Mission and History

The mission of the Cinema Arts Centre is to bring the best in cinematic artistry to Long Island, and use the power of film to expand the awareness and consciousness of our community.

When the Cinema Arts Centre was founded in 1973, it was called the New Community Cinema.  Co-Founders Vic Skolnick and Charlotte Sky, with their son Dylan, were passionate organizers who brought people together to form a movement around film culture that would help shape and define the very character of our area, now renowned as a cultural destination and an arts-rich community.  Long-time residents love to reminisce about how they were there, back when Vic and Char would hang a sheet on the wall of a friend’s dance studio and project films with a borrowed projector.  Attendees would bring their own chairs, and have tea and chat about the film while the reels were being changed.  They call it the “sheet-on-the-wall” days.  Membership began as a request for a contribution from each film-goer to help pay for the following week’s film.  From this beginning, we have grown to become a state-of-the-art cinema, with digital and 35mm projection capability, three main auditoriums, and a big screen in our multi-purpose space, the Sky Room Café.  We have nearly 10,000 members and attract about 150,000 visitors to our area each year.

We have a long history of using the power of film to do social good. Programs unite, inspire, educate, mobilize, and create empathy in a world where empathy is greatly needed.  Like the power of film itself, which is greater than the sum of its parts, the power of the CAC is boundary-breaking.  Programs lift the voices of under-represented groups, of vital community organizations, and other not-for-profit organizations, impacting a variety of causes and issues, and allowing us to share resources, create mutual benefits and work toward a better Long Island.