A L’Aventure”, which means “By Chance” in French. We met by chance at the Cinema. Everyone thinks it means adventures – and we have had plenty of adventures, and we plan to have many, many more, but that’s not what it means! (We do have a golf cart in Sun City, Hilton Head, South Carolina, that is emblazoned with the message “The Adventurers”, which we are!)

– Marsha Tarih

“The CAC is an oasis in the desert of culture for the “everyday” person.  I was fortunate
enough to be introduced to CAC by a friend.  Subsequently,  I became a member and have enjoyed so many varied events and have been enriched in so many ways.  When I was diagnosed with a lethal cancer last June, I made up my mind that I wanted to donate a brick.  After all, can you think of a better place to leave your name?  Before and after my diagnosis, there were many times that I went on a lonely Sunday to enrich my soul or attended an event during the week after working all day.  As a member, I feel that I am part of a community of souls who share a common goal, that of educating yourself, appreciating beauty, being conscious of your environment, considering other people and their wants and needs, along with being entertained in exciting ways.  I truly consider it an honor to be a member.

“Charlotte and Dylan quietly carry the torch and share in the quest to maintain the integrity of the CAC in such a lovely way.  The CAC is a home away from home for me. Let’s see, Movies, Music, Book Signings, New Year’s Eve parties, a Cafe – to top it off one can purchase  a brick in “our” beautiful garden.  For me, the brick represents my faith in CAC along with  the knowledge that our kindred spirits  have come together in this quest to keep the CAC open.  When we attend events, that is good.  When we support each other, that is good because it makes the whole experience that much richer.  Let’s all continue to make our world a better place, together.  My treatments are finally over and my doctors are optimistic, so, I’ll be seeing you!!   Please accept this humble accolade.   Namaste, Kat”

– Kat Hammett

“I was asked to write a brief description of the genesis of our Cinema brick, which we proudly pass each time we walk the path from the rear parking lot to the theaters….

Here’s  the story….

When I met Ben, I had been a Cinema member for years; he knew nothing about the Cinema, but he soon learned to love it as much as I did.  We each had 2 children from prior marriages, and when we married several years later,  we formed our new ‘happy family’.

We wanted to share our love of the Cinema with our children,  so when the opportunity to buy a brick to help the Cinema arose , we thought it would  be a great  way to advertise our new family and our appreciation and support of the Cinema.

Now, so many years later, we smile when we read the simple inscription, ‘Flo, Ben and Family’…. uncomplicated, democratic  and inclusive.  We can’t wait to walk down the path to show our grandchildren our family Brick.”

– Florence Feinberg

“I bought this brick in memory of my father, Bill Moses, who was a teacher and a lover of life. I spend most days at the Cinema Arts Centre, either seeing a movie or sitting in the garden (even in the winter!) The Cinema is my favorite place to be, and one of the reasons I chose Huntington as a place to live when I moved to Long Island. I heard someone once say that the Cinema Arts Centre was a sacred place for him – a non-religious space that he experienced as spiritual. It’s the same for me – a place where I can travel to different worlds, delight my imagination, and learn so much. What better place for a memorial for my dad.”

– Deborah Sher

I have been coming to the Cinema Arts Center for a very long time and joined officially about 8 years ago.  When I was approached about the possibility of purchasing a brick I thought of how many wonderful films I have seen at the cinema that I never would have seen anywhere else.  I decided that was a wonderful way to add to my contributions for a building that is something of a second home for my husband and me.  I wanted to say simply ‘long live the cinema’ in a foreign language befitting the films we see there.  I went online to see which language could accommodate my sentiment in the space allotted on the brick –  the one that fit was Vive le cinema!   I am so pleased to have a permanent marker on the cinema walkway for this cultural icon right in my own neighborhood.

– Sandy Rabinowitz

This brick is for our dear nephew, Stephen Richter who passed at the heartbreaking age of 33.  Everyday, in so many ways, he brought joy to his parents Marlene and Chet Richter, and his wife, Kathy Richter.  His kind,  loving and hilarious nature touched all that he met.  Stephen became a lawyer but decided in the last years of his life, to go back to school for Special Education.  This was his true calling and many students lives were enriched by his presence.  He lives in all our hearts forever.

– Linda and Towne Allen

We bought this brick to support the Cinema that was such an important part of our lives as we raised our daughters. We moved to Huntington when our girls were babies in the mid 80’s. From the beginning, CAC was a great family night or date night out. Over the years both Marisa and Allison worked at the Cinema for a while as teens. They saw films that inspired and changed them and we all loved coming to see the independent movies that you couldn’t see anywhere else. Not to mention Sunday Schmoozes, events and presentations by creators and filmmakers. I still go whenever I can and when the girls are in town.

The brick commemorates my youngest daughter leaving for college, meaning things would never be the same in our home again. Life events are a great time to put an engraved brick in the ground… a permanent statement of where we all were then and where we were going. Whenever I look at it on my way in or out of a movie, it reminds me of our love for the Cinema Arts Centre… Char, Vic and Dylan… and what they mean to our beloved community where so many families thrive, grow and, then, move on. 

– Patty Berwald

Buying an engraved brick in the Cinema Arts Centre’s sculpture garden and patio dining area is a lasting tax-deductible way to make a gift in memory or in honor of a friend, family member, loved one, colleague, student or to remember a special occasion, such as a birthday, anniversary, graduation or holiday. 

For more information, please call Ted Cavooris, Associate Director of Development at 631-423-7610, ext. 11 or e-mail ted@cinemaartscentre.org

You may also contact Ted if you would like to share your own brick story.